Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 62: A measuring stick game against Boston (7pm MT, SN West)

The locals will face a big, big test tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome. In the final game of their current homestand, the Calgary Flames (31-24-6, 68 points) host the National Hockey League’s top team (by points), the Boston Bruins (38-11-12, 88 points). The visitors are quite good and should provide a final definitive measuring stick for the Flames as they head towards Monday’s trade deadline.

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

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

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

Hanifin – Andersson
Brodie – Stone
Kylington – Davidson

Cam Talbot starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The extras are Alexander Yelesin, Zac Rinaldo and Buddy Robinson. Derek Ryan has been activated off the injury reserve and is officially a game-time decision.

Well, since the All-Star Break the Flames are 5-5-1. If general manager Brad Treliving had hoped they would barrel their way to the top or bottom of the playoff pack, that’s just too bad – the Flames are just as up and down as they’ve been since the 2019 All-Star Break.

The Flames are entering a stretch where they play Boston twice and Tampa Bay once. Regardless of what happens at the trade deadline, they’ll need to find it within themselves to rise to the occasion and play smart 200-foot hockey.

The Bruins

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman
Bjork – Coyle – Heinen
Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon

Tuukka Rask starts for Boston, backed up by Jaroslav Halak. Their projected extras are John Moore, Anton Blidh and Par Lindholm.

So, uh, the Bruins are quite good. They lead the NHL in points – Tampa Bay has more wins, but the Bruins are great at losing in overtime. The shorthanded Edmonton Oilers needed a Herculean effort to get to overtime with Boston on Wednesday, where they lost. Boston is gearing up for a Stanley Cup run and likely just see the Flames as a minor obstacle.

But even if the Bruins may be looking past the Flames, they’re extremely deep, talented and well-coached. Beware.

The Numbers

Flames Bruins
Wins 31 38
Points 68 88
Adjusted Corsi 49.9% 52.2%
Power Play 20.3% 25.0%
Penalty Kill 82.1% 84.1%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery), D Mark Giordano (hamstring) and D Travis Hamonic (upper body).

The Bruins are missing D Kevan Miller (knee) and D Connor Clifton (undisclosed).

When Last We Met

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season. They’ll meet again on Tuesday in Beantown.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: