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FGD 81: One more for the road (6pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (36-33-10) complete the road half of their 2017-18 schedule tonight when they travel to scenic Winnipeg and the Bell MTS Centre to face the Jets (50-20-10). The Flames have been a strong road team this season, going 20-14-6 away from the Saddledome. But the Jets have won 50 games this season and are arguably Canada’s best Stanley Cup hope.

The puck drops just after 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

For a view from the other side, visit our pals at JetsNation!

The Flames

Projected lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

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

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

Jon Gillies starts for the Flames. He’s backed up by Mike Smith. Matt Stajan and Chris Stewart are the healthy scratches, while the Flames are also without regulars TJ Brodie, Sean Monahan, Kris Versteeg and Matthew Tkachuk due to injury (and non-regular Marek Hrivik). Travis Hamonic has returned to practice, but is not quite ready to return to game action yet.

It’s the last road game of the year! The Flames are facing a playoff-bound team who are significantly better than they are. It’s a big challenge and hopefully the Flames are up for it. If not? It could get ugly.

The Jets

Tuesday’s lines via Daily Faceoff:

Ehlers – Stastny – Laine
Perreault – Little – Armia
Connor – Schiefele – Wheeler
Copp – Lowry – Roslovic

Trouba – Morrissey
Morrow – Byfuglien
Chiarot – Myers

Connor Hellebuyck starts for the Jets. He’s backed up by Steve Mason. The Jets didn’t skate yesterday so lines are a bit of guesswork. Adam Lowry, Blake Wheeler, Mark Schiefele, Josh Morrissey, Jacob Trouba and Hellebuyck were rested on Tuesday night, and they’re all expected to be in action tonight and bump Shawn Matthias, Marko Dano, Tucker Poolman and Sami Niku to the sidelines. Matt Hendricks is the other probable healthy scratch.

The Jets will finish second in the Central Division and face Minnesota in the first round, barring Nashville losing out and the Jets winning out. Thus, the Jets are hoping to keep everybody fresh (and healthy) and their game firing on all cylinders heading into the playoffs. They’ve lost one game since March 15, and that was the game where Chicago’s emergency backup goalie saved the day.

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).

Winnipeg: Dmitry Kulikov (back) and Toby Enstrom (undisclosed) are out but remain on the active roster.

When Last We Met

This is the third and final game between Calgary and Winnipeg this season. The Flames beat Winnipeg 6-3 in October and lost 2-1 in a shootout in January.

The Numbers

CGY WPG
Wins 36 50
Points 82 110
Adjusted Corsi 53.1% 52.5%
Power Play 16.0% 23.7%
Penalty Kill 81.3% 81.5%

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some folks that tweet Jets tweets:

Sum It Up

One last road game for the Flames as they play out the string.

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

  • The Doctor

    Once again, possession for possession’s sake, with no sense of strategy or what to do to convert possession into grade A scoring chances. This is like being stuck in the movie Groundhog Day, but without the humour.

    • The Doctor

      There’s been a regression, though, and it really accelerated and became noticeable at around the 50-60 game mark or so this season. To me, the most plausible explanation is that Gulutzan lost the room and the players tuned him out. Since then they’ve looked like total leap with no fight, no spark, no hustle etc.

    • Roger the Shrubber

      You have to take into consideration Monahan playing injured for three months, Tkachuk missing, Gaudreau missing a couple, Ferland (I assume because he’s looked like dogshirt) playing through an injury, and we’ll throw in Hamonic, Frolik, and Smith shirting the bed when he came back in there, for good measure.

      GG’s player usage is questionable but this season isn’t on all on him. I think we all now totally realize just how important Matthew Tkachuk is to this team. They seemingly had no will to grind it out when he went down.

      • moodyblue2

        Good teams overcome a few players playing hurt or missing a key guy. See Boston, Minnesota, Winnipeg etc. The system is what sucks on this team. Too many softies!

        • The Doctor

          GG is the prime suspect for our complete lack of strategy and intelligence in the offensive zone. That is the coach’s job to implement and fix if it’s not happening.

        • Roger the Shrubber

          At one point, all three of their leading scorers were gone. Take away Marchand, Pastrnak, and Bergeron from the B’s and I doubt they’re where they are. Minnesota plays a good team game and relies on goaltending. Winnipeg is deep enough to overcome those injuries.

          This isn’t a deep team when it comes to offensive talent. I love Backlund but his strength isn’t in the offensive zone. Frolik has been atrocious offensively this season. Outside of the guys at the top of the pack on the team, there is no one who chips in on offense. Bennett isn’t good at converting chances and neither is Janko, Hathaway, Lazar, or whoever else you wanna throw on the third line. Not to mention, the only defenseman who contributes regularly is Dougie Hamilton.

          Most elite teams have a third line that can control the game, the Flames don’t. This team is close to being a playoff contender but their offensive depth is very limited. Changes need to be made. How can it be said that GG’s systems don’t work? The Flames dominate possession. It’s the gaffes by the players and mental breakdowns that lead to them losing. The powerplay being abysmal and the goaltending the last three months being terrible just hurts the team more.

        • cberg

          Winnipeg lost many D last year and missed the playoffs. Calgary losing Gaudreau, Monahan, Brodie, Frolik and Smith is the Pittsburg equivalent of losing Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Murray and Kessel. Kind of a killer. Saying that, GG still should go, for all the reasons already enumerated….