Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 66: Here come the Leafs (7pm MT, SN West)

Saturday night was about fanfare and ballyhoo at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Monday night is about the home team getting back to work.

The Calgary Flames (41-17-7, 89 points) get their one annual visit from the Toronto Maple Leafs (40-21-4, 84 points), the country’s most or least popular team depending on where you live. Coming off a tough loss on Saturday, the Flames will be dialed-in and will hopefully feed off what will be a boisterous crowd.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich will start for the home team, backed up by Mike Smith. The expected healthy scratches are Oscar Fantenberg, Dalton Prout and Curtis Lazar. Oliver Kylington returns to action after missing a couple games with a lingering shot block injury.

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The Flames lost on Saturday by a 4-2 score, their first such loss in eight games. Their skaters weren’t overly sharp in the third period and lost because (a) they couldn’t turn a huge possession edge into a lot of goals in the first 40 minutes and (b) their goaltending didn’t bail them out. Well, they’re facing a fast, talented Leafs club, so they’ll need to be at their best.

The Maple Leafs

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hyman – Tavares – Marner
Johnsson – Matthews – Kapanen
Marleau – Nylander – Brown
Ennis – Gauthier – Moore

Rielly – Hainsey
Muzzin – Zaitsev
Marincin – Ozhiganov

Frederik Andersen starts for Toronto, backed up by Garret Sparks. The projected healthy scratches are Justin Holl and Nic Petan.

The Leafs are a pretty deep, fast, talented team. They’ve been humming along nicely since before the trade deadline, aside from a 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders last week. They’re a good team and this game should be a big, big test for the Flames.

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The Numbers

Wins 41 40
Points 89 84
Adjusted Corsi 53.4% 51.6%
Power Play 21.8% 22.4%
Penalty Kill 79.5% 80.4%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Stone and James Neal.

The Maple Leafs are without Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner and Travis Dermott.

Season Series

This is the second and final game between these teams this season. The Flames beat the Leafs 3-1 in Toronto back in October.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Leafs Twitter follows for today:

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  • slapshot444

    Put Anderson in a red Jersey and Ritich in blue, what do you have??? A contender. Since Kipper took a hard left turn we have only had short stretches of hope between the pipes. Don’t blame Tre for lack of a TDL acquisition it’s an offseason fix. At this point, unless Smith sees the second coming they might as well hope for a miracle and bring up one of the 22-year-olds form Stockton, and I don’t mean Gilles.

    • Franko J

      Another off season searching for goaltending for this team. The irony will be once they do have one, this team will have little else. Just like most nights for eight or nine season’s it was only Iginla and Kipper that gave the Flames a decent chance of winning. No matter what this team does I firmly believe the hockey “Gods” have forever cursed this team.

    • Joeyhere

      If he is injured again… then stop this garbage let him heal before playoffs

      His invisibility is a serious detriment

      Why play him if he’s hurt?!
      If he’s not hurt – bench him to send a message

  • BendingCorners

    So a casual skate is no lomger enough to beat the Leafs. Not the end of the world but with the playoffs approaching it would have been nice to see more intensity.
    To be fair, they did bring it against the Wild and the Devils but nights off aren’t acceptable this time of year.

  • LannyMac

    So now that we know that the Flames are by far the softest team in the NHL they keep proving it over and over again. So hopefully over the next couple years that can be addressed. Soft teams don’t win cups never have never will.

  • Chucky

    If I was a Leafs fan I would be worried. They get one real goal, one that should have been a penalty (unless grabbing the other guys stick and yanking it out of his hand is now legal)some flukes and a kickin. They give up about twenty 10 bell opportunities.
    The Flames beat them like a drum and 9 times out of 10 they lose that game.

  • aye

    Well, at least they shut down Matthews, Tavares, Nylander… OK never mind, that’s just sugarcoating things.
    Lots of things went against them tonight, but no excuses, just move on and be better against VGK and ARI.