149
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 60: A battle with the Bruins (2pm MT, SN West)

It’s a rare matinee home game on a holiday Monday, as the Calgary Flames (30-21-8) celebrate Family Day by renewing acquaintances with the Boston Bruins (35-13-8). You may recall that these teams met last week in Boston in a game the Flames lost. You may also recall that the Flames and Bruins both lost on Saturday night in very one-sided, ugly games. Two teams with something to prove will meet and one of them (the Flames) desperately need the points to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

The puck drops around 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund (A) – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Hathaway
Klimchuk – Stajan – Lazar

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

David Rittich starts for the Flames. He’s 6-3-2 with a 2.76 goals against average and .913 save percentage. He’s backed up by Jon Gillies. The healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski and Ryan Lomberg.

Update: Per Flames, Rittich starts and Klimchuk makes his NHL debut.

You know who’s been good lately? Dougie Hamilton. He had a hat-trick against Florida and has scored four goals in the past two games. He’s finally getting time on the first power play unit in the absence of Troy Brouwer and it seems to be working, as the power play is starting to score with regularity.

On the other hand, the Flames had one of their shakiest overall even strength performances against Florida, getting out-scored 4-1 and generally looking a bit out of sorts. With how tight the West’s playoff race is, they really cannot afford too many off nights from here on out.

The Bruins

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Spooner
Heinen – Nash – Backes
Schaller – Kuraly – Acciari

Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – McQuaid

Tuukka Rask starts for Boston. He’s 23-10-4 with a 2.20 goals against average and .921 save percentage. He’s backed up by Anton Khudobin. The expected healthy scratches are Paul Postma and Jordan Szwarz.

The Bruins are very good, but they were walloped by Vancouver on Saturday night in a 6-1 loss. They’re a proud group and generally do not have consecutive bad games. They’re a deep, talented team that can roll three strong lines (and a pretty solid fourth line), has strong special teams and generally gets good goaltending every night. This is a big hurdle for the Flames to jump this afternoon.

Injury Report

Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Troy Brouwer (facial fracture) and Marek Hrivik (undisclosed) are on the injured reserve. Mike Smith (lower-body) is hurt but on the active roster.

Boston: Anders Bjork (upper-body) and Frank Vatrano (lower-body) are on the injured reserve. Kevan Miller (upper-body) is close to a return and is on the active roster.

When Last We Met

The Flames played the Bruins in Boston last week. They lost 5-2. They were good for half the game and then ran out of steam.

The Numbers

CGY BOS
Wins 30 35
Points 68 78
Adjusted Corsi 52.1% 54.6%
Power Play 17.7% 21.0%
Penalty Kill 79.4% 84.2%

Know Thy Enemy

Here are folks that tweet Bruins hockey, usually:

Sum It Up

The Flames were spanked by the Panthers on Saturday and face a pretty stiff test against a very strong Eastern Conference opponent.

FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

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

  • MontanaMan

    I’ve never watched Debrusk much but he creates something every shift with great wheels, playmaker and a nose for the net. Good draft pick by the B’s.

  • cgyokgn

    I’d like to know how Vancouver managed to score 6 goals on Boston… too late in the day for the Bruins? Took their opposition too lightly? It’s all we can do to score one and hang on for OT.

    • Silverstick>winning

      Are you planning to repeat the same garbage for the rest of the season? We get it – you don’t like Brodie. Surprise us and say something intelligent.

  • buts

    You don’t deserve to win when you only play 35 to 40 minutes a game. No player acquisition at the trading deadline is going to save this team that has no identity. IF we make the playoffs it will be short and painful.

    • MontanaMan

      It would be a gutsy move by Tre but I’m in favour of getting younger, not older at the deadline. With no draft picks to trade, the theory is the Flames will look to move some of their younger defence pieces in the AHL for bodies, but I think it would be a mistake. Given a more favourable record heading into the TDL, the theory of grabbing a veteran or two makes sense. Given where the Flames are and how they’re playing, I’m in favour of trading some of their veterans to contenders and stocking the shelves with youngsters or draft picks.

      • Franko J

        All this trade talk about moving a prospect or two for a top RW I think would be unwise. At this point the Flames have more than one hole in their lineup that needs fixing. I am also in favour of moving some veterans even if it means only for a couple of 3rd or 4th round picks. After all, they are not getting job done or the results needed. Personally I think when other teams around the league see the Flames on the calendar they know that it should be an ideal opportunity for two points. This team scares nobody. Only one player on this team gives the opposition fits.

      • Silverstick>winning

        Are you planning to repeat the same garbage for the rest of the season? We get it – you don’t like Veterans. Surprise us and say something intelligent

  • Franko J

    Another loss at home. Sigh. The OT lustre has worn off. Obviously this team is slowly fading into “next season” status and with the lack of a first round pick not too much to cheer for. The only thing going is to see if Gadreau can stay in the top five in scoring.

  • cgyokgn

    What hurts is losing games we should have won, e.g. against Habs, Rangers and Panthers… puts so much pressure on to win against really good teams like the Bruins… not a bad result but needed two points.

  • Joeyhere

    Sometimes hockey can be simple – if you only score one goal, if you can’t score on your pp, if you only play 2 of 3 periods your not going to win a lot. Hopefully out management has noticed the powerful effect Boston has had by fostering youth and speed

    • Franko J

      Yes something BTshould have thought about before trading for Hamonic and resigning Stone. However, like many of here, BT believed this current group of players and the coaching staff could take the next step. Boy was he wrong. The will be lucky to win more than 5-8 games the rest of the year.

      • Joeyhere

        I think that’s a bit pessimistic. This is a slightly over 500 team and we will continue that way. The real issue – is even if we did make the playoffs can we seriously believe that this team with this coach could win a round – and if you don’t think this is a playoff winning team – consider that all this talk of trading Brodie at the TDL may be premature. If we want youth and picks I wonder if The Flames might be able to get more at the draft ? #justwondering

  • Zesty14

    Missed the game due to work, sounds like a good effort was put forward with still a few glaring mistakes keeping us from yet again another tick in the W column. How was the 3rd line? Noticeable? If so in a good or bad way?

  • Franko J

    Well come next game against LV the Flames might as well enjoy themselves in Sin City. Although they are better on the road I say they will be in the “no chance” motel against another team that has superior coaching and better team play and structure.

  • Vernon30

    They’re better in the road because they shoot the puck, and don’t wait for the perfect play. Brodie shoots that, probably doesn’t lead to a goal the other way. Play a more simple game at home. Glad there are more road games (I think) than home left.