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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 48: A clash with the Kings (8pm MT, SN 360)

The Calgary Flames (25-16-6) have followed up a very impressive seven game winning streak with a pair of flat outings. Despite playing worse than they have in weeks, maybe even a month, the Flames have still managed to get points lately. They’ll need to find their sharpness and their swagger as they kick off a pair of back-to-back games by hosting the Los Angeles Kings (25-18-5). The Kings are playing their second game in as many nights, having lost to Vancouver last evening.

The puck drops just after 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Brouwer (A)
Bennett – Jankowski – Hathaway
Hrivik – Stajan – Lazar

Giordano (C) – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone

Mike Smith starts for the Flames. He’s 20-13-5 with a 2.41 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. He’s backed up by David Rittich. The scratches are Andrew Mangiapane and Matt Bartkowski, as Marek Hrivik stays in the lineup after subbing in against Buffalo.

The Flames have two goals in the past two goals. That’s bad. They gotta score more. But the Flames have also played a pair of pretty rough games, with the Johnny Gaudreaus and Sean Monahans of the team being largely invisible, and they’ve still managed to get points. Hopefully their offense can wake up. Oddly, while the team has lost two in a row they’ve also earned points in nine straight (7-0-2) and 10 of their last 11 (7-1-3).

The Kings

Last night’s lines via Daily Faceoff:

Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Pearson – Kempe – Toffoli
Gaborik – Amadio – Lewis
Clifford – Shore – Mitchell

Forbort – Doughty
Muzzin – Martinez
Gravel – Folin

Jonathan Quick started and got lit up last night so presumably Darcy Kuemper, who played in relief and was okayish, starts tonight. Kuemper is 5-1-3 with a 2.21 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. The scratches last night were Paul LaDue, Jonny Brodzinski and Andy Andreoff – I wouldn’t be shocked to see all three of them in tonight for the Kings.

The Kings were really bad last night, losing 6-2 and giving up an uncharacteristically large number of good scoring chances to the Canucks. Despite all this they still have the best goals against average of any NHL club this season. But yeesh, last night was bad. They seem like a fragile bunch that the Flames could jump all over, but we also probably all said the same thing about Buffalo.

Injury Report

Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Michael Frolik (jaw) and Jaromir Jagr (groin/knee) are on the injured reserve.

Los Angeles: Jeff Carter (ankle) is on the injured reserve.

When Last We Met

This is the third of four games between Calgary and the Kings. The Flames have won both of them by identical 4-3 scores – one of them in overtime. They’ll play one more time in Los Angeles in late March.

The Numbers

CGY LA
Wins 25 25
Points 56 55
Adjusted Corsi 52.2% 49.8%
Power Play 18.2% 18.7%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 85.5%

Know Thy Enemy

These nice folks will tweet about the Kings tonight:

I tried to find a third person named “John” or “Jon” who tweets Kings stuff, but I couldn’t.

Sum It Up

The Flames have points in many, many games in a row, despite playing two pretty poor games coming off their bye week. But it’s never too late to turn it all around, especially in the first half of a back-to-back set against divisional opponents.

FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

Let’s show Vegas something they’ve never seen before—Alberta hockey fans.

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  • BlueMoonNigel

    Hate to say it but from what I have seen in the last 3 games, Coffey has a better than average chance of notching his first win as skills coach or whatever fakealoo title he has.

  • RKD

    Third loss in a row by 1 goal, seriously need to score more than 1 and need to win at home. They score and win on the road, no reason they can’t do it at home.

  • WildfireOne

    Not just Cameron needs to go.
    This team started play for the tie before it was actually, you know, tied.
    GG may be a complex (maybe too complicated) x-o guy but as a game manager and motivator, we need better.

    • Joeyhere

      True enough but our corsi numbers are way up so let’s just bask in the glow of warm statistics, 1 goal games and playing for the tie! Here is the undeniable reality GG’s style of hockey, player useage and total inability to adapt are NOT going anywhere in the playoffs! I’d rather we take the bold path and fire him now and actually get ready for the playoffs

    • Chucky

      Translation is moron not dork.
      mo·ron
      ˈmôrˌän/Submit
      noun informal
      a stupid person.
      synonyms: fool, idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, clod;

      No mention of dork.
      Seems like a pretty accurate description.

