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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      • Alberta Ice

        We will need Smith and Rittich to have their A game here on in. Hopefully Mike has learned from his mistakes and will make better decisions now about going after pucks behind his net. Outside of that, I have like what I have been seeing in his play the past few games. GFG.

        • Garry T

          Smith is going to do what Smith wants to do. I would be surprised, happily surprised if he just played in the blue paint. Suspect that is not
          On the horizon.

    • Em Durp Em Hrudey

      Would it hurt the team to get Lazar in on the 4th line for a couple games? He has been a good soldier all season, he could easily fit in place of Mangiapane. May require him in the playoffs so keeping the rust off might be a good idea. Interested to see the fans reaction if BSD has an off game tonight. Smith gets the night off to work on his evil plans of global warming and stealing food from the homeless…

        • The Red Knight

          Mangy is going to be a decent point producer , he’s has the hands to go with the IQ . Why would you mess with what’s been probably the most consistent line since the allstar break? No knock on Lazar I just don’t see who you take out ,

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        I’m not sure where all this positive talk about Lazar is coming from. 12 points in 65 games last year. Was not good enough to beat out Dube or Czarnik for the last spots. Mangiapane outperformed him in the AHL. SO has Quine and Graovac and Rychel. He’s here because of the need for one extra forward. I don’t see how he’s any better than any of the 12 (13 including Neal) forwards.

      • Cfan in Van

        Agree about giving Lazar a try, he’s been sitting a while.

        Who would you start tonight in net? If it’s not BSD after what we watched on Saturday, I think you’re out to lunch.

        • Em Durp Em Hrudey

          I would start BSD tonight as well. Win your in, lose have a seat. They are both good goalies in spite of what is said on here. You do not sit second in the league with horrible goaltending.
          Perhaps Lazar is given a look after they clinch their playoff spot.

          • THE WW Bandwagon

            Hrudey Hrudey, the only reason why Smith’s win % looks good and the reason why we are 2nd in the whole league is because of our first halfs offense.
            That offense won us SO many games when our goalkeepers were shakey.
            Yea Smith has been decent lately but most goalies go on hot streaks.
            Smith just cant win when the pressure is on.

  • Hockeyfan

    seeing JT get booed and the lovefest next game was a joke, showing snowflakes melting all over soft, liberal TO. Flames need to take these chumps and their libby snowflake fans down in BIGLY fashion tonight!!!! Need Sean to keep stepping up. Need BSD to assert himself once more in the coach’s eyes. Need to GET IT DONE CALGARY ALBERTA STYLE!!!!!

  • buts

    Crap on the refs, the D, but Rittich isn’t tracking the puck well. 2 out of the first 3 should have been stopped. Our goaltending or lack of depth goaltending is our Achilles heal. Down the stretch here and our number one line can’t finish and the rest can’t pick a corner.

    • 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

  • 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.

  • Off the wall

    If there’s one team I enjoy watching lose it’s the Leafs.
    It brought me great joy, reading about Tavares return to NYI, and losing 6-1.

    My older brother would make me play goalie as a kid.
    I had to be Mike Palmateer and he would fire balls at me pretending to be Borje Salming.
    Toronto sucks!

    I was hurt more times than I can recall. No padding, just a baseball glove. One time I took foam from our tent trailer to make goalie pads for my legs, of course at the request of my older brother. My father wasn’t impressed. I was grounded for weeks. My brother threw me under the bus, said it was ALL my idea. Jerk!

    My brother was a big time Leafs fan, and I disliked them from the time I was a young kid. Wonder why?

    If we beat the Leafs, I’ll be tickled RED.

    Let’s go Rittich and Flames!
    I’m counting on you…

    • Jobu

      Unfortunately The only teams Jobu hates are Canadian teams
      – Vancouver, because of my hatred for Bertuzzi, Bure, Kesler, Bieksa, Burrows, Luongo, and the Sedins and a general hatred for their fan base. Jobu has had run-ins with them that were quite rude and often violent. Jobu wasn’t surprised the riot broke out after the finals loss. GO BRUINS!
      – Edmonton, for known tradition/rivalry reasons. Out of these three I hate the Oil the least, likely because they have been the least threatening for SO long, and their fans know hockey at least.
      – Toronto, for the overflow of media and the ignorance it causes. Its just shows how ridiculous the TO media is around that club and all the unwanted and unwarranted attention they get – it pumps delusion and propaganda into their fan-base – makes them hard to respect.

      Lets bring those leafers down to earth. GFG!!!

      • Al Rain

        If you read the comments on this site (this page…) you’ll notice a few unattractive qualities about our own fan base. Glass houses and all that.

        But yeah, that Leafs media issue is real.

      • deantheraven

        I’m with Jobu for hating the Canucks and their fans. I hate the Oilers because, Edmonton.
        And TO sucks because of their blinkered media, and because if it is the centre of the universe as us Westerners often decry, it is a black hole that sucks all the energy out of the space it tries to fill.
        But the team I hate the most is the Ducks, for the obvious reasons.
        Now, if they were to trade for one of Kesler or Perry in the off season, the Leafs would be number one on the Hate List.
        I don’t hate ’em, yet, but hope we beat the snot out of them anyway. I’ll be happy when the day comes that all the Tronna sports media posts is the box score, in utter humiliation.
        Make it tonight, boys! Shut ’em down, and light ’em up!

    • deantheraven

      While I didn’t have a brother coercing me into acts of vandalism, I too love to see the Leafs lose.
      I was born in Calgary long before we had an NHL franchise, but no one ever suggested we had to cheer for one of the two Canadian teams. Guess my age yet? If I tell you I was a Bruins fan, that should make it clearer. Naturally, I hated the Habs more. In House League we had 6 teams and I played goal for the Rangers. Eddie Giacomin was no Cheese, so I did up my face mask a la Gerry Cheevers, with stitches for every puck that hit it. I admit that I may have embellished the artwork a bit to include likely injuries caused by tennis balls in the driveway…
      I hated the Habs. They won too many cups. Toronto, not so much… The NHL Leafs seemed like the perennial bridesmaids in those days, making them hard to hate, but still fun to beat.
      I hope history repeats and the Leafs falter, stumble and fall before making it all the way, despite having better players than Sittler and Keon today.
      Starting tonight.

  • Madman

    If I was at the game I would have been thrown out by now for beating the crap out of any leafs fans opening their mouths. But then again should SHOOT all the so called Flames fans that sold them the tickets

  • THE WW Bandwagon

    Ha ha I wonder what Hrudey and all his ra ra crowd are gonna spew out this time?
    More rhetoric good goaltending, team is 2nd in league, won seven straight blah blah.
    Their not playing like a top team! Their offense is still dead and their goaltending sucks!!!

      • Em Durp Em Hrudey

        Oh no no no…don’t lump me in with this bandwagon jumping ball of negativity. It is true I strongly dislike Hrudey on color, but I am not fixated on him lol….plus hes not an “anouncer” he is the color guy…any sneaky good saves yet?

          • Em Durp Em Hrudey

            I checked my pocket….sorry out of hero cookies for ya….maybe next time you negitive nelly. P.S….perhaps you should stop trying to ride the coat tails of WW and be your own person. As of right now nothing you say has any credibility due to your copy cat type account.