Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 32: Back home to face the Flyers (6:30pm MT, SN West)

After a chaotic weekend juggling conference rivals and roster issues, the Calgary Flames (19-10-2, 40 points) are back home and host the Philadelphia Flyers (12-13-3, 27 points) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flyers are best known this season for having a tremendous mascot and some utterly inconsistent on-ice performances.

The action kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (it’s a national broadcast on all regional channels) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Ryan – Bennett
Mangiapane – Jankowski – Neal
Czarnik – Quine – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Coming off a win on Saturday night, Mike Smith starts (backed up by David Rittich). The extra bodies are Dalton Prout and Ryan Lomberg, who’s serving the last game of his suspension.

The Flames played two games against two pretty good teams without the benefit of their Norris Trophy contender captain (Mark Giordano) and their Selke Trophy contender center (Mikael Backlund). They got a win and a pretty respectable loss considering they were playing on back to back nights. Now they’ve got Giordano back, so their defensive group should be more balanced and their attack more structured.

The old saying goes “you are what you repeatedly do.” It’s up to the Flames to prove that Sunday’s loss in Edmonton was the exception, and that they plan on being an elite hockey club this season.

The Flyers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

van Riemsdyk – Giroux – Konecny
Raffl – Couturier – Voracek
Laughton – Patrick – Simmonds
Lindblom – Varone – Weise

Provorov – Gostisbehere
Hagg – MacDonald
Sanheim – Gudas

Anthony Stolarz starts for the Flyers, backed up by Michal Neuvirth. Their projected healthy scratches are Christian Folin, Jori Lehtera and Jordan Weal.

The Flyers are all over the damn place, as exemplified by their last four games:

  • A 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • A 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets
  • A 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres
  • A 7-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets

The Flyers have a load of talent, but they’re really, really inconsistent.

Remember that time Dale Weise scored a hat trick against the Flames when he was with Montreal? Good times.

The Numbers

Wins 19 12
Points 40 27
Corsi Close 54.4% 50.9%
Power Play 22.4% 13.6%
Penalty Kill 78.6% 71.7%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Mikael Backlund, Juuso Valimaki, Michael Frolik and Michael Stone.

The Flyers are without Brian Elliott and Corban Knight.

Season Series

This is the first of two Flames/Flyers games this season. They’ll meet again in Philadelphia in early January.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Flyers Twitter follows for tonight:

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  • TheDallyLama

    I live and work north of Edmonton. You should hear and see these effin idiots up here since their win streak and beating us Sunday. Literally they are Stanley cup contenders now. Sorry venting a little, let’s go boys, tonight’s a new night and a different game. Welcome back GIO!!!! Oh captain, my captain ?? GfG ???

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I must admit, I did not expect them to beat Colorado at home. If they beat the Jets at home then I may be convinced that they have turned a corner.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Let’s not paint everyone with the same brush here Dally….there are “effin idiots” throughout society, not just where you are located. At the risk of over stepping, I would even go so far as to suggest that there may be the odd “effin idiot” who may be a fan of the Calgary Flames. Just my opinion – trash away.

      • TheDallyLama

        @Hatch fair enough! I was just speaking to the overwhelming majority of coworkers and randoms that are so proud at the moment, it’s bothersome but oh well, guess I chose where I work and live lol … btw I cheered ur comment ?

    • FlamesFan27

      The Oilers are only 4 points behind Calgary. If they win their game in hand on SJ and ANA, they are in second place. I wouldn’t discount any team with McDavid. They have a very big dropoff after their best players (McD, Drai, RNH), but their best players are exceptional. And they are getting great goaltending. Plus, they have the easiest schedule in the NHL. I wouldn’t count them out.

      The top end of the Pacific is not as bad as most people thought.

      • The Doctor

        FF27 I totally agree that the Pacific top 5 teams or so are looking much better than a month ago. People who think the Pacific is the sick man of the NHL have not been paying attention lately.

    • The Doctor

      Agreed. What they are doing right now screams out unsustainable over the long term, but Hitch is a good coach and a definite upgrade over McLellan, especially if you want to pursue a trap+McDavid strategy.

  • withachance

    A bit off topic, but watched the Caroline – Toronto game last night. My god Hamilton is terrible defensively. Out of the 4 goals the Leafs scored, Dougie had 2 turnovers that directly led to goals, put the puck in his own net on another one, and had a brutal hooking penalty in his own zone.

