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

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.


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

    • McRib

      Couldn’t disagree more. If anything Glass being in the lineup just shows how having a “tough guy” sitting on the bench doesn’t discourage dirty plays from happening, therefore there is zero point of having fighters in today’s day and age. Lucic would have punched Smith if Glass was in the lineup or he wasn’t. Glass is just taking up ice time from a far more deserving player who could continue to success.

        • McRib

          Not to mention Troy Brouwer and Michael Stone just stood there and let it happen. The next time we sign “character players” for their size and “grit” like Brouwer and Stone can we please get players who aren’t complete pansy’s. Troy Brouwer is such a wuss his contract might be defendable if he wasn’t 6’3” inches of butter. Brian Burke can’t even get his truculence movement right.

      • Joeyhere

        Don’t get me wrong he’s not a good player at all and I will be pleased when he’s gone but imagine how we would be feeling if he didn’t at least fight their 7million 1 goal in 40 games goon

  • Burnward

    Just a reminder: No one deserves to chirp anyone this season.

    I can’t be mad anyway, they’re the only thing that has brought me any joy this season.

    Let’s celebrate our suckitude together!

  • McRib

    Ooooooffff…. I didn’t realize Milan Lucic only has 34 Points this year. That is going to go down as one of the worst contracts in history when it’s done.

    Historically Power Forwards who are only average skaters typically fall off a cliff at 31-32 years old. Milan Lucic is a horrid skater already, imagine when he gets worse. $6 Million for the next six years. Yikes.

    • Who is Alberta’s team?

      Is that what you say after he painted the ice red thanks to glasses face! Not 1, not 2 but 3 Punches to the head of smith LOL and did you see how gio, Stone and Brouwer all just happen to magically look for other dance partners. An embarrassing moment I’m sure for flames fans. Did you notice how no one takes liberties on oiler players? Good thing Smith hung on for the flames. This win hurts your odds for your 4th round pick though ?

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Boy, I Can’t Wait for the puck to drop for this one…… haaaaa haaaa haaaaa…
    Sorry Spencer Foo, nothing personal but your first NHL game isn’t enough to get me to watch this failure of a team lose to one of my most despised franchises. I’ll just wait for the highlights after the game, I hope to see you included in them… Have a great game and all the best.
    Welcome Back Johnny…. Glad to hear your dad is recovering well and all things are looking up!

      • ThisBigMouthIsRight

        This team quit on its fans 20+ games ago, so all is fair… My disdain for the Coilers prevents me from being a masochist in this regard. Will I check in during the game? Sure I will… But I have better things to do than watch this years sad sack edition of the BOA… its more like watching drunk monkeys pillow fighting over a banana.
        I’ll tune in for the ARI, WPG & VGK games… But not this one, its too depressing/frustrating.
        You go a head, have fun, I’ll pass.

        • Hockey for life

          Wouldn’t the players quitting mean they would be getting out played out chanced and out shot every game? Instead they are out playing out chancing and out shooting teams. Unfortunately coming up against great goaltending bad luck and receiving bad goaltending. Definitely putting in the effort though.

      • Flames fan since 83

        Lots of guys say they are quitting (not watching) and then they keep coming back for some reason.
        I wish they would follow thru and really quit!
        So childish (I’m quitting and taking my ball and going home…)
        Now is the time to get a view of the new guys like Foo, and see how they stack up against NHL level.
        I plan to watch, and cheer my team. Big Mouth, your comments tomorrow are less impactful now that we know you didn’t even see the game.

        • snotss

          you don’t have to watch the train wreck on tv ….updates on tsn etc its easier on ones well being to catch the sports ticker at the top of the page in stead of watching these clowns…

        • Flames fan since 83

          Big Mouth, absolutely ok with me. Playing with your kids is great… and positive. I guess I’m sick of all the negative stuff. Some of the negative stuff is warranted, but much of it is over the top unwarranted. The worst is the bandwagon quitters in my opinion. (you mentioned watching ARI or VGS. You didn’t mention earlier about playing with you kids, so I assumed you were a bandwagon quitter).

