The Calgary Flames saw their hot streak screech to a halt on Monday night. They put 42 pucks on Jack Campbell, but lost 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. Following the loss, they’ve dramatically shaken up their forward lines at Tuesday’s practice.
Via our pal Pat Steinberg:
#Flames at practice today:
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 26, 2019
Let’s break this down:
- Line 1 features the team’s most potent offensive weapon (Gaudreau), a speedy two-way center (Ryan), and the team’s shutdown right wing (Frolik).
- Line 2 features two-thirds of one of the league’s better shutdown lines (Tkachuk and Backlund), plus a two-way forward with some offensive skill (Lindholm).
- Line 4 is a line assistant coach Ryan Huska used two seasons ago in Stockton: a fast guy (Mangiapane), a tall guy (Jankowski) and a crash-and-bang guy (Hathaway).
- Line 3 is essentially the leftovers: two wingers coming off injuries (Neal and Bennett) and a center who hasn’t been amazing lately (Monahan), plus a guy that can be swapped out if needed (Czarnik)
— Derek Wills (@Fan960Wills) March 26, 2019
(It sounds like Czarnik will be on the right side of that line at least for another game or two.)
The approach with the new lines seems to be trying to put together some balanced groups. If I were a betting man, I’d presume that the Monahan line will get a hefty amount of offensive zone high ground but the other three can probably just be cycled through depending on game situation.
It seems significant that they’ve broken up Gaudreau and Monahan, and particularly that the top line has been spread out among three different lines.
The defensive pairings are unchanged.
The Flames are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Dallas Stars.