FGD 49: A Highway 2 hullabaloo (7pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (25-16-7) are on both a three game losing streak and a 10 game point streak that dates back to New Year’s Eve – their three losses have come in extra time. They’ll try to extend one of those streaks and extinguish the other one when they visit the reeling Edmonton Oilers (21-24-3) in their final game before the All-Star Break.

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

For a view from the other side check out OilersNation. But be nice, they’ve probably already suffered enough this season.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Flames

Last evening’s 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

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

David Rittich starts for the Flames. He’s 4-1-1 with a 2.03 goals against average and .932 save percentage. He’s backed up by All-Star Mike Smith. Last night’s scratches were Matt Bartkowski and Andrew Mangiapane, and Ryan Lomberg has been recalled from Stockton. Lomberg is confirmed to make his NHL debut tonight, but it’s not clear who he’s replacing or what other changes are happening.

Three goals. That’s how much offense the Flames have mustered since their bye week. They’ve also only allowed five goals in that span, so they’re wasting a bunch of really nice defensive and goaltending performances by their club. They absolutely need more out of their offensive players, because this scant offense from what’s basically a cap team is pretty atrocious.

The Flames have not beaten the Oilers since Glen Gulutzan took over as head coach last season.

The Oilers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Caggiula – McDavid – Slepyshev
Maroon – Strome – Kassian
Lucic – Draisaitl – Cammalleri
Khaira – n/a – Puljujarvi

Nurse – Larsson
Klefbom – Benning
Sekera – Russell

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Cam Talbot starts for the orange and blue. He’s 17-17-2 with a 3.15 goals against average and .901 save percentage. He’s backed up by Al Montoya. The projected scratches are Iiro Pakarinen, Yohann Auvitu and Mark Letestu. Last word from the rink is that Davidson could slot in and the Oilers could roll with seven defenders.

The Oilers lost 5-0 on Wednesday to Buffalo. Buffalo. They’re a reeling team. Expect an emotional game from the Oilers as their players try to salvage their season, save their coach’s job and try to somehow get themselves back into the playoff picture.

Nobody in the NHL has a worse penalty kill than Edmonton. Their home penalty kill has only killed off 54% of their penalties. It seems like a nice fit for Calgary’s power play.

Injury Report

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

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Edmonton: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper-body) is on the injured reserve.

When Last We Met

This is the third of five games between the two Alberta clubs. The Flames lost the first two to Edmonton by a combined 10-5 score. They meet twice in March to finish off the season series.

The Numbers

Wins 25 21
Points 57 45
Adjusted Corsi 52.3% 51.4%
Power Play 17.7% 14.8%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 71.4%

Know Thy Enemy

These poor souls tweet about the Oilers. Pity them. (Or at least try not to be jerks to ’em.)

Sum It Up

The Flames have points in many consecutive games, but need goals and wins if they’re going to make the playoffs. Edmonton would settle for just winning a game, which makes them extremely dangerous.


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

Enter the Vegas Breakaway for a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas and tickets to a Golden Knights game. Enter to win at atb.com/vegas

  • Prairiechicken

    From an oilers fan … We are as fragile as fragile can be. Kill off a penalty or better yet, score early on the PP and we fold like a deck of cards.

    In a lost season, I pray we can at least claw out a win against you guys tonight and enjoy this team for one night.

    • Prairiechicken

      Ha. I hope for my sake you are right.

      In a league with so much parity, the Oilers are probably like every team … including the Flames. If they’re motivated and skating … they can beat anybody (and often have even in this crappy year with wins against some really good teams). It just seems like all too often they come out with a C- effort. Unlike a team like Vegas who seems like they play every game like a playoff game.
      The good news for us is that for whatever reason, the Oilers seem to get up for the BOA so we have a fighters chance tonight.

    • Prairiechicken

      Buffalo was about 4% worse on the PP than the flames before they put 3/4 in against the Oilers PP. Would have probably been 4/4 had Buffalo not mercifully iced their 3rd line for their final powerplay in garbage time.
      So there’s a good chance.

  • Stern

    I keep telling myself that tonight we will turn it around, we are the better team. RNH is out, their goalies have been struggling, their D is weak, etc. But then I remember that GG always finds a way to get the boys nervous and tentative before playing the Oilers. Way too much respect given to McDavid. Way too much time spent watching and then reacting when it is too late. If we can play a hard, fast game, breakout clean and just keep McDavid outside(like most other teams have managed to do this year) we will win. If.
    It will be a struggle. Maybe painful.
    Still have to watch though. GFG

  • Burnward

    Caggiula – McDavid – Slepyshev
    Maroon – Strome – Kassian
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Cammalleri
    Khaira – n/a – Puljujarvi

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning
    Sekera – Russell

    Dear god. We should beat this lineup.