          • ThisBigMouthIsRight

            Naaaa, not me but I can see your frustration with this and any/all fan bases.. it just is what it is with sports fans… I just think( and I could be wrong) that most people who are willing to commit & comment regularly on a teams blog are most likely a little more than just band-wagoners. To be honest I actually hate watching Canuck/Flames games as well… It just Stresses me out… To much history invested and caring over a sport I guess? I know its silly, but it really does stress me out.
            Have a good one Cheers!

          • Flames fan since 83

            Obviously, I’m a fan from day one (1983)
            The stress part of sports is what I enjoy. But the stress is born from the fact that the outcome is undetermined. When you win all the time, or lose all the time is when Sports gets boring. And tonight is not stressful, because the outcome (IMO) is very much determined by our Roster and Oilers Roster. We have little chance of winning.
            So, I look forward to see players like Foo, Anderson, Shore tonight.
            Don’t get me wrong, I want to win, and if we do, I’ll be unbelievable happy and can’t wait to read Oiler Nation implode!
            But if we don’t, I’m still going to finish my beer and go to bed (maybe a little grumpy).

        • ThisBigMouthIsRight

          No worries… Flames fan since 83 … Ya, without seeing the game tonight I probably wont have much to say on FN tomorrow and that’s OK(I know at least 2 people who wouldn’t be upset with hearing less from me). We all have are priorities and lives to deal with, where we choose to place interest or time is up to the individual and for tonight I’m just focusing it somewhere else… Like I said, enjoy the game and I do hope the Flames win… I can always watch the highlights and read the comment section here etc…
          Maybe I’ll just take my ball and go outside and play with my kids instead, hope that is alright with you.
          Have a good one and Go flames, I’m with you in spirit!

  • Flames fan since 83

    Interesting line up.
    Curious to see the Johhny line. Foo leads the Heat in shots on net. And who better to feed him than Johnny. I also like to see Shore step up. TBH, Shore is not a first line centreman. But tonight Shore is being put in a position to succeed.
    Hopefully the Jankowski line shows something as well.
    It’s going to be tough game for us tonight. GFG.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      All one has to do is look at the 3rd pair and extra bodies and you can see the failure to understand depth.
      Glass and Bart on the roster? Neither should be here. Foo is a nice callup, too little too late. Had Bart been sent down ages ago, he wouldn’t be the non-emergency callup.

      Anyway, the Brouwerplay continues. JH-Backlund-Brouwer top unit. Bennett-Janko-Ferland 2nd unit. That and continuing to use Brouwer in a top 6. Ferland is miles ahead, yet somehow Gully will line match Brouwer against Nuge-McDavid-Rattie. Perhaps, Gully will forget he has last change and play Bennett against them. At least Bennett or Ferland will lay a bit hit on McJezzub.

    • freethe flames

      Losing all of those face off’s is interesting; one center on the ice for D face offs another sign of being outcoached. Great coaches for years now know that you need two D centers on the ice in the late stages; in the Flames case it should have been Shore.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Woot Woot~! Looks like I missed a good one …
    Can’t wait for the Highlights 🙂
    Checked in @ 3-1/ 3-2/ and in the 3rd with the Flames pp and then the PK…
    From some of the comments here its seems as though the Coilers were being a dirty bunch of POSes…
    Awesome Flames… Sorry I doubted you tonight!

    • McRib

      There is ZERO reason to be starting Matt Bartkowski over Oliver Kylington at this stage in the season. Send down Bartkowski so you can see Kylington if you have to. Comeplte nonesense to have Bartkowski playing in nothing games when everyone in the world outside of GG knows he won’t ever be an NHLer after this game.

  • oddclod

    Of course the tradition continues in elevating Brouwer and anyone else over Bennett, who seems to be the only forward that cares. Makes sense. Between Tort’s saying the team is deployed by the technocracy (which I have suggested here) and Gulutzan unable to keep the room and make in game adjustments, I wish Edwards would sell the team to someone that gives a damn. For every Hamilton there is a Brouwer, Stajan & Glass in terms of your active roster Mr. Treliving. FAIL

  • Franko J

    When both teams actually play like contenders then everyone can start trashing away to one another. Until they actually meet in the playoffs I think all this bantering is just plain drivel and nonsense.
    Come next year both teams will have something to prove to their fan bases.