FGD 8: That’s it, back to Winnipeg! (6pm MT, SN West)

Photo credit:Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
3 years ago
If you like watching the Winnipeg Jets (5-3-0, 10 points), we’ve got some good news for you! The Calgary Flames (3-3-1, 7 points) are in the ‘Peg for the first of three games in four nights with the Jets. For a Flames club that’s been streaky to begin the 2020-21 sprint, it’s a huge opportunity to bank some points and build some crucial momentum in the (Scotia NHL) North Division.
For a view from the other side, check out our frenemies over at JetsNation!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Mangiapane
Bennett – Backlund – Leivo
Lucic – Ryan – Nordstrom
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Valimaki – Nesterov
Coming off a shutout on Saturday night, Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich (who probably starts tomorrow’s game). Don’t expect any changes among the skaters who beat Montreal on the weekend, so Dominik Simon and Buddy Robinson are their extra skaters. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Connor Mackey, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Zac Rinaldo and Ryan, who will be activated for tonight’s game like he has for every game this season.
It’s the first game of a three games in four nights series with the Jets. If the Flames can sweep, they’ll find themselves three points ahead of Winnipeg with a game in hand. If the Flames get swept, they’ll find themselves nine points behind Winnipeg with a game in hand. We’ll get a good sense of the Flames’ mettle and focus, and their ability to manage their depth over the next four days. They’re carrying 27 players right now, so we’ll see how well Geoff Ward and his staff can utilize them.

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The Jets

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Copp – Scheifele – Ehlers
Connor – Stastny – Wheeler
Perreault – Lowry – Appleton
Vesalainen – Harkins – Lewis
Morrissey – Demelo
Forbort – Pionk
Stanley – Beaulieu
Connor Hellebuyck starts for the Jets, backed up by Laurent Brossoit (who probably starts tomorrow). Their extras are Anton Forsberg, Sami Niku and David Gustafsson. Their taxi squad is Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, Cole Perfetti and Nelson Nogier. Pierre-Luc Dubois remains unavailable as he works through the mandated quarantine after crossing the border.
The Jets may have lost Patrik Laine’s services via trade, and they may be without the services of three or four other regulars due to illness or injury, but they’ve found ways to win hockey games this season. They’re a well-coached team that plays a smart, structured game. They played the Flames hard on opening night and they’ll be a very tough out tonight – and on Tuesday and Thursday, too.

The numbers

Points (%)7 (.500)10 (.625)
Adjusted Corsi For51.8%50.3%
Expected Goals50.6%51.3%
Power Play29.4%19.4%
Penalty Kill80.8%72.7%

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 a 3-3-1 record and seven points. To hit 65 points, they need 58 points in their remaining 49 games – the equivalent of a .592 points percentage.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are healthy.
The Jets are without Bryan Little, Dominic Toninato and Nate Thompson. Pierre-Luc Dubois is on the COVID-19 unavailable list due to quarantine regulations, while Tucker Poolman is considered a non-roster player as he works back to game action after spending some time on the unavailable list.

When last we met

Back on Jan. 14, the Flames got out to a 3-1 lead, blew it, and lost 4-3 to the Jets in overtime. These clubs will play eight more times this season, with three of those remaining eight meetings coming this week.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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