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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 75: Winding down with the Ducks (7:30pm MT, SN West)

The last time the Calgary Flames hosted the Anaheim Ducks, it was at the midway point of the season and Glen Gulutzan threw a stick into the 13th row of the Saddledome’s lower bowl. Hope of a playoff berth was very much a tangible thing. Tonight, the Flames (35-29-10) host the Ducks (37-24-12) as they begin to play out the string after a trio of regulation losses have effectively doused their playoff dreams. That said, it’s still a significant night: Matt Stajan plays his 1,000th NHL contest this evening and the gents in red will probably be energetic as they try to commemorate the occasion with a W.

The puck drops just after 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. (It’s the second half of a double-header, following Montreal vs. Pittsburgh.)

The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Bennett
Brouwer (A) – Backlund – Frolik
Ferland – Jankowski – Hathaway
Lazar – Stajan – Glass

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

Mike Smith starts for the Flames. He’s 24-20-6 with a 2.63 goals against average and .917 save percentage. He’s backed up by David Rittich. The projected healthy scratches are Matt Bartkowski, Nick Shore, Kris Versteeg and Chris Stewart. The Flames remain without the services of Matthew Tkachuk and TJ Brodie due to upper-body injuries of unspecified severity.

It’s the 1,000th career game for Matt Stajan, but it’s also an occasion to celebrate a couple individual efforts. Johnny Gaudreau sits 7th in the NHL in scoring and he has 82 points, ensuring that he’ll remain known as “Point-Per-Game Johnny.” Dougie Hamilton now leads NHL defenders in goal-scoring, so that’s neat and fun as well.

The Flames are mathematically alive, which has the same general implication as “medically alive” – near-death. They’re six points back of Anaheim for the last wild-card spot and seven back of Los Angeles for the last divisional spot. And they have Dallas and St. Louis between them. Their “tragic number” is 5.5 – any combination of 5.5 Anaheim wins or Flames losses kills Calgary’s playoff hopes dead.

The Ducks

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Rakell – Getzlaf – Perry
Cogliano – Kesler – Silfverberg
Ritchie – Henrique – Kase
Kelly – Grant – Chimera

Fowler – Montour
Holzer – Lindholm
Beauchemin – Bieksa

John Gibson starts for Anaheim. He’s 28-17-6 with a 2.48 goals against average and .925 save percentage. He’s backed up by Ryan Miller. The projected scratches are Josh Manson (who’s nursing an injury), Antoine Vermette and J.T. Miller.

The Ducks are a streaky bunch. They’ve won three in a row, which was preceded by a three game losing skid and another three game winning streak. The Ducks are in search of both consistency and a playoff spot, and might find both before season’s end.

Injury Report

Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee) and Marek Hrivik (upper-body) are on the injured reserve. Matthew Tkachuk (suspected concussion) and TJ Brodie (upper-body) are both out but remain on the active roster.

Anaheim: Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre syndrome) is on the injured reserve.

When Last We Met

This is the fourth and final game between these teams this season. The Flames have won two of the previous three meetings. All three meetings have been close: 2-0 and 3-2 wins for the Flames and a 2-1 win for the Ducks.

The Numbers

CGY ANA
Wins 35 37
Points 80 86
Adjusted Corsi 53.1% 49.2%
Power Play 17.0% 17.9%
Penalty Kill 81.3% 83.0%

Know Thy Enemy

These folks will likely be tweeting about the Ducks tonight:

Sum It Up

The Flames are playing out the string, but hopefully they can play spoiler to the Ducks’ playoff hopes.

FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

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

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  • oddclod

    I now understand the sick obsession for people that enjoy seeing horrific traffic accidents. Colour me purple. I’m enjoying watching this catch fire. A players protest. I love it. Murray…. Got your attention? Your arrogant manager’s style of arena negotiations was as flat as your team and coaching staff out of the gates. All the money in the world, and aside from Hotchkiss, Fletch, and Darryl, they haven’t recruited a best in class, President, GM, or coach since. We always get the Kings, Buttons, and Gulutzans. Murray Edwards you’re a (expletive) JOKE. I’m now not even thinking Tre is anything special. Anyone can shake Hamilton out with a first, pick Tkachuk as he falls in your lap but it takes a special person to mitigate the elite players in this group. With an absolute garbage assembly. If you were a car maker you’d be a Hyundai. Overhyped hot garbage. You deserve to burn for Just giving Jagr a week to assemble. Burn it all down. There’s enough greatness in that room to pick up the pieces and make a real game of it. But if it’s just another lipstick on a pig effort you’ll get nothing but jeers. But that’s what I expect from you. A whole lotta nothing but a pointless writeoff. Maybe the name is a appropriate. The Flames. Akin to a tire fire. Decade after decade. Nothing but flickering Flames. More need to do what I did and vote with your wallet. Gave up my seasons and haven’t sent the team a dime since they hired Feaster. I laughed when Brent left amicably. He was right. What a loser org. Reflection of the owner. Aristocratic out of touch moron. If you had any class you’d have recruited the absolute best of the best management and coaching money could buy. I respect Brian Burke when he offered to fight Klowe but he’s proven useless. And Ken is directly responsible. I Understand mistakes but have zero respect for ineptitude and incompetence. Results speak!

  • oddclod

    I now understand the sick obsession for people that enjoy seeing horrific traffic accidents. Colour me purple. I’m enjoying watching this catch fire. Been awol financially on this team since they hired Feaster. Everyone should drop their seasons. Entertainment value is already sub par league wide. They can’t even win that makes it worse. Fire em all and get best in class management from Ken down.

  • oddclod

    From presidents to GMs to Coaches we’ve had Hotch, Fletch and DSutter. With few exceptions in the history of this team. Can count the success in years on the hand of a near digit-less carpenter. The Shames is right.

  • oddclod

    I feared regretting not renewing my seasons. Fear mitigated when Brent left amicably. Johnny, Tkachuck = Luck. Hamilton easy pluck, Monohan, a 200ft Jr turned suck, Bennett the truck turned to muck. Jagr said eat dust. Except the Brouwerplay ensured a sure bust. Now we await more lipstick on the pig called CFSE cause 19,000 plus line up to scan their ticket stubs. Vote with your wallet if you want more than guff!!!