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FGD 79: The sadness bowl (8pm MT, CBC/SN West)

Misery loves company, they say, and so few will enjoy company as much as the two Alberta hockey clubs. The Calgary Flames (35-33-10) are 12 points out of a playoff spot and will host the Edmonton Oilers (34-38-6), who are 18 points out. Since their last meeting the Flames have won once and Edmonton four times. It’s a battle between two teams that really thought their seasons would go differently and are desperately hoping for it all to end soon.

The puck drops just after 8 p.m. MT on CBC, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 960 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

For a view from the other side check out OilersNation.

The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Shore – Foo
Frolik – Backlund (A) – Brouwer (A)
Ferland – Jankowski – Bennett
Glass – Lazar – Hathaway

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

Mike Smith starts for the Flames. He’s backed up by Jon Gillies. Matt Stajan and Chris Stewart are the healthy scratches, while the Flames are also without regulars TJ Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Sean Monahan, Kris Versteeg and Matthew Tkachuk due to injury (and non-regular Marek Hrivik).

The big news is lineup news. Spencer Foo debuts in the NHL against his hometown team! Matt Bartkowski plays his second game of 2018 (and first since early February)! And Johnny Gaudreau is back after dealing with a family health scare! We’re firmly in audition season for a lot of players and we’ll see if at some point Glen Gulutzan throws his names into a tumbler and just goes crazy with random line combinations.

The Oilers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Draisiatl – McDavid – Rattie
Lucic – Strome – Puljujarvi
Caggiula – Khaira – Aberg
Slepyshev – Cammalleri – Kassian

Nurse – Larsson
Russell – Sekera
Auvitu – Bear

Cam Talbot starts tonight. He’s backed up by Al Montoya. The projected scratches are Matt Benning, Iiro Pakarinen and Keegan Lowe, just recalled from Bakersfield this morning. Mike Camalleri looks to be back in, Darnell Nurse will play, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is questionable and a game-time decision.

Have you heard about Connor McDavid? He’s a pretty good hockey player. He’s currently the leading scorer in the entire league and is spending his last entry-level year trying to drag the Edmonton hockey club kicking and screaming into relevance. That effort won’t result in a playoff berth this year, but you’ve gotta admire his talent and tenacity.

Injury Report

Flames: Not expected back this season are Daniel Pribyl (knee), Marek Hrivik (upper-body), Kris Versteeg (hip), Sean Monahan (various), Matthew Tkachuk (suspected concussion) and TJ Brodie (upper-body). Travis Hamonic (upper-body) is out “for a bit” but the severity of his injury isn’t yet known.

Edmonton: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder) is done for the season.

When Last We Met

This is the fifth and final Battle of Alberta this season. Edmonton has won three of the previous four, with the Flames capturing three of a possible eight points in the process.

The Numbers

CGY EDM
Wins 35 34
Points 80 74
Adjusted Corsi 53.1% 49.9%
Power Play 16.3% 14.6%
Penalty Kill 80.6% 75.6%

Know Thy Enemy

Please don’t be too mean to these Oilers tweeters:

Sum It Up

The Flames are hoping to win a game and end their seven game losing skid.

FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

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

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