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Flames Game Day 53: A full house against the Habs (7pm MT, SN West)

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Photo credit:Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
After an arduous one game road trip that saw them beat Minnesota, the Calgary Flames (32-16-4, 70 points) are back at home! And the Scotiabank Saddledome will be full, or at least has the option of being, as the Flames host the Montreal Canadiens (13-34-7, 33 points). It’s one of the Western Conference’s top teams against one of the Eastern Conference’s worst, but can the Flames keep their momentum going? Or will this be the proverbial “trap” game?
The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT. Catch all the action on Sportsnet West or Sportsnet 960 The Fan! It’s the first game without restrictions at the Saddledome in almost two years so if you’re headed down to the ‘Dome, be patient and kind to your fellow fans (and try to have some fun).

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Johnny Gaudreau – @Elias Lindholm – @Matthew Tkachuk
@Blake Coleman – @Mikael Backlund – @Andrew Mangiapane
@Milan Lucic – @Sean Monahan – @Tyler Toffoli
@Trevor Lewis – @Brad Richardson – @Brett Ritchie
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Oliver Kylington – @Chris Tanev
@Nikita Zadorov – @Erik Gudbranson
@Jacob Markstrom is expected to start for the Flames, backed up by @Daniel Vladar. The Flames’ extras appear to be @Dillon Dube, @Adam Ruzicka and @Brad Richardson. Don’t expect any changes from a Flames group that swept a pair of games against Minnesota over the past week.
It’s the @Tyler Toffoli revenge game, as the Flames’ latest big acquisition – with apologies to Michael McNiven – faces his old team. Toffoli has seven points in his first seven games with the Flames, and will likely look to commemorate his time with the Habs with a big performance against his old club.
The Flames have won 12 of their last 13 games. Dating back to their return from the COVID-19 shutdown on Dec. 30, they’re 17-7-0 in their last 24 games (a .708 pace).

The Canadiens

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Cole Caufield – @Nick Suzuki – @Josh Anderson
@Mike Hoffman – @Laurent Dauphin – @Brendan Gallagher
@Rem Pitlick – @Jake Evans – @Artturi Lehkonen
@Michael Pezzetta – @Ryan Poehling – @Joel Armia
@Alexander Romanov – @Ben Chiarot
@Brett Kulak – @Jeff Petry
@Chris Wideman – @ Corey Schueneman
Since they’ve been alternating goalies, @Andrew Hammond likely starts for the Habs, backed up by @Samuel Montembeault. Their projected extras are @Cedric Paquette, @Mathieu Perreault and @Kale Clague. Sorry kids, no @Tyler Pitlick revenge game as he is injured.
The Habs aren’t going to make a repeat visit to the Stanley Cup Final, folks. Heck, they probably aren’t even going to the playoffs – as of this morning, The Athletic gives them a 0% chance of making the dance. But they’re trying to make the final third of the season productive as new general manager Kent Hughes begins to tweak and prod his roster – and in some cases sell assets off wholesale for picks and prospects.
They’re not a good team this season, but they’re a team that is primed to play spoiler down the stretch under new head coach Martin St. Louis. Underestimate them at your peril.

The numbers

CalgaryMontreal
Wins3213
Points (%)70 (.673)33 (.306)
Adjusted Corsi For57.4%45.8%
Expected Goals For55.7%45.9%
Power Play23.2%12.4%
Penalty Kill84.9%73.1%

Unfit to play

The Flames are healthy.
The Canadiens are without Carey Price, Shea Weber, Jonathan Drouin, Christian Dvorak, David Savard, Joel Edmundson, Paul Byron, Jake Allen and Tyler Pitlick.

When last we met

The Flames visited Bell Centre back in November and lost 4-2 to the Habs. Tonight is their final meeting of the season.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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