Calgary Flames Game Day 30: Closing the road trip out in the Twin Cities (6pm MT)

Photo credit:Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
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After a pair of losses against legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, the Calgary Flames (11-14-4, 26 points) will look to close out their three game road trip on a win. And they’ll need to do that against the Minnesota Wild (10-12-4, 24 points), a team riding a hot streak under a new head coach in recent weeks. Can the Flames take what worked against Colorado and Vegas, and find a way to grab two points against a team that’s given them trouble already this season?
The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames are +125 underdogs against the Wild on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Hanifin – Andersson
Oesterle – Weegar
Gilbert – DeSimone
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. The projected extras are Ilya Solovyov and Walker Duehr. Chris Tanev remains out day-to-day with an upper body injury and has flown back to Calgary, per Sportsnet’s Eric Francis. If Nick DeSimone ends up playing, which we’re thinking he might, it’ll be his 10th game of the season and he’ll require waivers to be returned to the AHL.
Good news: the Flames have scored nine goals over their past two games. Bad news: the Flames have allowed 11 goals over their past two games. The Flames have played well enough offensively at five-on-five to go toe-to-toe with some of the NHL’s best teams. But they’ve been bad enough defensively at five-on-five, and on both sides of their special teams, to lose to those best teams/
The Flames are 1-4-1 over their last six games. If you’re Team Playoffs, that probably bums you out. If you’re Team Retool, it probably doesn’t.

The Wild

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Kaprizov – Eriksson Ek – Boldy
Johansson – Rossi – Zuccarello
Foligno – Gaudreau – Maroon
Duhaime – Dewar – Hartman
Middleton – Faber
Goligoski – Merrill
Bogosian – Memis
Since he’s coming off a shutout on Sunday against Seattle, we’re projecting that Filip Gustavsson starts against the Flames, backed up by Marc-Andre Fleury. (Gustavsson was in net for the Wild when they beat Calgary last week.) Per The Athletic’s Joe Smith, Jared Spurgeon is out with an injury for this game and Dakota Memis slots in. The projected healthy extras are Daemon Hunt and Vinni Lettieri.
What can we say about the Wild? Earlier this season, they were finding ways to lose – often creatively – and it cost Dean Evason his job. Under new bench boss John Hynes, they’ve been finding ways to win. They’ve won five of seven games since Hynes’ arrival. They’re fast. They’re smart. They seem to have gotten rid of whatever ghosts were causing them to make poor decisions at bad times.
The Wild aren’t world-beaters like Colorado or Vegas, but they’re a fast, hungry team that plays with skill and pace.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney, Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev.
The Wild are without Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon.

The numbers

26 (.448)Points (%)24 (.462)

Head to head

This is the second of three games between these teams. The Wild beat the Flames by a 5-2 score a week ago. They’ll close out the season series in Minnesota in early January.

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