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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.

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  • Dirty Pots

    Just FYI, the RSS feed now always shows “Flames assign Dube, Joly to Stockton, recall Kylington” as the story’s sub-heading. Been that way for a little while now.

    • Off the wall

      Oh please Puck, positives?
      4-10-1 in the last 15 games.
      Lost the last 8 of 9 games.
      Haven’t scored a PP goal since March 7, 0-28 on the PP since.
      Gillies looks like a minor league goalie. There are no positives, oh wait there is ONE.

      Only positive is when GG is gone for good …

      • Cfan in Van

        Not true.
        No point in hoping for wins at this point, so it’s all about giving the young guys a chance. The more time they get, the better head start for next year. The season’s done, but it’s positive that the future is getting a shot right now.

    • JoelOttosJock

      Not sure Shore on the top line is a good thing. Should be Bennett or Janko. That is a slap in the face tobJanko, to work hard all year and then the coaching staff gives Shore the top line.

    • deantheraven

      And it ain’t over for a lot of these guys. Say “playing for a spot next year”, sure that applies to at least . But I’m still watching these games to see who’s still playing to win now.

  • Off the wall

    I woke up grumpy. Read this lineup and all I really want to see is us get lit up badly. I hope the Jets score 10 on us. I don’t even care anymore.

    I’m sick of our teams play, of GG still having a job and our anemic PP.

    There’s no pride left on this team. Just excuses and regurgitated cliches.

    Go Jets go!

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        All right, boys, last road game of the season! Get the Dub ready ’cause the Calgary Care Bears are rolling’ in with tummy symbols a’BLAZIN!!!!

        GFG!!!

      • Off the wall

        Yah, sorry for the snarky comments above. Just really frustrated with this whole season.
        I guess that shows a bit huh?

        I remember feeling excited when our season began in October.
        What a buzz- kill the last 20 or so games were.
        We fell apart like someone was playing Jenga with our team.

        I guess I just wanted a little more fight left in them, however I can’t really blame the players for tuning out Gulutzan.

        Always next season right?!

    • Derian Hatcher

      I feel your pain OTW. Feel the same way about the Oilers. My fear….what if it’s NOT the coaches and the players don’t really give a crap? That’s what it looks like when I watch my team. Most of them play like it’s just too much work to play hard. I see many similarities between the two teams. Hope it’s just an off year for both teams.

    • The Doctor

      I’m regurgitating here, but we’re like a football team obsessed with time of possession that can’t do anything in the red zone. That screams out bad coaching.

      • Mickey O

        Good analogy. Turnovers for/against could be analagous to powerplay/penalty kill. You win that battle in a football game, and you’ve got a good chance to win. The Flames rarely won that special teams battle this year, player usage being one of the main contributors.

        Corsi is measured 5vs5 as well, and doesn’t even factor in odd-man situations. A big chunk of the game could be played up or down a man. Also, someone on this team (here’s looking at you Sean Monahan) needs to develop and practice the hell out of a one-timer for the powerplay.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        You know what else screams out bad coaching? When a team has a poor system and they lose one of their top players the tend to spiral. On the other hand teams like the Jets have a strong system allowing them to fil holes without issue.

    • deantheraven

      Damn straight. I honestly think plus-minus is more useful. Scoring chances are, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. Every shot is a chance, ask Gillies…
      Next season, let’s see a stats line with
      TOI Goals Assists +/- shots (and attempts)
      (break that down, if you want to,
      into 5v5/4v4/PP/PK)

      Maybe a line for blocked shots (KR Factor)…
      For goalies, all I need is GAA and Sv% (break that down if you want to). Sometimes they’re ‘on’, sometimes they’re not, and sometimes it doesn’t matter.
      You watch the games, you decide what’s a high-danger attempt. Watch it again on YouTube with your kids if they don’t believe you, but nobody needs to tell you that some of the ‘high-danger’ chances the Flames have had lately have hit the goalie square in the crest. About as dangerous to an NHL goalie as a Pee wee ‘B’ all star. A goal is still a goal (as long as They say so), a miss is still a miss and a save is still a save.
      And really, does it still count as high danger if it goes off more than 1 stick or body?
      I’m watching this one with my own analytical formula in mind.
      GFG

  • BendingCorners

    Swap Brouwer with Hathaway and Stone with Andersson and shorten the bench and this could at least be an interesting lineup – playing time for the rookies and linemates that don’t suck.

