Friends, let’s take this one outside.
The Calgary Flames (6-5-1, 13 points) begin a season-high five game road trip tonight. And what better way to begin a two week road trip than in beautiful Regina, Saskatchewan, where the Flames will play outside under the lights at Mosaic Stadium against the Winnipeg Jets (5-6-0, 10 points)?
In a unique quirk, it’s an outdoor game between the two franchises to relocate from Atlanta (or any American city) to Canadian markets. Hence, this meeting between the former Atlanta Flames and Thrashers can also be called the Last Battle of Atlanta.
The puck drops at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Monahan – Bennett
Lucic – Backlund – Frolik
Quine – Ryan – Rieder
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson
David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot (dressing as backup for the fourth time in an NHL outdoor game). Michael Stone and Mark Jankowski are the club’s healthy extra bodies for the evening.
The Flames have been, in a word, inconsistent. They’ve been win-one, lose-one for much of the season, and often it’s unclear how they’re going to play from one period to the next. The good news is they play a much simpler, direct game on the road – which is to say they don’t get too fancy with the puck – and starting the first of two five-game trips this season outdoors will be a great way to get them back to basics.
The Flames are a deep, talented team who can do great things if they stick to the program. If they don’t? Well, just recall their meetings with Vegas and Los Angeles this season.
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Ehlers – Schiefele – Wheeler
Connor – Little – Laine
Copp – Lowry – Roslovic
Perreault – Gustafsson – Bourque
Morrissey – Kulikov
Pionk – Poolman
Dahlstrom – Bitteto
Connor Hellebuyck starts for the Jets, backed up by Laurent Brossoit. Winnipeg’s projected extras are Luca Sbisa and Ville Heinola, whose days in the NHL may be numbered for right now.
The Jets are a team that should be better, but they’ve been ravaged by injuries on their blueline which, combined with trades and an uncertain fate for Dustin Byfuglien, has left them limping. They have a ton of smart fowards and firepower, but arguably only Josh Morrissey is a high-end blueliner in their group.
The weather at puck drop could be quite interesting:
- Environment Canada forecasts -4, mainly cloudy and 40 km/h NW winds with 60 km/h gusts
- AccuWeather forcasts -5 with snow and 28 km/h NW winds with 35 km/h gusts
- The Weather Network forecasts -3 with scattered flurries and 30 km/h NW winds with 45 km/h gusts
In short? It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be windy, and it might snow.
The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body).
The Jets are missing D Dustin Byfuglien (general state of body), D Nathan Beaulieu (upper body), F Mark Letestu (undisclosed) and F Mason Appleton (lower body).
Mason Appleton broke a bone in his foot “trying to intercept a football,” during the pre-practice warm-up here at Mosaic Stadium, coach Paul Maurice confirms. #NHLJets forward will miss multiple weeks. Maurice said your heart breaks for Appleton. #wfp
— Mike McIntyre (@mikemcintyrewpg) October 26, 2019
When Last We Met
The Flames and Jets met three times last season – twice in Winnipeg and once in Calgary. The Flames won two of their three games, but their latest meeting on Mar. 16 was a 2-1 win by the Jets.
Know Thy Enemy
Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: