FGD 37: Another matinee with the Blues (2pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (22-11-3, 47 points) finish off the pre-Christmas section of their schedule with a rare Saturday afternoon home game. They host the St. Louis Blues (13-16-4, 30 points), facing them for the second time in seven days. Can the Flames head into the holidays with a victory?

The action begins at 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund –  Bennett
Frolik – Jankowski – Neal
Quine – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. Smith’s actually riding a winning streak, with wins in his last six decisions, but he hasn’t played in over a week. The projected scratches are Dalton Prout, Austin Czarnik and Ryan Lomberg. Michael Frolik is expected to return after being out since Nov. 19 with a high ankle sprain.

The Flames lost a really, really entertaining game on Thursday night against Tampa Bay, but they’re a group that’s very confident in their style of play and their ability to play with the league’s best teams. They have four players in the top 25 in league scoring (Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm) and Mark Giordano is one of the NHL’s defensive scoring leaders.

To be blunt, this game features one of the top teams in the NHL against one of its worst. It could get ugly.

The Blues

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko
Steen – O’Reilly – Perron
Maroon – Bozak – Thomas
Nolan – Barbashev – Sundqvist

Edmundson – Parayko
Bouwmeester – Bortuzzo
Dunn – Butler

Jake Allen starts for the Blues, backed up by Jordan Binnington. The projected healthy scratches are Jordan Schmaltz and Zach Sanford.

The Blues have played two games since their 7-2 loss to the Flames last weekend: they beat the Oilers 4-1 in Edmonton and then got tuned up 5-1 by the Vancouver Canucks. They’re a really inconsistent bunch and that’s been the thing keeping them in the league’s basement.

The Numbers

Wins 22 13
Points 47 30
Corsi Close 53.9% 49.6%
Power Play 22.4% 21.1%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 82.5%

Injury Report

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

The Blues are without Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo and Carl Gunnarsson.

Season Series

This is the last game of their season series. They split their two meetings in St. Louis: the Blues won 5-3 in October but the Flames won 7-2 earlier this week.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Blues Twitter follows for today:

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  • Flamesforever

    I feel like if Rittich started this game we would at least walk away with a point. Hard to chase the whole game. No offence to St Louis but they’re not exactly world beaters. Sigh. These points would have been nice.

  • buts

    My concern with the team is we don’t get offence from Bennett,Backlund, Ryan or Neal, all who are on our 2nd PP unit. Opposing teams all they have to do is shut down our number 1 line and Tkachuk and we are done. No secondary scoring at all. Very little offensive chances created and basically guys in position that show they can’t do it. It’s time to put Lindholm with Tkachuk and breakup that first line.

    • Spider you muda&@#ker

      I thought that last PP where the second unit was out almost the whole 2min was a crucial point in the game even though they had possession the whole time in the blues end you have to put the puck in the net