When I was just a lad, the Calgary Flames (9-7-2, 20 points) hosted the New Jersey Devils (4-5-4, 12 points) every Halloween. It was thematically appropriate and we got to see Martin Brodeur at the same time every season. It was great. The NHL has completely revamped their scheduling processes since then, but tonight’s game is as close as we’ll get to that kind of on-the-nose scheduling. And Taylor Hall gets to play in his hometown, which is always fun.
The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
Quine – Ryan – Bennett
Lucic – Jankowski – Rieder
Giordano – Hamonic
Hanifin – Andersson
Brodie – Stone
David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. The projected scratches are Brandon Davidson and Michael Frolik.
The Flames won on Tuesday, but Bill Peters wasn’t terribly happy with how they did it. Through 18 games, the Flames have yet to play a rock-solid 60 minutes of hockey. They’re above .500 by the grace of Big Save Dave, but they need to start playing more structured, consistent hockey in front of their goaltenders.
The goal tonight: just play a good 60 minutes. Not 15. Not 25. Not 30. 60, please.
Last night’s lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Hall – Hischier – Palmieri
Zacha – Hughes – Gusev
Boqvist – Zajac – Coleman
Wood – Rooney – Simmonds
Severson – Subban
Greene – Vatanen
Butcher – Tennyson
Mackenzie Blackwood starts for the Devils, backed up by Cory Schneider. The healthy extras are Mirco Mueller and John Hayden.
The Devils are not a particularly great team this season. They began the season with six straight losses and have basically muddled around since then. For a Flames squad seeking a game they can build on, they might be the ideal opponent. They have Taylor Hall, a Calgary kid, but beyond that a lot of their key players haven’t performed nearly as well as they were hoped to heading into the season.
The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body).
The Devils are missing F Connor Carrick (upper body) and F Jesper Bratt (upper body).
When Last We Met
The Flames played New Jersey twice last season, winning both games. Their last game was a 9-4 Flames victory in Calgary back in March.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: