Calgary Flames Game Day 65: A clash with the Avalanche (7pm MT)

Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Brought to you by odds site Betway
After an eastern road trip that saw the club lose two of three games – not good – the Calgary Flames (31-28-5, 67 points) are back at home and ready to kick off a four game homestand! But their quality of competition remains stiff as they face a strong challenge in the form of the Colorado Avalanche (40-20-5, 85 points). Can the Flames bounce back to overcome the Avs? Or will their losing streak reach three games?
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +140 underdogs against the Avalanche on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines via Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg:
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Pelletier – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Kuzmenko
Hunt – Rooney – Coronato
Kylington – Andersson
Weegar – Miromanov
Hanley – Pachal
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. We’re expecting Martin Pospisil to return to action after his three game suspension, which should have some ripple effects. Our projected extras are Dennis Gilbert, Nikita Okhotiuk and Walker Duehr. And there’s a slight reshuffling of the top two defensive pairings as the Flames attempt to find the right mix.
The Flames were excellent on Thursday against Tampa Bay. But after a decent enough start on Saturday against Florida, they’ve rattled off five periods of hockey that they’d rather forget. The Flames are at their best when they’re skating, checking and playing a high-tempo, exhausting style. When they don’t do those things, though, games can get away from them.
Keep an eye on Mikael Backlund’s line. If they can match up well with Colorado’s top guns, the Flames may have a fighting chance.

The Avalanche

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Lehkonen – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Drouin – Mittelstadt – Nichushkin
Wood – Colton – Trenin
Duhaime – Cogliano – Kiviranta
Toews – Makar
Girard – Manson
Johnson – Walker
We’re projecting Justus Annunen in net, backed up by Alexandar Georgiev. Their projected healthy extras are Fredrik Olofsson and Caleb Jones. Artturi Lehkonen reportedly didn’t participate in morning skate, so we’ll see how that impacts Colorado’s lines.
The Avalanche have made changes since the Flames last saw them a few months back, adding the likes of Casey Mittelstadt, Brendan Duhaime and Sean Walker to their lineup. Simply put: if Walker is on your third pair, you have some depth on the blueline. And that blueline group could give the Flames a ton of trouble if they’re not playing smart hockey.
As always, keep an eye on Nathan MacKinnon. He’s having a simply superb season and is a legit Hart Trophy contender this season.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, A.J. Greer, Connor Zary and Jacob Markstrom.
The Avalanche are without Gabriel Landeskog, Pavel Francouz, Logan O’Connor and Zach Parise.

The numbers

67 (.523)Points (%)85 (.654)

Head to head

This is the third and final meeting between these clubs this season. The Avalanche won both prior meetings, both of them in Denver.

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