On Saturday night in Calgary, one of the greatest players in National Hockey League history will be honoured. And then there’s a game, too.
This evening, the Flames will raise Jarome Iginla’s #12 to the rafters. Afterwards, in a potential first round playoff preview, the Calgary Flames (41-16-7, 89 points) will host the Minnesota Wild (31-27-6, 68 points). The Flames are virtually guaranteed a playoff spot, while the Wild are part of the pile of teams clashing for a couple wildcard positions.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. MT and early-arrivers of legal drinking age get a free Budweiser with a commemorative Jarome Iginla can. The ceremony begins at 6:30 pm. MT and will be broadcast live in its entirety by Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The game itself goes at 8 p.m. MT and is the national late game on CBC, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet One, City TV, Sportsnet Ocho and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Show up early. Traffic will probably be nuts around 6 p.m., so try to be there earlier than that.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Frolik – Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Mike Smith starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The expected scratches are Dalton Porut and Curtis Lazar, while Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone skated yesterday but both won’t play tonight due to their respective injuries.
The Flames have won seven games in a row and are in a position where they can rest some players. It also helps that Fantenberg looked pretty good on Wednesday in his Flames debut, so why not just keep the same lineup?
The locals aren’t a perfect hockey machine, but they’re playing well. They’re in a position where they control their own destiny, playoff-wise. If they keep playing the way they’ve been playing and banking points, they’re in a position to likely cement their first division title in over a decade.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Greenway – Staal – Zucker
Parise – Kunin – Fiala
Donato – Eriksson Ek – Aberg
Foligno – Fehr – Brown
Suter – Spurgeon
Brodin – Pateryn
Hunt – Seeler
Devan Dubnyk starts for Minnesota, backed up by Alex Stalock. The projected healthy scratch is Anthony Bitetto, while it sounds like Matt Read slides in tonight.
Boudreau doesn’t think Parise plays tonight vs. #Flames, so Read jumps into the lineup.
— Sarah McLellan (@sarah__mclellan) March 2, 2019
The Wild are a weird team this season. They’re in the thick of the playoff picture right now after winning four in a row, including three consecutive tight-checking one goal games. Prior to that, they lost five in a row. That’s the way it’s been for Minnesota this season: wild swings.
These guys could be a killer team, but their depth has been tested by their injuries. Take away Koivu and Dumba from any team and they’d have similar challenges as the Wild are facing now.
The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone and James Neal. Kylington and Stone are skating with the main group, though, so they’re not “out.”
The Wild are without Mikko Koivu, Victor Rask and Matt Dumba.
This is round three of three between these teams this season. The Flames previously beat the Wild twice by scores of 2-0 and 2-1.
Know Thy Enemy
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