    • Avalain

      Honestly, I don’t even care if they get a point out if it. It’s not like we’re fighting them for playoff position. I just mostly do not want to have this crazy losing streak against the Oilers hanging over our heads anymore.

      • Alberta Ice

        The Honda Center curse is historically as bad as it could get (because it set an NHL record for years in futility). Sure glad that one is over with. The Rogers Place curse is our next one to exorcise. Only 3 goals scored there by them, er, by him, in that first game of the season. Imagine, that’s as many goals as the Flames have scored in their last 3 games on home ice. One goal first period leads that never hold up is the other script curse that needs to end tonight. Hey, it’s a game not at the dome; so at least that’s a change in the script. GFG.

  • Boring Flames Fan

    I think I will just wear my warm and fuzzy socks tonight. My Red Lucky Flames socks are broken.

    How do you mend a broken sock? I think this reminds me of a Bee Gee song.

  • Lucky 13

    FN, I’m here to fix everything. You can thank me later.
    Remember the Duck curse, I fixed that. Read on.

    A few days ago I went to my local Sportchek to buy a Oilers jersey. I found the cheapest one I could find. Yuck, I just about puked touching it.

    The staff member was asking me what happened to the Oilers this year. I replied, “ I don’t care, I just bought the jersey to burn it.”
    She shook her head in disgust, which oddly made it even more satisfying.

    Anyway, before someone decides to call the Fire Dept, (good luck with that) I will be burning the Oiler Jersey before the game tonight.
    My metal wheelbarrow is ready, (already charred from the Duck jersey) I’ve got lighter fluid, a sinister smile and a six pack of beer.

    Please do not try this at home.
    I’m a experienced firefighter from days gone by. I’ve warned my local fire department about this ritual I will be performing.

    They are also friends of mine, so they understand my obsession with all things Fire.

    When we win tonight and we will, you can start a “Go fund me page” for 29 other NHL Jersey’s.

    That’s a joke, (fund me) just in case you don’t understand my twisted sense of humour.

    Oh, and you’re welcome FN!

    • deantheraven

      I admire your dedication, but if memory serves, I believe Jobu had something to do with the breaking the Ducks curse.
      Nonetheless, i would’ve paid to watch a Ducks jersey get torched. Well done.
      Hopefully 3-in-a- row doesn’t make for a curse, but Godspeed, Lucky!

      • Puckhead

        If memory serves me correctly, that was the game where a POS Ducks jersey was torched and Jobu did his witchcraft thingamajigabob. Together, they hit the curse from two angles.

        If anyone has anything else to add for tonight’s game maybe we could go for a trifecta of fire, spells and ….

        • Lucky 13

          Well we’re not sending you to Edmonton Puck.

          I remember the last time you attended a visiting game . Red Wings beat down on us 8-2, Byng was suspended , 3 players were ejected from the game, whilst you feasted on home style chicken wings.

          You’re suspended from away games!

          • Lucky 13

            You are right Puck.
            Jobu was voodoo, I burned the Duck jersey and hockey fan 6778 was at the game in Anaheim.

            Hurry, someone send out a APB for 6778. We need her.
            Get her a flight to Edmonton..stat!

  • deantheraven

    Stajan sits and Hrivik plays between Lombo and Laser. When they go down for the all star break, only 2 will come back (barring a trade) because Frolik is expecting to be able to play soon after that. I hope it’s Hrivik and Klimmer who get the next call ups, and stay for a month or so until Steeger (or Jags) is back to playing shape. I don’t expect the roster to change much at the deadline.
    Gotta get Marek a nickname!
    I like ‘Rosey’.

    • Lucky 13

      Thanks for the link 1967.
      Doughty is the biggest whiner in the game. He’s not man enough to fight Byng. He reeks of cowardice. At least Byng gets under his skin, how can you not love our Byng?!

      • BlueMoonNigel

        You’d hate Byng’s guts if he was wearing the stars and stripes and hacking and slashing and elbowing away at Canada’s finest. You’d go ballistic at Chucky if he goaded Burns or Marchant into taking a penalty late in the game with the outcome still in doubt.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Yeah, but if the NHL were going to Korea, you know Doughty and Chucky would be there, and you know that you’d be booing the piss out of Chucky every time he came anywhere near the maple leaf-chested Doughty.

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Daily face off has the 4th as Lomberg – Stajan – Lazar …. good enough I guess. Personally I’d like to see Hathaway & Lazar swap-out RW lines/positions, or this… 🙂 3 = Bennett – Jankowski – Mangiapane / 4 = Lomberg – Lazar – Hathaway… Could be Fun? Could be a disaster…