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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 53: Dougie Bowl 2 (noon; SN 360)

Just hours before the Super Bowl, the Calgary Flames (33-14-5, 71 points) are going to be involved in another big game. They’re visiting scenic Raleigh, North Carolina, home of museums, Dougie Hamilton and the Carolina Hurricanes (25-20-6, 56 points).

The puck drops around noon MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Prout

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Mike Smith (who gave up four goals in the loss to Washington on Friday night). The Flames will be without Travis Hamonic due to a lower body injury of unspecified severity. Austin Czarnik and Rinat Valiev are the healthy scratches.

The Flames weren’t all that great in Washington, playing a bit too loose in their own zone and leading to a bunch of self-inflicted scoring chances against. Even with Rittich in net, they’re going to need to reign that in against a pretty fast Hurricanes squad.

The Hurricanes

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Niederreiter – Aho – Williams
Ferland – Wallmark – Teravainen
Svechnikov – Martinook – McGinn
Foegele – McKegg – Maenalanen

Slavin – Hamilton
Pesce – Faulk
de Haan – van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek starts for the Hurricanes, backed up by Curtis “McBackup” McElhinney. The Hurricanes have zero bodies on their roster right now, a benefit of having their farm team in nearby Charlotte.

It’s the first visit back to Raleigh for Bill Peters, Derek Ryan, Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm – a quartet who are currently employed by the Flames. While they’re in town, they’ll likely try to visit the City of Raleigh Museum, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh. There’s so many nice museums in the area, it’s likely that a person would need a full season to fully enjoy them all.

The Numbers

CGY CAR
Wins 33 25
Points 71 56
Corsi Close 52.5% 55.4%
Power Play 23.3% 16.5%
Penalty Kill 78.9% 79.5%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and Travis Hamonic.

The Hurricanes are without Jordan Staal.

Season Series

This is the final game of their season series. The Flames beat Carolina 3-2 in overtime two weeks ago.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Hurricanes Twitter follows for today:

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  • freethe flames

    With the Sharks winning last night today’s game is a big one as it is our game in hand. I am concerned that both Janko and Lindy left practice early yesterday. Coming of the break one would hope your team would be healthier than it was before the break. The Hamonic injury worries me. It will be interesting to see if this changes what BT does. I expect to see Valimaki back up with the Flames before the SJ game.

  • Flaymin Frank

    I see that the cOilers get prime time broadcasting on SN whilst the #1 team in the west is relegated to SN360. Awesome. I suppose its the Habs factor. Allez bleu, blanc, et rouge.

    • Speed Kills

      That is because its the dog days of winter and everyone can use a good laugh and feel better about themselves as a result of watching such a sad sack comedy circus that the cOilers are.

  • The GREAT WW

    We need this one.
    We didn’t play well last time we played them, but we found a way.
    We can’t turn this into finding a way to lose, like we did Friday….

    WW

  • Day1-Cfan

    Very important game for the boys. Noon start to top it off. There is no room for error, an 0- 2 start after the break would be terrible for the team and us fans.
    BSD and the rest of the team get your poop together and cream these guys today! GFG!

  • FlamesFan27

    Is anyone else worried a bit about February? The Flames haven’t been playing that great for a while now, at least consistently, but were able to win because the opposition was very weak in January. They need to play a lot better to have a good February as the schedule is a lot tougher.

    • SgtRoadBlock

      yep Feb will show us the real Flames.. people r on a high right now cause of the crazy season we having, but if you look at the last 10 games we have play very bad in r own end with puck clearing/giveaways etc.. Plus we letting goals being scored in the last 2mins or less a lot to during that span of games…
      GFG

  • Skylardog

    With the addition of Neiderreiter the Canes have done a nice job of adding depth to their scoring. This is a good team that pushes the play and when they can score become a formidable opponent. They have chosen to split up their top line (Aho, Terravainen, and Ferly) to give them a better chance to win. Neider has 4 goals since coming over, and Aho, 4 points as well. Terravainen has 3 while Ferly (as I know is the case and why he should NOT come back here) is struggling without 2 elite forwards on his line. He is still a factor in creating space for his linemates however, much like Hathaway does here when out with better players. The defense has been chipping in at a higher rate with the move to a more balanced lineup.

    The Canes are 3-1-1 since the trade to acquire Neider (0.700) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 (0.650). If they can keep this up they will easily make a playoff spot. They are juts 3 out and should be hungry.

    We cannot take this team lightly. Ritter will be the difference today.

    • freethe flames

      This is another team that fore-checks well and is not afraid ti finish their checks. Another test for our guys. The number of teams that are still in the wild card hunt makes it a very interesting month.

