Calgary Flames Game Day 58: Back to school against the Coyotes (7:30pm MT, SNW/SN1/960)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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With just 25 games left in the regular season, the Calgary Flames (26-20-11, 63 points) need to learn how to close out games, and fast. So what better place to learn than the stately confines of Arizona State University, when they make their first-ever visit to Mullett Arena to face the Arizona Coyotes (20-28-9, 49 points)? The Flames need to make the grade and grab some points, otherwise they might just flunk out of the Western Conference playoff pack.
The broadcast begins at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Pelletier – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. The projected extras are Connor Mackey, Brett Ritchie and Adam Ruzicka.
The Flames are creeping towards the trade deadline and the final quarter of the regular season, and it’s a bit wacky how they haven’t really hit their stride yet. The Flames haven’t really clicked together all of their disparate pieces like they did last season after everybody on the team got COVID. As such, the entire outfit seems good, but not all-together cohesive as a five-man unit (or a 20+ man team). And the clock is ticking for them to figure out how to fit the puzzle pieces together.
On paper, the Flames should be able to beat Arizona. But it feels like we’ve seen this film before, as recently as Monday afternoon’s loss to Philadlephia.

The Coyotes

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Keller – Hayton – Schmaltz
Maccelli – Bjugstad – Crouse
Ritchie – Boyd – Fischer
O’Brien – McBain
Valimaki – Gostisbehere
Nemeth – Moser
Stecher – Brown
Karel Vejmelka is expected to start in net for the Coyotes, backed up by Connor Ingram. Their healthy extra is Zack Kassian. Jacob Chychrun is out day-to-day for “trade related reasons.” We wouldn’t bet on seeing him in action.
The Coyotes aren’t a great team this season. They’re decidedly sub-.500. But they’re also not as bad as you think they are. They have a winning record on home ice this season, and they’ve developed into a scrappy underdog team under head coach Andre Tourigny. They’re still a few seasons from marinating into a really good team, but they have a young team, lots of cap space and an insane amount of draft capital for future seasons.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Coyotes are without Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Wednesday’s action four points behind Minnesota for the second Western Conference wild-card spot. (They’re seven points behind Edmonton for the first wild-card, with the Flames holding a game in hand, and seven points behind Seattle for the third Pacific Division spot.)

The numbers

63 (.553)Points (%)49 (.430)

Head to head

This is the second of three meetings between these teams this season. The Flames beat the Coyotes by a 3-2 score back in December. They’ll meet once more at Mullett Arena in March.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Coyotes Twitter:

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