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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 49: Does Toronto still have a team? (5pm MT, SN West)

On Saturday, the Calgary Flames played their best game of the season. On Monday, they played one of their worst. Tonight, the Flames (25-18-5, 55 points) try to find a happy medium when they head to the Air Canada Centre to face the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-16-6, 56 points). Can the Flames play a complete game, or at least get off to a good start?

The game begins just after 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Mangiapane – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Gaudreau – Monahan – Backlund
Lucic – Ryan – Dube
Bennett – Jankowski – Rieder

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. Today’s projected scratches are  Alexander Yelesin, Michael Stone and Zac Rinaldo.

The Flames were engaged, sharp and emotionally invested in Saturday’s game against the Oilers. On Monday in Montreal, it seemed like they forgot what time they game started or what side of their sticks to use. It’s not like the Flames are a bad team – they’ve shown they’re capable of going toe to toe with basically any good team in the league if they feel like it.

But the challenge is the Flames seem to be two teams – a product of their habitual inconsistency – and it’s hard to tell what team you’re going to get on any given evening. In the center of the hockey universe, it’ll be interesting to see if they wilt under the attention or rise to the occasion.

Calgary are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games on the road. – OddsShark.com

The Maple Leafs

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hyman – Matthews – Marner
Engvall – Tavares – Nylander
Johnsson – Kerfoot – Kapanen
Timashov – Gaudet – Spezza

Dermott – Holl
Marincin – Barrie
Sandin – Ceci

Frederik Andersen starts for the Leafs, backed up by Michael Hutchinson. Their projected extra bodies are Frederik Gauthier and Adam Brooks.

Y’know how the Flames are habitually all over the place? Here’s Toronto in 2020: 6-3 win, 3-0 win, 6-4 loss, 4-3 shootout loss, 8-4 loss, 7-4 win. Are they good? Well, yeah, they can be. But they can also be their own worst enemy in so many frustrating ways.

The Numbers

Flames Leafs
Wins 25 25
Points 55 56
Adjusted Corsi 50.0% 53.9%
Power Play 19.1% 24.0%
Penalty Kill 83.2% 75.7%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery).

The Leafs are missing F Nathan Horton (back), F David Clarkson (back), F Ilya Mikheyev (wrist), F Trevor Moore (concussion), D Jake Muzzin (foot) and D Morgan Rielly (foot).

When Last We Met

The Flames beat the Leafs 4-2 at the Saddledome in mid-December. This game closes out their season series.

Know Thy Enemy

Literally everybody on Twitter covers the Maple Leafs. Here’s a handful to keep an eye on tonight: