Calgary Flames Game Day 65: A rematch in the Twin Cities (6pm MT, SNW/960)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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One day after a dramatic victory in Dallas, the Calgary Flames (28-23-13, 69 points) look to win two games in a row for the first time in 15 games when they visit the Minnesota Wild (36-21-6, 78 points). The Flames were shut out by the Wild on Saturday night and are undoubtedly looking for a measure of revenge in the rematch.
The broadcast begins at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Pelletier – Lindholm – Toffoli
Ritchie – Kadri – Huberdeau
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Dube – Lewis
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
The Flames played on Monday night and travelled, so there’s no morning skate and so we’re making a lot of assumptions about who’s playing. In short: we’ll get definitive word at warm-up. We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start, given that Jacob Markstrom has played three games in a row and was quite busy against Dallas. Monday’s extras were Dennis Gilbert, Walker Duehr and Adam Ruzicka.
The Flames were the second-best team against the Wild on Saturday. Things haven’t gone their way for much of the past month, but they battled against Dallas and seemed to find a level of tactical desperation we haven’t seen from them in awhile. If they battle against Minnesota the same way they did against Dallas, they’ll have a fighting chance – even with the back-to-back games situation.
The Flames are 2-4-2 this season in the first half of back-to-backs, but 3-2-2 in the second half of them. (In their previous seven back-to-back sets, they earned twice as many points in the second game as in the first. That’s weird.)

The Wild

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Kaprizov – Hartman – Zuccarello
Johansson – Eriksson Ek – Boldy
Foligno – Sundqvist – Gaudreau
Shaw – Dewar – Reaves
Middleton – Spurgeon
Goligoski – Dumba
Merrill – Klingberg
We’re projecting Filip Gustavsson to start in net (coming off a shutout against the Flames on Saturday), backed up by Marc-Andre Fleury. Minnesota’s extras are Sam Steel and Calen Addison. Oskar Sundqvist is expected to make his Wild debut.
While the Flames are battling for their playoff lives right now, the Wild are rounding into form seemingly. They’re 8-1-1 in their past 10 outings and are three points back to Dallas for first place in the Central Division. They’ve seemingly embraced a “grind it out” mentality, and we saw them clog up the middle of the ice against the Flames and really impose a style of game that frustrated the Flames at times. If you get behind against Minnesota, you might not generate enough good scoring chances to claw your way back into it.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Michael Stone.
The Wild are without Jonas Brodin, Gustav Nyquist and Brandon Duhaime.

It’s a race!

The Flames enter Tuesday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re tied with Nashville for ninth place, but Nashville has three games in hand.
  • They’re five points behind Colorado (for the final wild-card spot), but Colorado has three games in hand.
  • They’re nine points behind Edmonton (for the first wild-card spot), and Calgary has a game in hand.
  • They’re nine points behind Seattle (for the third Pacific Division spot), but Seattle has a game in hand.
To reach 95 points (and have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot), the Flames need 26 points over the final 18 games – that’s a .722 pace in their remaining games.
If the season ended today, by virtue of points percentage, the Flames would be drafting 13th overall (before the lottery).

The numbers

69 (.539)Points (%)78 (.619)

Head to head

This is the third and final meeting between these teams in 2022-23. They split their first two meetings in Calgary, with Minnesota shutting out the Flames at the Saddledome on Saturday.

Social life

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