Calgary Flames Game Day 62: The Leafs visit for final game before the trade deadline (7pm MT, SNW/960)

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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Two days after an overtime heartbreaker against the best team in the National Hockey League, the Calgary Flames (27-21-13, 67 points) are back in action! And the opposition doesn’t get much easier, as they face a very good Toronto Maple Leafs (37-16-8, 82 points) side that’s likely smarting after a one-sided loss to Edmonton on Wednesday evening. It’s an all-Canadian clash and a big test for a Flames team that needs many, many points to stay afloat in the playoff race.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
For a look from the other side, check out The Leafs Nation!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Pelletier – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Gilbert
We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start in net, backed up by Dan Vladar. Markstrom relieved Vladar in the second period against Boston and was really good the rest of the way. The expected extras are Connor Mackey, Adam Ruzicka and Brett Ritchie.
If you’re Flames head coach Darryl Sutter, what’s your message to your team after the Boston loss? “Just do that again”? The Flames were dominant and it was mistakes, miscues and bad puck luck – a bad goal against and no big goal scored – that led to the outcome they got. The structure of the Flames’ game seems sound, but their execution of key details at key times needs to be sharper. (And yes, we’re well-aware that we’ve been singing this song all season long.)

The Maple Leafs

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Bunting – Matthews – Marner
Tavares – O’Reilly – Nylander
Kerfoot – Kampf – Jarnkrok
Acciari – Lafferty
Rielly – Holl
McCabe – Brodie
Giordano – Gustafsson
It’s the second half of a back-to-back for Toronto. All we really know is that Joseph Woll starts for Toronto in net, backed up by Ilya Samsonov. Their projected extras are Timothy Liljegren, Conor Timmons and Zach Aston-Reese. Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson make their Leafs debuts, and Toronto will go 11 forwards and seven defenders.
The Leafs were not very good against Edmonton, seemingly taken aback by Edmonton’s speed and structure. We’ll see how they do playing their second game of a back-to-back set against a pretty tenacious Flames team. The Leafs have depth all over their lineup and their high-end players – looking at you, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander (Alex’s brother) – are really good offensively. The big question for the Leafs has been, and may always be, how well they can execute away from the puck. Several of their recent acquisitions have seemingly been designed to help with that.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Leafs are without Jake Muzzin, Carl Dahlstrom, Victor Mete, Matt Murray and Nick Robertson.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Thursday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re five points behind Winnipeg (for the final wild-card spot).
  • They’re five points behind Seattle (for the first wild-card spot), but Seattle has a game in hand.
  • They’re seven points behind Edmonton (for the third Pacific Division spot), and the Flames have a game in hand.
Nashville is three points behind the Flames, and they have three games in hand.

The numbers

FlamesMaple Leafs
67 (.549)Points (%)82 (.672)

Head to head

This is the season finale between these two clubs. The Flames lost 5-4 in overtime in Toronto back in December in what was a really good hockey game.

Social life

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