FGD 57: One last round with the Desert Dogs (7pm MT, SN West)

After five days away from the rink, the Calgary Flames are back in game action tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome! The Flames begin the 26-game march to the finish line of the 2016-17 season with a game against the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes are one of the weakest clubs in the Western Conference and a team that the Flames have had a lot of success against this season. Then again, the Coyotes managed to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions (the Pittsburgh Penguins) on Saturday night, so they’re not exactly a complete pushover.

The puck drops after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanTroy Brouwer
Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik

Kris VersteegSam BennettAlex Chiasson
Micheal FerlandMatt StajanGarnet Hathaway

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Brett KulakDeryk Engelland

“Win and you’re in” continues for the Flames, so Chad Johnson starts again. He’s 17-12-1 with a 2.48 goals against average and .914 save percentage in 31 starts. He was quite good against the Penguins before the break.

The Flames are coming off their five day league-mandated break. They won three of four games in-between the All-Star Break and that mandated break. The hope is that they can keep their momentum going. Don’t expect any changes to the lineup tonight from what they dressed against Pittsburgh: Jyrki Jokipakka, Lance Bouma and Freddie Hamilton look to be the odd men out.

Keep an eye on Sean Monahan, who’s hunting for his 100th NHL goal, but also bear in mind that Mikael Backlund remains the team’s leading scorer and most consistent player (and isn’t that just a fun thing to read or write?). If Monahan can keep things rolling, suddenly the Flames have a few lines purring along and become a much more deep, dangerous offensive team.

THE COYOTES

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Tobias RiederMartin HanzalRadim Vrbata
Max DomiAlex BurmistrovJamie McGinn
Brendan PerliniChristian DvorakShane Doan
Lawson CrouseJordan MartinookRyan White

Oliver Ekman-LarssonLuke Schenn
Alex GoligoskiMichael Stone
Kevin ConnautonConnor Murphy

After picking up the win on Saturday, Mike Smith is back in net for the Coyotes. He’s 13-15-6 with a 2.92 goals against average and .915 save percentage in 36 starts this season. He’s struggled with consistency this year, but he’s been quite good on occasion.

The Coyotes blew a 3-1 lead against Pittsburgh but managed to win in overtime anyway. They’re not a particularly great hockey team. They struggle to score. Radim Vrbata is the only player on the team with more than 30 points. They’re a really interesting team with a lot of youngsters on their roster that could eventually turn into something, but the team just hasn’t completely gelled this year and remain near the bottom of the standings.

Arizona could be dangerous in a year or two, but this isn’t their year.

THE NUMBERS

FLAMES COYOTES
Wins 28 18
Points
(Pct.)
59
(.527)
43
(.406)
Power Play 21.3% 17.1%
Penalty Kill 80.3% 77.3%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 50.7% 44.8%

HISTORY LESSON

This is the 192nd regular season meeting between the Flames franchise and Winnipeg/Arizona. The Flames are 92-72-27 all-time against the Coyotes franchise. This is the fifth and final game between these clubs this season; the Flames are 4-0-0, though two of their wins came in overtime.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Some Coyotes follows for tonight:

SUM IT UP

The Flames are back from the break and desperately need points in their bid for a playoff spot. Teams have generally struggled coming out of their bye periods. The Flames cannot afford a flat effort tonight because they cannot afford to let any points against any opponent slip through their fingers.

  • Skeittari78

    Can’t stand it when our man dumps the puck, even though he’s got the room and space to carry it in. It’s like.. someone’s insisted them to do so, no matter what. Yes, I mean you, Glen.

  • I am Batman

    You guys are really gonna blame it on the schedule?

    Last time I checked all teams play against everyone and they all have back to backs, afternoon games, etc.

    Do blame it on the terrible players, the bad coaching, the bad contracts by management, but not at the schedule.

    Some accountability….

  • MontanaMan

    I’ve never thought this was a playoff team (certainly not with the goaltending the Flames have) and if they sneak in, they won’t be around for long. Accept it, identify the core players and start shopping. I am more interested in watching Kulak or Wotherspoon on a nightly basis (mistakes included) rather than Wideman. I’d also rather watch some of the young forwards than Stajan or some of the veterans going through the motions. At the trade deadline, I’d like to see the Flames much younger, faster and with more promise for the future. Out Wideman, Engelland, one of the tenders, Stajan, Bouma. Start shopping BT and pull the trigger.

        • McDavid's Comet

          Ari Yanover is the editor-in-cheif of flamesnation as well as the flamesnation moderator; “he” is a she and moderates at her discretion.

          Oiler fans, comment carefully; Flames fans have more “flexibility” in their comments (comment #58) on flamesnation than Oiler fans….. or Oiler “trolls”.

          Oiler fans or “trolls” will banned for comments resembling #58, so be respectful of what you post on on this site. Keep it hockey related or risk banishment from the Nation Network.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            I don’t give a damn who the moderator is. The moderator wasn’t doing her job last night when those hateful comments were allowed to fester on the board for as long as they did. When I flagged them at about 11:00 PM, they had been stinking up the board for almost two and a half hours! Where the heck was the moderator to clean it up and give a major butt kicking to the idiot who posted them? If she was busy with her other duties on FN, then clearly she cannot also handle the job of moderator. Time to delegate responsibility.

            To let an unprovoked and vicious attack on kids with learning and developmental disabilities to go on for as long as it did was absolutely astounding! Yet another case of victimizing the victims. It was the most hurtful and disgusting attack I have ever seen on this forum and it went on for at least two and a half hours.