    • freethe flames

      Adding Neider has allowed them to make some changes. They are a better team now; more depth up front. Which returns us to the point of should the Flames make a trade to get better. Yesterday on one of the threads we discussed the need for some physical players and one name that was brought up by another poster was Kyle Clifford of LA. He has more goals than Neal this year. So here’s a thought of a trade Our first, Czarnik and next years 4th for Toffoli and Clifford. Both guys have a year left on their contracts and we might be able to flip them around the draft(add the fact that we might flip one of TJ/Hamonic and Frolik a that time)

    • Stockton's Finest

      And they are FAST! Speed kills in this league and Carolina might be the 2nd fastest team in the league behind Vegas. Need to be on our toes today.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    This a game they have to dominate from the opening puck drop. Let’s see the speed and verousious fore checking that they are capable of possessing. With Rittich in net, I’m sure the boys are much more confident.
    Time to get get on a run.

  • Skylardog

    Can we just be done with the Mangiapane experiment? Throw in Czar while at it. They are both chips we can put on the table to get something useful.

    Not that I don’t think Mangi is capable in a top 6 scoring role. The problem here is he is not a bottom 6 guy, and is about 10th on the depth chart to be a top 6 guy. There is no room on this team for him. Lazar, Quine and others bring way more to a bottom 6 role than Mangi. Mangi is at 0.83 GF/60 on ice, with just 3 goals that he has been on the ice for in 24 games now. Quine is nearly 3x more effective offensively, Lazar about 2x more effective. Mangi has had time with better linemates than either of those 2 players. How bad is it? Lomberg is superior in every manner.

    Czar’s value has plummeted since we signed him (if you read what I said about him when we signed him, it has probably gone up, I do hate this signing from every angle), but to the right team, looking for speed and time to rebuild, he would be a perfect fit. LA should covet this guy as a cap solution in the short term. How about flipping Mangi, Czar and a 2nd or 3rd for Martinez?

    • freethe flames

      At this point Mangi brings more on the bottom line than Czarnik. But I do agree that we would be better off with Lazar, Quine, Rychel at this point.

    • everton fc

      I think Quine and Lazar (yes, Lazar) are actually NHL players. Maybe 4th liners, but certainly could play that role, on many teams.

      Mangiapane does not seem (yet) like an NHL player. Nor does Czarnik. So, I agree – time to cut ties. We could really use Lazar’s game, up here, way more than Czarnik and Mangiapane. And Lazar’s a pretty physical player. (I see Dube has 18 points in 19 games, quietly showing he can put up some points. He’s another who adds more value here, than Mangiapane and Czarnik).

  • Manginasal

    So far nobody feels real confident about this one.
    I would guess because of their play leading up to the break and of course the result on Friday.
    A convincing win against a hot team will go a very long way for this team.

    Personally I think we are too loose defensively. We allow too many goals but we won alot of games cause our offense bailed us out.
    That might be more of a challenge this half.
    Gotta tighten up. Get meaner.

    As WW said. We need more meat in the lineup.

  • Getpucksdeep

    For your consideration… Andersson for the Calder! He only played 10 games last year so I think he qualifies. I can’t remember a defenseman coming from the AHL and playing like a solid veteran the way he is. Scoring isn’t eveything although its always the focus for the Calder. Hamonics out however I have no concerns about the 2nd pairing with Andersson on the team.

  • Skylardog

    I am not a proponent of adding toughness, contrary to many. It is not the fabric of this team. We have made the transition to speed and need to stay the coarse. At 2nd in the NHL, is it not working?

    A big forward is not going out on a line with JG and Mony or Lind. The impact of a tough guy if not out with JG will be minimal.

    But James Neal has a mean streak and the size to change that. On JG’s RW he changes the tone the line faces in a physical game. Neal has no need to come to the defense of Benny or Janko, but on a line with JG, he would know his role: pot some goals and stick up for his new found buddy Johnny. You can always go back to Lind when you need a goal, and use Neal when the game gets rough.

    Mony and Lind offer no push back, nor should they be asked to do that. Mony getting injured sticking up for a linemate could spell an end to the hope we have for the season and the playoffs. That case can be made for Lind as well. It is why I continue to push a break up of the top line. Recently I have settled for just bringing in a 2nd line RW that can score, but I still truly see Neal on the top line as the solution.

    JG-Lind-Neal
    Tkachuk-Mony-Trade for RW
    Lazar-Backs-Fro
    Benny-Janko-Hath

    Throw in Quine or Ryan wherever you like. Those are my 14 forwards entering the playoffs (one to be named by BT at the TDL). Move Benny up with Backs if you prefer.

    I still can’t stand Ryan and his team low 1.27 GF/60 rate of those that have played night after night, combined with his 2.42 GA/60 rate makes him neither a scoring threat, nor a defensive genius. In all honesty, Stajan was better in every single way (1.81 GF/60 and 1.15 GA/60). Where in the world did we get the idea that Ryan was good defensively?

