The longest road trip of the 2021-22 season begins tonight for the Calgary Flames (7-2-3, 17 points) as they face one of their historical rivals, the Montreal Canadiens (3-10-1, 7 points). The clubs have met in two Stanley Cup Finals and an outdoor game, and they always seem to have good games against each other.
The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on television via Sportsnet West (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey) or on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Dube – Backlund – Lewis
Coleman – Monahan – Mangiapane
Lucic – Richardson – Pitlick
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
Jacob Markström starts, backed up by Dan Vladar (who presumably starts in Toronto on Friday). The projected extras are Walker Duehr, Juuso Välimäki and Michael Stone. Looks like the changes in the lineup is Dillon Dube sliding back to the wing after 10 games at centre, with Sean Monahan moving up in the rotation and Brad Richardson sliding over to the middle, along with some winger shuffling.
Advertisement
Ad
The Flames played just poorly enough to lose on Tuesday night, being out-worked and out-hustled by San Jose in the third period (and losing 4-1 as a result) but largely playing a smart hockey game otherwise. The Sharks did a good job of clogging up the middle of the ice, and you’ve got to presume that’s the book on the Flames: try to out-structure them and hope they can’t break through your defenses. Dallas and Philadelphia tried that approach on the homestand with varying results.
Tonight is the first of seven road games over 11 days, book-ended by two back-to-back sets.

The Canadiens

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Hoffman – Suzuki – Toffoli
Anderson – Dvorak – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Evans – Armia
Pezzetta – Poehling – Belzile
Chiarot – Petry
Romanov – Wideman
Kulak – Savard
Jake Allen starts for Montreal, backed up by Samuel Montembeault. Their projected extras look to be Adam Brooks and Sami Niku.
Advertisement
Ad
The Habs are the NHL’s worst team by points percentage right now, having hardly won any games. They’re a decent even strength team so far, but they’re marred by poor puck luck, bad special teams, and a slew of injuries. They’re a vulnerable bunch right now, and if the Flames can take control of this game early, it could be a good start to their road trip.

The numbers

Calgary
Montreal
Wins
7
3
Points (%)
17 (.708)
7 (.250)
Adjusted Corsi For
56.9%
50.6%
Expected Goals For
55.1%
53.0%
Power Play
24.4%
12.8%
Penalty Kill
86.1%
68.6%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Brett Ritchie.
The Canadiens are without Paul Byron, Shea Weber, Carey Price, Mathieu Perreault, Joel Edmundson, Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin.

When last we met

The Flames played Montreal nine times last season, winning six of their meetings. Montreal made the playoffs over Calgary regardless.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest: