Calgary Flames Game Day 50: The stretch drive begins in Beantown (5pm MT)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
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After over a week off, the Calgary Flames (22-22-5, 49 points) begin their march to the end of the season, and they’ll do it with a big, big test in the form of the Boston Bruins (31-9-9, 71 points). The Flames are outside of the playoff spots right now, while Boston is battling Vancouver for the top spot in the entire National Hockey League.
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and East and Ontario) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +160 underdogs against the Bruins on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Pelletier – Rooney – Duehr
Hanifin – Tanev
Weegar – Andersson
Kylington – Pachal
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Jordan Oesterle, Dennis Gilbert and Cole Schwindt. We’re expecting this to be the season debuts of Jakob Pelletier (wearing #22) and Kevin Rooney (wearing #21), and the Flames debuts of Brayden Pachal (wearing #94) and Andrei Kuzmenko (wearing #96). Got all that?
It’s the first game for the Flames without Elias Lindholm, and the team might look a bit weird. Yegor Sharangovich is playing centre on the top line! They called up basically an entire fourth line! And the team is basically half established pieces – the Kadri and Backlund lines and the top two defensive pairings – and some new-look pieces. It might take a bit for things to become cohesive, especially if more changes could be coming to the roster.
According to The Athletic, the Flames have a 21% chance of making the post-season. The numbers aren’t on their side, and they’ll probably get worse if further moves happen. But if the Flames end up missing the playoffs, expect them to go down swinging and trying to play spoiler for as many opponents as possible.

The Bruins

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Marchand – Coyle – DeBrusk
Van Riemsdyk – Zacha – Pastrnak
Lauko – Geekie – Frederic
Heinen – Boqvist – Steen
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Lindholm – Carlo
Forbort – Shattenkirk
We’re projecting Jeremy Swayman to start in net, backed up by Linus Ullmark. The projected extras is Parker Wotherspoon.
The Bruins enter this game tied with the Canucks with 71 points in 49 games, with the Canucks ahead of the Bruins in the Presidents’ Trophy race on tiebreakers. The Bruins are a pretty deep team who have lost four home games in regulation (and seven in any form) this season. They hit the All-Star break with a 7-1-2 final 10 games.
Suffice it to say, the Flames face an uphill battle as they return to action from their time away.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube and A.J. Greer.
The Bruins are without Milan Lucic and Matthew Poitras.

The numbers

49 (.500)Points (%)74 (.724)

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season. They’ll close out their season series in Calgary in just over two weeks.

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