FGD 40: Looking for revenge against the Leafs (7:30pm MT, SN West)

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Losers of eight of their last 10 games, and possibly facing a full week off before the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames (16-20-3, 35 points) trying to bounce back from a loss on Sunday night when the rematch against the team that just beat them, the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-10-3, 53 points). The Flames are still (mathematically) alive in the playoff hunt, but at this point they need some wins to build some momentum as they head towards the off-season.
The action starts at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (and Flames) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
For a view from the other side, visit the fine folks over at Leafs Nation!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Backlund – Bennett
Nordstrom – Ryan – Dube
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Stone – Nesterov
It was an optional skate this morning, so most of this is guesswork. Jacob Markstrom is tonight’s starter, backed up by David Rittich. The projected extras are Juuso Valimaki and Josh Leivo, who skated with the taxi squad this morning. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Oliver Kylington, Alex Petrovic, Buddy Robinson, Zac Rinaldo and Dominik Simon.
If you’re an optimist, well, the Flames are still mathematically alive in the playoff race! They’re six points back of Montreal… who have five games in hand. If you’re a pessimist, well, the Flames are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games and if Montreal goes .500 the rest of the way then they need to go .824 to catch them. It’s not looking great, so they really need to be focusing on building for the future.

The Maple Leafs

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Hyman – Matthews – Marner
Galchenyuk – Tavares – Nylander
Thornton – Kerfoot – Spezza
Mikhayev – Engvall – Simmonds
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Dermott – Bogosian
Jack Campbell starts for Toronto, backed up by Michael Hutchinson (probably, they’ll see how Campbell feels in the morning). Their active extra is Adam Brooks. The taxi squad is Ian Scott, Veini Vehvilainen, Alexander Barabanov, Scott Sabourin, Martin Marincin and Timothy Liljegren.
The Leafs keep plugging along! They’ve won three in a row and six of their last 10 games. They’re just good, and they have some really good players on their roster who can be – and have been – difference-makers when their club has needed them to be.
And that’s why they’re the top team in their division right now.

The numbers

Points (%)35 (.449)53 (.697)
Adjusted Corsi For51.5%51.7%
Expected Goals51.4%54.3%
Power Play20.0%23.9%
Penalty Kill80.2%77.9%

The drive to 65

If you peruse most standings projections, it becomes apparent that 65 points probably gets you into the playoffs. That’s a 32-23-1 record, or thereabouts, or a .580 points percentage.
The Flames have an 16-20-3 record, 35 points, and a .449 points percentage. They need 30 more points to punch their ticket to the post-season, the equivalent of an .882 points percentage over the remaining 17 games.
The Flames’ tragic number is 14.5. Any combination of 14.5 Calgary losses and Montreal wins eliminates the Flames from playoff contention.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are healthy.
The Leafs are without Freddie Andersen, who’s nursing an injury.

When last we met

The Flames have captured five of a possible 14 points from their games with Toronto so far, going 2-4-1. Their last meeting with the Leafs was a 4-2 loss.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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