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Calgary Flames Game Day 37: A quick trip to the Emerald City (8pm MT, SNW/960)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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A day after losing a close game to their most bitter divisional rival, the Calgary Flames (16-13-7, 39 points) are visiting their newest divisional rival, the Seattle Kraken (18-10-4, 40 points). The Kraken have become one of the National Hockey League’s pleasant surprises this season, and the Flames are hoping to bounce back from a tough loss and hand their new friends one of their own.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Kadri – Lucic
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lewis – Ruzicka – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Based on the back-to-back situation, we’re expecting Dan Vladar to start with Jacob Markstrom as his backup. Tuesday’s extras were Connor Mackey and Radim Zohorna. Dennis Gilbert remains on the injury reserve, but reportedly travelled with the team to Seattle. (Well, at the very least his equipment did, since his stall at the ‘Dome was empty post-game as the team headed on the road.)
The good news is that the Flames have put up 40 or more shots on net in 11 of their 36 games this season, including Tuesday against Edmonton. The bad news is they’ve lost seven of those games, going 3-6-1. In the 11 high-shot games, the Flames have out-shot their opponents 474-278, but been out-scored 38-27. In those games, the Flames have scored on just 5.7% of their shots but their opponents have scored on 13.7% of their shots. That’s a big disparity, and probably a reflection of shot quality.
In other words: the Flames need to find a way to trade in shot volume for shot quality, and then shot quality for goals.

The Kraken

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
McCann – Beniers – Eberle
Schwartz – Wennberg – Burakovsky
Donato – Gourde – Bjorkstrand
Tanev – Geekie – Sprong
Larsson – Dunn
Oleksiak – Schultz
Soucy – Borgen
Philipp Grubauer starts for Seattle, backed up by Martin Jones. Their projected extras are Eeli Tolvanen and Cale Fleury.
After being decidedly ungood in their expansion season of 2021-22, the Kraken are much, much better this season and very much in the playoff mix. So what happened? Well, their team chemistry is better than it was a year ago – they swapped out some guys that were very obviously only going to be there for a season for guys who are part of their long-term planning – and they’re a luckier team. Their five-on-five save percentage is 1.4% better and their PDO (shooting and save percentage combined) is 3.7% better. That means they’re getting a few more saves and a few more shots are trickling through the opposition.
Since their seven game winning streak was snapped on Dec. 3, the Kraken are 3-5-1. They’ve held the opposition to two goals in each of their wins. So the key to victory against Seattle: score more than two goals.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Dennis Gilbert.
The Kraken are without Chris Driedger and Joonas Donskoi.

The numbers

FlamesKraken
16Wins18
39 (.542)Points (%)40 (.625)
54.1xGF%51.8
19.3PP%21.2
80.4PK%68.9

Head to head

This is the second of three meetings between these clubs this season. Seattle mounted a third period comeback back in November, beating the Flames by a 5-3 score.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Kraken Twitter:

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