    When he’s not scoring at league leading pace, his deficiencies really shows in his own end. Really think BT is going to look like a genius for that trade at the end of the season. Also thoughts goes out to Ferly who is still struggling with concussion. Sad to see such a physical player go through that.

    • Cfan in Van

      For a third thought on that trade (sorry, my second comment on this in two days):
      Fox is now saying “NHL ASAP” in a public manor. He’s having a dominant season, points wise, and publicly stating he’ll skip his last year of College. The value of that trade chip has increased, although I’m still really happy for the acquisitions, and our defense sans-Dougie.

      • Stu Gotz

        Adam Fox is going to be an impressive player in the NHL. However still no guarantees he would have signed with the Flames. In fact I think it will be with his home town NYR.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Unless Fox never becomes a regular NHLer or becomes just a marginal NHLer, I will maintain that Tre overpaid with Fox being the overpayment.

          Even if Fox would never have signed with Cal, what do you think Tre could get today if he dangled Fox to the Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Flyers and said, “Gentlemen, what are your final, best offers for dazzling Foxly?”

          If the Canes held out for Fox, Tre should have insisted that Jake Bean be included in the deal.

          • The Iggy complex

            Regardless of whether Fox turns out our not this trade is fantastic four the flames. Lindholm himself has been better then both Hamilton and Ferland plus hanifan has mostly been pretty solid in his own right.

          • withachance

            I think straight up, the most you can get for Fox right this second would be maybe a low first, or high second plus a B/A- prospect. He’s ripping it up in the NCAA but the fact is you’re trading his rights, and no team is guaranteed to sign him.

            If BT put Fox up for trade, what is stopping other GMs from underpaying as they know Fox probably is unlikely to sign with Calgary if he’s up for trade? We also forget Hanifin is only ONE YEAR older than Fox. BT won this trade by a landslide at the rate things are going.

          • Spider you muda&@#ker

            Theres no arguing this trade Nigel Carolina obviously doesnt make the trade without Fox its not like hey lets throw in our blue chip prospect for fun. Tre makes moves and makes things happen good on him team has number one line winger they coveted now and top young dman plus they are first place in the pacific. You have to give up something to get something just the way it is but I think Treliving will sleep just fine regardless of who Fox becomes. Guys like Andersson, Valamaki, and Kylington make that move possible.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            No one is arguing that the trade hasn’t worked out well for the Flames and that right now, the best player in that deal is Lindholm. Not my point. Go back to when the deal was made and who was the biggest name moved? It was Hamilton. Hamilton and Ferland should have been enough to pull the deal, but they were not. Why?

            It is all well and good to say that moving Fox was no biggie as he was never going to sign here, but there would have been considerable value in holding onto to Fox and seeing what the New York area clubs would pony up for a Fox.

          • Beer League Coach

            No he wouldn’t. All he has to do is finish this season in the NCAA and then announce that he is leaving school to turn pro. Then wait until August 15 and he becomes a UFA and can sign wherever he wants to play. No trade required.

        • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

          “Adam Fox is going to be an impressive player in the NHL.”

          Have you ever looked at Adam Fox’s Power Play Point Percentage?!?! He scores 70+% of his points on the PP, that’s a major red flag historically. We’ll see. we already got a first line forward and a potential 1-2 defender in a couple of years, even if Fox turns into a decent PP Quarterback and average Even Strength defender. I’ll still be more than happy with the trade.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Gio bump? Or adjusting to a new team? (think Hamonic last year)

      If it’s the Gio bump we should be seriously looking at a Brodie trade scenario in the off-season. Might not hurt to see if one of Hanifin, Valimaki or Kylington can play their off-side? Top pairing D could get us back an up and coming RFA winger to play opposite Tkachuk so we can FINALLY have two scoring lines.

  • cgyokgn

    Huge save by Rittich and Johnny finishes it off! The poor Philly goalie didn’t know what hit him. Still have to give a lot of credit to Philly… lots of talent.

  • The Doctor

    I don’t know why Ryan is referring to that loss to Edmonton as “pretty respectable”. We outright stunk for the first 30 minutes and weren’t all that much better after that. Some of the worst, stupidest puck management and decision-making I’ve seen all season. No Flames fan should be patting the team on the back for that one.