            At the very least, the poster, Thatz Nuckin Futz, should be banished from the forum, the moderator should offer a formal apology to all those who were so deeply offended by the hateful comments and the moderator should seriously consider turning the job of moderator over to someone else if her other FN duties make her too busy to allow her to monitor the forum in a timely and diligent manner. There is absolutely no excuse for what happened last night to have been allowed to go on for as long as it did.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            I don’t give a damn who the moderator is. The moderator wasn’t doing her job last night when those hateful comments were allowed to fester on the board for as long as they did. When I flagged them at about 11:00 PM, they had been stinking up the board for almost two and a half hours! Where the heck was the moderator to clean it up and give a major butt kicking to the idiot who posted them? If she was busy with her other duties on FN, then clearly she cannot also handle the job of moderator. Time to delegate responsibility.

            To let an unprovoked and vicious attack on kids with learning and developmental disabilities to go on for as long as it did was absolutely astounding! Yet another case of victimizing the victims. It was the most hurtful and disgusting attack I have ever seen on this forum and it went on for at least two and a half hours.

            At the very least, the poster, Thatz Nuckin Futz, should be banished from the forum, the moderator should offer a formal apology to all those who were so deeply offended by the hateful comments and the moderator should seriously consider turning the job of moderator over to someone else if her other FN duties make her too busy to allow her to monitor the forum in a timely and diligent manner. There is absolutely no excuse for what happened last night to have been allowed to go on for as long as it did.

  • The Sultan

    It’s okay it happens on ON so it’s okay to do it here. We may be losing 4-0 but at least we didn’t lose 5-1. And have lost like 5 of the last 6 games *coughedmontoncough*

    • McDavid's Comet

      You were saying?

      I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to say Flames & Oilers fans hate the mandatory NHLPA 5 day break.

      Think happy thoughts everyone.

  • Flaymin Frank

    The First Amendment guarantees comments by cOilers on this site. Also known as Revenge Of The Terds.

    The Yotes are on a hot streak in their last nine games. We just had a five day break. Also known as an engineered loss by the NHL.

    Onwards& Upwards.

  • Frank Miron

    This team is a joke. They are painfull to watch, nowhere near the exitement and the passion when Hartley was coaching. It’s all on you, Treliving !

  • Franko J

    Which team looks like they are in position to draft in the top three tonight?

    How can this team head into Pittsburgh and play a pretty good road game and at home tonight look so terrible?

    I still think this team should be sellers and forget about buying?
    I know easier said than done.

    • Ogie Oglethorp

      Stay calm Flames fans, according to PDO we will win the next one. FOR SURE. We’ve been running bad on PDO, math says it’ll even out FOR SURE. Be afraid San Jose, we are coming for your PDO.

  • Cheeky

    Everyone talks about a players ceiling, what never gets mentioned is a coaches ceiling. If GG honestly thinks Wideman deserves to play (and over 20 mins)then he obviously is not an NHL calibre coach. If Trevling is telling him to play Wideman to “showcase” him, then GG doesn’t have the room or the bench. For the past couple of so years we have talked about how we need a goalie, each year same old same old. Perhaps it’s not the goalie but the goalie coach – watch the goalies, they go down far too soon and get beat up top. Same thing last year all the goalies pulled the same trick. Other issue is the defense that folds like a wet paper bag, following the puck rather than the body – allowing the opposition to drive to the net for a shot or pass (and that’s not including how their lack of coverage). Face it we are not going to the next level under this coaching regime…

  • Ogie Oglethorp

    I blame the CBA and the stupid break… Look league wide, teams have come out of the layover brutal.

    Stupid rule, but unlike most of the stupid decisions the league makes this was requested, mandated and enforced by the players.

    If the players want a 5 day drinking/buffet/cruiseship holiday mid season they better be ready to play when its over.

    Once again this team is proving its not all that serious about hockey….

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I was extremely disappointed with last night’s anthem ceremony for two reasons. One was that O Canada was sung in English only. What mixed message did that send to the newcomers about Canada having two official languages. True, the game was a private event, not a federal event, so no laws were broken, but it was yet another not-so-subtle dig at Francophone Canadians. Could the Flames and all their vast riches not find a singer in all of southern Alberta who could have accompanied Canyon in French? Hey, Flames brass, could you not have express ordered a French singer from the Faculte St Jean in nearby Edmonton?

    Second, how come none of the new families wasn’t Muslim? At a time when Trump is at war with Islam, why didn’t the Flames walk Justin’s talk about Canada’s diversity being its strength and that for Muslims being Trumped in America, they will find a welcoming and safe haven in Canada? What message would the Flames have sent to Calgarians, the rest of Canada and the world—yes, CNN would have picked I up—about the strength and joy of Canada by hosting an 8 or more member Muslim family complete with Mama wearing a Flames-themed burka? Opportunity squandered.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I don’t care if the moderator is a baboon. She clearly failed to do her job last night and that’s totally unacceptable considering the vile and degrading comment posted. I spotted it at almost 11:00, some two and a half hours after it had been posted. That garbage was allowed to fester for that long and the moderator was either too busy or too inattentive to go after it. Come on! Why let that kind of hate and bullying stink up the place?

    At the very least, the writer of that garbage should be banned from this forum. No way was that post accidental, nor could its hateful message be misinterpreted. The moderator should also issue an apology for not doing her job in a timely manner. Finally, if the moderator is too busy with her other duties on FN, she should relinquish the position of moderator to someone who is willing, able and ready to do the job.