Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

FGD 63: A long trip begins in Detroit (5pm MT, SN West)

Less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames (31-25-6, 68 points) kick off a lengthy five game road trip. Their first stop is Michigan, where they face the Detroit Red Wings (15-44-4, 34 points). The home side is well below the playoff cutline and playing loose, while the Flames need every point they can get their collective hands on.

The puck drops just after 5 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
Rieder – Jankowski – Ryan

Hanifin – Andersson
Brodie – Stone
Kylington – Yelesin

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. The extras are Brandon Davidson, Zac Rinaldo and Buddy Robinson.

The Flames played fairly well against Boston, but couldn’t answer back once the Bruins got the lead and bottled things up. All-told, the Flames are 5-6-1 since the All-Star Break and 3-3-0 without Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic. They’re a fine hockey club with flashes of brilliance, but fine probably won’t get them to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

We’ll see if tonight’s effort sways Brad Treliving one way or the other in regards to making any roster tweaks.

The Red Wings

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Fabbri – Larkin – Mantha
Bertuzzi – Filppula – Athanasiou
Helm – Nielsen – Glendening
Erne – Ehn – Abdelkader

Nemeth – Biega
Bowey – Green
Daley – Lindstrom

Jonathan Bernier starts for Detroit, backed up by Jimmy Howard. The healthy extras for the Wings are Brendan Perlini and Jonathan Ericsson. Former Flames farmhand (and 2018 Olympic bronze medalist) Cody Goloubef hasn’t gotten his visa settled yet, so he obviously won’t play tonight.

The Red Wings are having a bad year. They’re 40 points out of a playoff spot and have already been officially eliminated from post-season contention. In February. They’re playing for jobs, though, and several Flames players pointed out after the Boston game that they can’t afford to take a team like Detroit (who beat Boston) lightly.

Nevertheless: this is a game the Flames need to have.

The Numbers

Flames Red Wings
Wins 31 15
Points 68 34
Adjusted Corsi 49.9% 44.1%
Power Play 20.1% 14.7%
Penalty Kill 82.1% 75.0%

Injury Report

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

The Red Wings are missing F Johan Franzen (concussion), F Henrik Zetterberg (back), D Danny DeKeyser (back), D Filip Hronek (upper body) and F Filip Zadina (lower body).

When Last We Met

This is the final game between these clubs this season. The Flames beat Detroit 5-1 back in October at the Saddledome.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: