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Calgary Flames Game Day 40: A quick trip to Chi-Town (1pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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Just over 24 hours after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Calgary Flames (17-17-5, 39 points) are aiming to finish off their four game road trip on a positive note. To do so, they’ll need to overcome the Chicago Blackhawks (11-26-2, 24 points), one of the most injury-ravaged teams in the NHL… and one that’s near the basement of the league’s standings.
The broadcast begins at 1 p.m. MT on Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as -250 favourites against the Blackhawks on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Hanifin – Tanev
Andersson – Weegar
Oesterle – DeSimone
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. The projected extras look to be Walker Duehr and rookie Yan Kuznetsov. Typically the Flames haven’t made too many changes to lineups during their back-to-back sets, but we’ll see what things look like at warm-up.
So here’s the deal with the Flames: they’re a pretty good five-on-five team. Are they scary-good? Nope. But they’re a team that has the ability to roll four lines, dictate pace, and wear their opponents down. Against Philadelphia they were a bit over-matched, but it was all the special teams time that disrupted their flow and seemed to cost them a chance at points.
If the Flames can stay out of the penalty box and play their game at five-on-five, they should have a chance. Yes, even against Chicago.

The Blackhawks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Donato – Reichel – Kurashev
Guttman – Dickinson – Blackwell
Katchouk – Entwhistle – Johnson
Pitlick – Seney – Sanford
Tinordi – Murphy
Vlasic – Megna
Korchinski – Zaitsev
We’re projecting Petr Mrazek to start in net, backed up by Arvid Soderblom. (Chicago’s been alternating goaltenders lately.) The projected extras look to be Isaak Phillips and Louis Crevier.
So… Chicago’s not very good. They weren’t expected to be good this season, and they’ve lost a lot of games. To add injury to insult, they’re currently missing nine projected regular players, including Calder Trophy frontrunner Connor Bedard. Needless to say, it’s been a long winter already in Chicago, and the second half of it doesn’t look to be much better.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney and Dennis Gilbert.
The Blackhawks are without Seth Jones, Taylor Hall, Tyler Johnson, Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Beauvillier, Nick Foligno, Connor Bedard, Joey Anderson and Taylor Raddysh.

The numbers

FlamesBlackhawks
17Wins11
39 (.500)Points (%)24 (.308)
50.5%
(15th)
xGF%41.7%
(32nd)
12.1%
(30th)
PP%13.0%
(29th)
84.7%
(5th)
PK%74.8%
(26th)

Head to head

This is the first of three games between these teams this season. They’ll meet again in Calgary in late January, and then finish the series back in Chicago at the end of March.

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