Calgary Flames Game Day 21: Back (to back) in the Mile High City (8pm MT)

Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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Just 24 hours after each team played their last game, the Calgary Flames (8-9-3, 19 points) head to scenic Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche (13-6-0, 26 points). The Flames beat Dallas on Friday night, while the Avalanche fended off the wild. Which team can complete the back-to-back sweep?
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are +145 underdogs to beat the Avalanche on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Sharangovich – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. The projected extras are Walker Duehr and Nick DeSimone. It’s the second half of a back-to-back set and coming off a win, we’re not expecting the Flames to make many changes (if any). We’ll find out for sure at warm-up.
After a 7-4 win against Dallas on Friday night, the Flames are 6-3-2 over the month of November. Have they played perfect ice hockey? Heck no. They’re still a bit too leaky in the neutral zone in terms of turnovers, and they have a tendency to hand their opponents strong scoring chances at inopportune times. (And their power play needs to be more productive.)
But the Flames have put together very long stretches where they’ve made their opponents’ lives miserable via strong puck possession, a good forecheck, and a system that really emphasizes speed, movement and skating. The Flames surprised a strong Dallas team one evening ago. Can they do it again?

The Avalanche

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Nichushkin – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Tufte* – Johansen – Drouin
Wood – Colton – Kiviranta
Cogliano – Olofsson
Toews – Makar
Byram – Manson
Johnson – Jones
It’s the second half of a back-to-back for the Avalanche, too, so we’re projecting backup Ivan Prosvetov to start, backed up by Alexandar Georgiev. Their extras against Minnesota were Tomas Tatar and Logan O’Connor, as they went 11 forwards and 7 defenders. Per DNVR Avalanche’s Megan Angley, Riley Tufte was returned to the AHL on Saturday morning, meaning that Tatar or O’Connor could be swapping in for this game. (We’ll see which one.)
The Avalanche have had injury problems basically all year – Gabriel Landeskog has played zero games – but they’re chugging along nicely because, well, they’re deep, talented and versatile. They’re a hockey club that has many ways of beating their opponents, between good goaltending, a deep defensive group, and a bunch of really impressive forwards.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Avalanche are without Gabriel Landeskog, Pavel Francouz, Artturi Lehkonen and Samuel Girard.

The numbers

19 (.475)Points (%)26 (.684)

Head to head

This is the first of three games between the Flames and Avalanche scheduled for this season.

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