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      That would mean playing for a win instead of a display of mediocrity and a tie! C’mon its Only been 80 games (+ last year). Why would it change now?

    • Mickey O

      Brouwer might go the whole year playing every game when he wasn’t injured. Apparently GG thinks he’s a vital cog in the machine. Brouwer should have been stapled to the 4th line or a healthy scratch some games, but Gulutzan used him as if he was one of his best go-to players. GG’s got to go.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    I have really liked the Play of Shore so far (on the 3rd or 4th lines), But Why does GG brainlessly put forever bottom 6 guys on the #1 line?, Brouwer, Stewart, Shore, Chaision.
    I really thought Janko (& Ferly) played a very solid (even got creative/crafty at times) and noticeable game against ARI, Why not encourage that instead of being burdened by Brouwer in a more shut down roll? ~Ungh~
    Something like this maybe?
    Gaudreau – Jankowski – Ferland
    Bennett – Backlund – Foo
    Frolik – Shore – Lazar
    Glass – Stajan – Hathaway
    Yeah, I did it! ….. I’m putting Stajan in and Sitting F-ing Brouwer! Anyone have a problem with that? Man I can’t Wait until this Coaching Staff get shown the door and the new Era Begins!

  • buts

    This is been such a painful season. Finally Frolik is not along side Backlund so he can’t drag him down. I bet Gillies gets pulled. I still say BT could have been proactive as the teams problems (coach) were so obvious that the season could have been saved but alas here we are waiting for a reset to the build of the team. I originally thought a couple of key moves were all we needed but it looks like there are some definite problems in the room and on the ice….probably 6-8 subtractions/additions will be needed.

    • deantheraven

      Frolik, Brodie, Stone (Brouwer) and probably a prospect or two could be traded. Loss of salary means space to take on and/or sign an upgrade at RW if Foo + 1 or 2 can’t make the jump to full timers in the NHL.
      Ras, and one of Kyllington and Wotherspoon (or even both if they rotate) ought to be playing regular minutes when the season starts in the Fall. The coach will have to be behind that and Tre will need to be patient.
      It is a reset on the rebuild and these prospects need to be seen for more than a few games at 8 min/per. I would seriously be happy to see 6 prospects playing until Christmas. 6 subtractions isn’t necessary, but easy if you count expiring contracts. Although I’d consider Stajan and Versteeg as the best 13/14 options and would re-sign them to hometown discounts, because they’re worth keeping. IF Tre manages to unload Brouwer, that is.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    The Jets will show you a team the Flames could only dream of looking like, unless BT and entire coaching staff are let go. Jets organization drafted and traded wisely, they had a blueprint of what kind of team they wanted to build and succeeded. Flames seem to be flying by the seat of their. Giving away a first round pick not lottery protected was a huge mistake, BT has to answer for that, I wonder why BB didn’t catch that mistake.
    Oh well, would be nice to see a Canadian city hoist the cup in June.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    McDonald must be a really bag goalie if he can’t crack the AHL because Gillies has been decent in the AHL but brutal in the NHL. I won’t give up on him since I have seen players like Hellybuck rejuvenate over the summer but he has work to do.

  • Alberta Ice

    Go Flames. And go Jets throughout the playoffs and thanks for showing us that dud teams from a previous year can improve into playoff contenders the next year.

  • Vernon30

    IF there is a straw that can break the proverbial camel’s back, and force BT to decide to fire the entire coaching staff, including Sigalet, then I want that to happen. Maybe an 8-2 loss to the Jets would do that? Are they going to dress Stajan for what could be his final game, for the finale?