    • KeepitReal

      @ Dogface. I know you like to stir the pot but to suggest Nil has the snarl to ride shotgun with JH & Mony is a wee bit of a stretch. I can suspend disbelief for some scenarios but this ain’t one of them.

    • The GREAT WW

      Small players and passive play (last in hits) have gotten us to second overall.

      But the playoffs is a different animal. All you have to look at is our last game for teams to figure out how to beat us.

      I’m not suggesting going overboard with goons (see Oilers) but we need an enforcer….

      WW

      • Manginasal

        Lindholm, janko and Hamonic were not at practice because of injuries.
        Hopefully not serious.
        This just shows that if we get banged around like this in this last half of the season then all that we gained means very little.

        It’s not how you start the race. It’s how you finish.

      • everton fc

        If Hamonic is out for a while, Prout’s one of the best in the league, at keeping the peace. We simply have to hope he can play #6 minutes. With Kylington. May work. We’ll all know, soon enough. I’ll say it again – in the past few games Prout has played, he hasn’t hurt us.

        (Unrelated; if we could pry Miles Wood out of New Jersey, he’d be a good fit here. But the Devils would be nuts to trade him).

    • Chucky

      It would be nice to see a little of the mean streak that Neal is supposed to have. If he were to start to show some toughness then he might justify first line duty. It would not be bad to see a third line of Bennett, Jankowski and Lindholm and people would start talking about the top nine.
      Unfortunately Neal has not shown any desire to be tough or score, even when he gets the after a penalty kill shift with Johnny and Mony. Maybe he can turn it on for the last 30 games and both make them a better team and justify some first line time.
      It is a tough situation to look at a significant trade when the guys that need to elevate their game for the playoffs are Bennett and Neal.
      I have not seen very much difference in impact between Mangiapane, Quine, Lazar and Dube. As RFA’s they have trade value and I would not be surprised to see one of them go probably Mangiapane. Czarnik is just not there and that is why he is sitting he should be part of the deal.

    • Off the wall

      Skylar, I always like your comments, however Ryan is very useful on our team.

      His CF% Rel is 8th among forwards. His possession quality is also 8th among forwards.

      With over 400 faceoffs taken he sits #1 , ahead of Lindholm.

      He’s also one of our best PK’ers statistically speaking. I think you’d have to be good at defending to warrant those stats. Especially with the majority of your starts in the defensive zone.

      Seems like you’re picking on the wrong guy to me..

      • Skylardog

        You know my thoughts on Corsi. Worst GF% of regulars at 34.48%. Mangi is worse, 30% and Peluso and Rychel are at 0% in limited minutes. Lomberg has not been for a goal for or against. When your numbers are far worse than Stajan’s last season, there should be cause for concern.

        • cberg

          Cherry-picking a few obscure stats only proves the overall weakness of your argument. Ryan isn’t on the team to score goals. As mentioned above he’s the best Flame and one of the NHL’S best at faceoffs, as a counter. He was signed and IS supposed to be great at that, which he is doing.

  • L.Kolkind

    I know the Flames are supposedly shopping for an LHD, but I think RHD might be the weaker side at least as long as Stone is out, but even then he can’t play much higher than 3rd pairing. Stone also has been out for quite a while so he might not be quite up to pace. could potentially use an upgrade there.

  • everton fc

    Again, unrelated – just thinking trade deadline here;

    Kings need to dump cap space, as Doughty’s contract at $11mill, with Kopitar’s $10mill, and Kovalcuk’s $6.25mill (very stupid deal)… Brown and Carter at 5.875 and 5.2, respectively… Phaenuf and Martinez’s contracts on the backend… They are screwed.

    Perhaps we can pry Toffoli from the Kings? It’d be tough to do, with the cap issues we may have signing Tkachuk, Rittich, Bennett, and (yes) Hathaway, not to mention Lazar, who’ll be a UFA next season. If you could land Toffoli, then you have a 2nd line RW (Tkachuk-Backlund-Toffoli), or you can keep Neal with Tkachuk and Backlund and have Bennett-Jankowski-Toffoli as our 3rd line, with Frolic-Ryan-Hathaway as the 4th line. That’s pretty impressive looking, “on paper”.

    Of course, we could stay as we are, and simply add a guy like Kyle Clifford, for “toughness” – 2 more goals than Neal, as I type. Clifford-Ryan-Hathaway would be the 4th line. I like my other proposal, with Toffoli, better.

  • RKD

    I hope Hamonic isn’t out long term. Flames can’t give up 40 shots like they did against Washington especially when you have a guys like Aho and Niederreiter just waiting to pounce.

  • Off the wall

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you good people from our East for sharing the cold front with us.
    It’s freezing here. We’re getting SNOW this week. Already had a lil’ this morning.

    How about sharing a Chinook with us!