Calgary Flames Game Day 6: An afternoon clash in Detroit (3pm MT)

Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
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After 10 days away from home, the Calgary Flames (2-2-1, 5 points) close out their longest road trip of the 2023-24 season on Sunday afternoon when they head to the Motor City to face the Detroit Red Wings (4-1-0, 8 points). The Red Wings are returning home after a win on Saturday night in Ottawa, while the Flames have 60(-ish) minutes of hockey between them and a night in their own beds.
The broadcast begins at 3 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Ruzicka – Lindholm – Coronato
Huberdeau – Kadri – Dube
Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
Greer – Sharangovich
– Duehr
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Oesterle
There’s no morning skate due to the early start time, but we’re anticipating (guessing) that Jacob Markstrom starts with Dan Vladar backing up – Vladar has played once this season, and it seems more likely to us that the Flames throw Markstrom in net twice over a three day span than Vladar twice in a four day span. Update: Nope, Dan Vladar is starting.
The projected extra skater is Dryden Hunt. With Rasmus Andersson unavailable due to his suspension, Jordan Oesterle slots back in and the defensive pairings are likely shuffled up.
The Flames have shown good and bad on this road trip. On one hand, they get a ton of shots and when they manage the puck well, they can play a style of game that absolutely wears their opponents down and causes them to make oodles of mistakes in their own end. On the other hand, the Flames themselves are prone to mistakes in their own end – with the puck and without it – and while the general shape of their game is pretty strong, they need better details within that shape.
It’s early and there are reasons to be optimistic, but points lost in October can be the reason a hockey team, hypothetically, misses the post-season by two or three points in April.

The Red Wings

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Debrincat – Larkin – Raymond
Rasmussen – Compher – Copp
Perron – Veleno – Sprong
Czarnik – Fischer
Walman – Seider
Chiarot – Petry
Holl – Gostisbehere
James Reimer is expected to start, backed up by Ville Husso. Their extras on Saturday in Ottawa were Alex Lyon, Klim Kostin and Jonatan Berggren. It’s the second half of a back-to-back, with travel, so we likely see some lineup changes for the Winged Wheel as they return home.
The Red Wings lost their opening game of the season to New Jersey. But since then, they’ve rattled off four wins in a row against Tampa Bay, Columbus, Pittsburgh and Ottawa. They haven’t been helped or hindered by their schedule, but they’ve faced a decent cross-section of Eastern Conference foes and fared well. They’re still a maturing young team, but they’re probably closer to being a tough out (and a legit good team) than many realize.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier, Kevin Rooney and Rasmus Andersson.
The Red Wings are without Robby Fabbri.

The numbers

FlamesRed Wings
5 (.500)Points (%)8 (.800)

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these clubs this season. They’ll meet again in Calgary in mid-February.

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