      • McRib

        Mark Jankowski was the only forward outside of the top line that created anything worthwhile tonight.

        I just want to say it once more…. WHAT HAS CURTIS LAZAR DONE TO DESERVE A REGULAR SPOT IN THE LINEUP!?!?! Matt Stajan and Curtis Lazar are basically not going to score when they’re on the ice together, it’s almost certain. One goal combined between the two all year!?!?

  • Chiz

    Even during the 7 game streak, when gg looked like a human and not a robot, the play on the ice was Boring (notice the capital B). Win or lose, not much fun to watch this team play, which is ridiculous considering the talent.

  • Dr.Wahooka

    Points in nine straight games and this comment section is back to the fire GG bandwagon. There are plenty of us that read all the posts and comments but don’t join the conversation because the negativity is just too much. Are we satisfied with the current standings? Not entirely, but it’s not like the Flames are worth the vitriol spewed daily amongst the supposed fans of this team.

    • McRib

      In the five wins we had we were outshot in all but one game I believe. If not for Mike Smith and David Rittich on that last road trip we would have been lucky to get three points, max.

    • The Sultan

      With the talent this team has, and their inability to show up to every game and play a full 60 minutes, yeah, the vitrol is deserved. This team hasn’t don’t anything meaningful in 30 years. Now that we finally have the personnel to be competitive it’s being squandered by Mr. Hair Gel and a haphazard power play. These are our conpetitve years. Playing for a tie is not a good mentality. When people are falling asleep during games because the Flames lack such passion, that’s a problem. The Saddledome used to be one of the loudest buildings in the league. Now, it’s probably one of the quietest. If it wasn’t for that 7 game winning streak things wouldn’t be so rosy in Cow Town. We had to go on that streak and win all those games in order to even stay relevant in the playoff hunt and the likelihood of that happening again is slim. This team needs to pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and get back on the right track, because for the last year and a half, they’ve strayed far off course.

      Unless major changes are made, this isn’t a Stanley Cup contending team. They’re not even a playoff team. They’re just boring and average, and things need to change.

    • Chiz

      I disagree. A good coach puts players in situations where they can succeed. Gg quite often sets guys up to fail, such as keeping Brouwer on to take 3 faceoffs In ot while on the pk. His usage is ridiculous. The style of play is boring. There is no consistency. He frequently sets his team up for failure, and then takes none of the blame.

      • McRib

        I’ve never seen a coach with worse usage in my life. If we need an offensive shift, GG puts on the fourth line. If the third line is the hottest line we have, they’ll sit for ten minutes so they go ice cold. If it’s close at the end of the period/game, it will be anyone other than our shutdown centre Backlund. It’s mind numblingly dumb.

  • buts

    If it’s not Brouwer watching a goal go in on the PK it’s Stajan. Fire GG’s ass. And oh by the way GG, Monahan won all 3 OT draws so don’t put Brouwer out there.

  • McRib

    Why this team can never score… Combined goals between Brouwer, Stajan, Lazar, Hamonic, Stone equals….. 7!!!! $15,932,143 in salary for only SEVEN freaking goals!?!?! For the amount of PP time Brouwer has had he should have at least seven by himself.

    Hamonic and Stone combined only have 9 Points total in 92 GP, while making $7,356,143. You need more than that out of your defenders in today’s game. Rasmus Andersson alone would likely have way more than that. Michael Stone is making $3.5 Million “because of his great shot”, yet he has three points all year…. I don’t get it. Stone defensively was a disaster before Kulak showed up. If he’s not scoring, he’s isn’t an NHLer plain and simple.

    • McRib

      Just for the record Brouwer doesn’t even have one PP Goal this year, which really surprised me when I was compiling those totals. I know the Brouwerplay was dumb from the start, but it went on for as long as it did and he didn’t eek out one freaking goal?!?!?