The Calgary Flames (25-16-4) have been off since Sunday, when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes. The Winnipeg Jets (26-13-7) have been off since Saturday, when they lost to the Minnesota Wild. Now both Western Canadian clubs meet in an effort to shake off the rust of their bye weeks, capture some points, and to celebrate Hockey Day in Canada by kicking off the All-Canadian triple-header. Gimmicky triple-header or no, it’s an important game between two teams that could really use two points in the Western Conference playoff race.
The puck drops just after 1 p.m. MT on CBC (and Sportsnet West) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
For a view from the other side, visit our pals at JetsNation!
Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Brouwer (A)
Bennett – Jankowski – Hathaway
Mangiapane – Stajan – Lazar
Giordano (C) – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone
Mike Smith returns to the crease for the Flames after getting the night off on Friday. He’s 20-13-3 with a 2.46 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. He’s backed up by David Rittich. With Sean Monahan back in the lineup that means Marek Hrivik rejoins Matt Bartkowski in the press box.
The Flames have won seven games in a row, and have been victorious in all six games they’ve played in 2018. A lot of the credit goes towards the goaltenders, who have allowed just 11 goals this year. At the same time, the Flames have put 23 pucks past the opposition. After five days off, the challenge for the Flames will be maintaining the same level of intensity and execution. If they can play another sharp, energetic game against a talent Jets team, they’ll have a shot to make it eight wins in a row.
Keep your eye on the top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Monahan and Micheal Ferland. The Flames get last change at home and that trio has been superb during the win streak. If they can keep getting favourable match-ups, they could make it a very long afternoon for the Jets.
Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Connor – Wheeler – Laine
Perreault – Little – Ehlers
Tanev – Copp – Armia
Dano – Hendricks – Roslovic
Morrissey – Trouba
Kulikov – Myers
Enstrom – Byfuglien
Connor Hellebuyck starts. He’s 23-6-6 with a 2.40 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. He’s backed up by Michael Hutchinson. The healthy extra is Ben Chiarot, while Shawn Matthias is dealing with an upper-body injury and remains on the active roster.
Since the calendar rolled over to 2018, the Jets have been a good (albeit streaky) team. They’re 3-2-1 this year, but they have very good special teams and their success or failure seems to primarily depend on how productive they are at even strength. They’ve faced a few injuries of late, but their depth has really come in handy – they just keep finding players in their system to plug holes and help keep things chugging along.
Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Michael Frolik (jaw) and Jaromir Jagr (groin/knee) are on the injured reserve.
Winnipeg: Steve Mason (concussion), Adam Lowry (upper-body) and Mark Schiefele (upper-body) are on the injured reserve. Shawn Matthias (upper-body) is day to day and remains on the active roster.
When Last We Met
This is the second of three meetings between the Flames and Jets this season. Calgary beat Winnipeg 6-3 in the Flames’ home opener back in early October. They’ll play again in Winnipeg in April.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are some folks that tweet Jets tweets:
Sum It Up
Can the Flames extend their winning streak to eight in a row when they’re pitted against another hot Western Canadian team? Find out this afternoon!
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