FGD 42: Home sweet home (and home) (8pm MT, CBC)

The Calgary Flames headed to Vancouver last night to play one of their most important games of the season against the Canucks. They out-shot Vancouver in each period. They out-chanced Vancouver. They out-everythinged Vancouver, frankly. But they lost 4-2 due to bounces and some heroic goaltending from Ryan Miller.

The Flames get a second chance to beat Vancouver tonight at the Saddledome. Much like yesterday’s contest, the game has tremendous importance due to its playoff implications. Both teams want to hang around the playoff pack as long as possible, ideally in a playoff spot. A win tonight (for either side) will help them do just that.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

Check out a view from the other side from Canucks Army!


Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanAlex Chiasson
Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik
Kris VersteegSam BennettMicheal Ferland
Lance BoumaMatt StajanGarnet Hathaway

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieDennis Wideman
Jyrki JokipakkaDeryk Engelland

After Brian Elliott took the loss last night, allowing 4 goals on 13 shots, Chad Johnson slots back in between the pipes. He started in Vancouver back in October. He’s 13-8-1 with a 2.34 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 22 appearances this season.

A couple lineup notes for tonight: Jyrki Jokipakka and Garnet Hathaway are back in, which means that Tyler Wotherspoon and (probably) Freddie Hamilton sit. Wotherspoon struggled a bit last night at times, so changing up the defensive group seems like a good idea. Hathaway likely provides a bit more bite in his game than the elder Hamilton did last night, so that’s another decent move. Ladislav Smid and Troy Brouwer remain out with injuries.

The Flames’ top line of Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk continues to roll along nicely. Backlund is now the team’s outright scoring leader, which is something crazy to think about this far into the season. That trio has also bolstered the second power play group, which scored last night. They’ll need to be good again tonight for the Flames to grab a pair of points.


Last night’s lines via Daily Faceoff:

Daniel SedinHenrik SedinJayson Megna
Loui ErikssonBrandon SutterMarkus Granlund
Sven BaertschiBo HorvatAnton Rodin
Brendan GaunceMichael ChaputJack Skille

Alexander EdlerTroy Stecher
Luca SbisaChris Tanev
Ben HuttonNikita Tryamkin

Ryan Miller was great last night, but he gets a night off after facing 46 shots. Jacob Markstrom instead suits up given the back to back situation. He’s 8-8-2 with a 2.60 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

Chris Tanev left last night’s game after block a shot, so that likely means that Alex Biega slots in and the defensive pairings get shuffled a bit. Beyond that, don’t expect many changes for the Canucks aside from perhaps Alex Burrows (who missed last night’s game due to illness) sliding back in if he’s feeling better.

The Canucks got two points almost entirely on the back of their goaltender last night. They’ll need to be better as a group if they want another two tonight.


Wins 21 20
Power Play 20.9% 14.4%
Penalty Kill 81.3% 80.2%
Score-Adjusted Corsi 50.2% 47.3%
Sedins 0 2


This is Round 268 of this rivalry that has no official name – though I like “Rocky Mountain Rivalry” as a name. The Flames are 130-90-47 in their prior regular season meetings. Vancouver has won two of three games between these two clubs (once in overtime), so the Flames have a 1-1-1 record head to head this season with the Canucks. After tonight, they play one more time on February 18.


Your recommended follows from the other side for tonight:


The Flames are probably frothing at the mouth for a rematch after how well they played last night (despite the result). If they play the way they did last night again tonight, they’ll get two points. And with the Western Conference playoff race jam-packed, they could use two points.

  • freethe flames

    It’s time for the young stars to step it up. If they do and then we are a playoff team but if Bennett and his line don’t start producing I think we will miss the playoffs. Monahan also has to step it up as well. Our top line is the 3m line not what most of us expected at the start of the season.

  • Pizanno

    I think we may look at last night as a turning point in the season. Not very often our team is so dominant yet loses. It’s usually the other way around where we steal a game. It showed what our team can do. They are good.

    I expect a great game from them tonight, getting the W, and taking some real momentum from this two game set.

  • Derzie

    Under GG, the wins only come when 3M shines and the goalie stands on his head. Skill players are de-clawed. Last night 3M won the Corsi, Elliott stunk out the joint: Loss column. What about tonight? Likely a win but the damage is done. Break-even with the Nucks is a loss by any measure.

  • MontanaMan

    I was a big supporter of the Flames acquiring Elliott and still am. He was on a one year deal and given the opportunity to prove he warranted a long term contract. To date, he hasn’t. Having said that, his contract expires at the end of the year so it was an excellent move nevertheless. The interesting thing to me is that Elliott came in with a good record and reputed good mechanics. Most importantly, he was alleged to have a strong mental game. HIs mechanics likely haven’t changed but he looks tentative at best and appears that he has the yips in the crease. Not a good situation for a tender. Goalies are an interesting bunch – Miller flopped in St. Louis but is playing well in Vancouver; Dubnyk’s struggles in Edmonton and success in Minny is well documented. And the list goes on. So Elliott won’t be the first or the last to come from a successful situation and not perform or vice versa. Goalies are a different breed and trying to figure out what’s between their ears can be an exercise in frustration.

  • Flaymin Frank

    Might be a mental let down after last nite’s larceny. If that does happen, we will be in trouble.

    Like the Hathaway – JJ substitutions. This game will have a bit more edge to it. Wotherspoon looked nervous last nite and it showed.

    Elliott still has a mountain to climb before claiming the # 1 Spot. He was amazingly mediocre in facing 13 shots last nite.

    Well, we gifted the Knuckleheads one last nite but Christmas is over. Here’s to a beat down of the Left Coasters.