Calgary Flames Game Day 79: The Flames attempt to take a stand against the Jets (5:30pm MT, SNW/960)

Photo credit:Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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On Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames (36-27-15, 87 points) pushed themselves back from the cusp of a playoff spot with a disappointing loss to the bottom-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks. On Wednesday night, they head to Manitoba to face the Winnipeg Jets (43-31-3, 89 points) in what more or less amounts to the Flames’ last real chance to reel in the Jets for the final Western Conference playoff berth. It is an incredibly consequential game for the Flames in both the small and big pictures.
The broadcast begins at 5:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and the national feed) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Backlund – Mangiapane
Ritchie – Kadri – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Duehr
Weegar – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Zadorov – Stecher
It’s the second half of a back-to-back, so we won’t have much lineup information until warm-up. We’re projecting Jacob Markstrom to start for the Flames, yet again. He’s backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Michael Stone, Dennis Gilbert, Jakob Pelletier, Adam Ruzicka and Matt Coronato. Based on how Darryl Sutter has handled the lineup for the last while, we’re not expecting many changes.
The Flames have been really good in the second half of back-to-backs this season, earning twice as many points as in the first halves – that’s weird, we know. Their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and quite simply, they need to win this game to stay functionally alive in the playoff chase. That means figuring out a way to get ahead of the Jets and stay ahead of the Jets, by hook or by crook.

The Jets

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Connor – Dubois – Scheifele
Ehlers – Namestnikov – Wheeler
Niederreiter – Lowry – Appleton
Barron – Stenlund – Maenalanen
Morrissey – DeMelo
Dillon – Pionk
Samberg – Schmidt
We’re projecting Connor Hellebuyck to start in net, backed up by Flames alumnus David Rittich. The projected extras are Karson Kuhlman, David Gustafsson, Logan Stanley, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Sam Gagner and Kyle Capobianco.
The Jets have been super inconsistent lately, but they’ve been great over the last couple of games, putting up 12 goals and winning both at a time where both Calgary and Nashville were trying to chase them down. The Jets can take a big step towards cementing a playoff spot with a win over Calgary.
Expect a focused, dialed-in Jets team and a playoff-like atmosphere.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Jets are without Cole Perfetti

The playoff race

The Flames enter Sunday’s games chasing a few teams:
  • They’re three points ahead of Nashville (for ninth place), but Nashville has two games in hand.
  • They’re two 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.
To reach 95 points (and have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot), the Flames need 8 points over the final 4 games – that’s a 1.000 pace in their remaining games.
The Flames’ elimination number is 3. Any combination of Flames losses or Winnipeg wins totalling 3 eliminates Calgary from playoff contention. The Flames’ magic number is 6.5. Any combination of Flames wins or Winnipeg losses totalling 6.5 eliminates the Jets from playoff contention.

The numbers

87 (.558)Points (%)89 (.578)

Head to head

This is the season series finale between these clubs. They’ve split their first two meetings via 3-2 games; the Flames won in Calgary, the Jets won in Winnipeg.

Social life

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