Calgary Flames Game Day 13: Visiting the sleepy hamlet of Toronto (5pm MT)

Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
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Winners of their past two games, and arguably playing consistent hockey over the past three games and change, the Calgary Flames (4-7-1, 9 points) look to continue their winning ways on Friday night. But they’ll face a pretty significant challenge in the form of Brad Treliving’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-5-2, 14 points). Can the Flames rise to the occasion and beat a team that, despite current struggles, is considered a Stanley Cup contender?
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are +125 underdogs to beat the Maple Leafs on Betway.
For a look from the other side, visit The Leafs Nation!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Sharangovich
Pospisil – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – DeSimone
So here’s what we know: Jacob Markstrom didn’t skate on Wednesday (due to “maintenance”) and wasn’t on the ice for Friday’s morning skate, and he’s day-to-day with an upper body injury per Flames head coach Ryan Huska. It sounds like Dan Vladar starts with Dustin Wolf backing up. It looks like Walker Duehr and Dennis Gilbert sit against Toronto, but it’s the first half of a back-to-back (they face Ottawa on Saturday) and you would imagine we may see some rotation of players depending on what happens against the Leafs. Andrew Mangiapane returning from suspension looks to bump out Duehr against the Leafs.
The Flames were pretty good against Edmonton in the second half of the Heritage Classic, but if you want to discount that because of score effects, go right ahead. But they followed that up with pretty good performances against Dallas, Seattle and Nashville. The Flames aren’t dominating any hockey games, but they’re playing really smart 200-foot hockey – albeit marred by occasional mistakes and bad bounces.
You may have heard: Jonathan Huberdeau was a spectator for the third period against Nashville. With Mangiapane returning to action, keep an eye on the top line. Huberdeau and Mangiapane will both likely be pretty motivated after how things went for both of them against Nashville.

The Maple Leafs

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Knies – Matthews – Marner
Bertuzzi – Tavares – Nylander
Robertson – Domi – Jarnkrok
Gregor – Kampf – Reaves
Rielly – Brodie
Giordano – McCabe
Benoit – Lagesson
It’s the first half of a back-to-back for the Leafs. Joseph Woll starts for Toronto, backed up by Ilya Samsonov. Jake McCabe returns from injury, bumping an injured John Klingberg to the press box.
The Leafs are, on paper, a good team. Heck, perhaps great! But their last regulation win was on Oct. 26 against Dallas. Since then, they’ve won once (in overtime) and gone 1-3-2 in that span. In short: things aren’t going great for the Leafs right now, and they’re hoping to use a busy stretch to sort themselves out.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney and Jacob Markstrom.
The Maple Leafs are without Jake Muzzin, Matt Murray, Conor Timmins, Timothy Liljegren and John Klingberg.

The numbers

FlamesMaple Leafs
9 (.375)Points (%)14 (.538)

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season. They’ll conclude their season series in mid January in Calgary.

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