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Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets game preview: Something something jets and fire bad combo

The Jets are just one spot above the Flames in the wild card standings. They're catchable. Let's catch them. A win tonight would go a long way towards that...

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

We are now at the halfway point of the Calgary Flames' six-game homestand. So far, the Flames have a 2-1-0 record, with victories over the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, and a loss to the Minnesota Wild. Next up is the Winnipeg Jets in the teams' second of three meetings this season. The Flames already beat Winnipeg once before, as back on Oct. 19, 2014, they cruised their way to a 4-1 victory. The most notable thing about it? It was Johnny Gaudreau's first game since being a healthy scratch, and it was also the first time he put up points this season: a goal and an assist. Since then, he's gone on a tear, and is currently second in rookie scoring. It's been nice.

While he didn't score in the last game, he came close. Keith Aulie took it away from him, as the Flames fell to an early 2-0 deficit against the Oilers, before coming back with a hilarious and fun four-goal third period. Sean Monahan was trying to pass the puck to Gaudreau in front of the net, but it never made it there, simply going in instead for the game winner. The other midget, Paul Byron, broke his goal scoring drought of 28 games, and Lance Bouma had the first multi-goal game of his career to seal the fourth straight win over Edmonton this season. | RecapStatsBoxscore | How's the rebuild going Edmonton?

The Jets, meanwhile, are... better than the Oilers. They're in a playoff spot, for one. The very playoff spot above the Flames! And they're all of a sudden looking... vulnerable? The Jets have a three-point lead on the Flames, but with a game in hand, AND two fewer ROWs. So they're a catchable target, especially now that they've lost three straight. The Jets closed out January with a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, followed by a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and then a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars. Potential Calder candidate Michael Hutchinson gave up nine of those goals, Ondrej Pavelec gave up four, and the empty net gave up two. The empty net is a plug.

So what I'm ultimately saying here is the Flames are scoring five goals tonight. Probably. Or not. I don't know. Does anybody, really? Anyway, our friends at Arctic Ice Hockey will have more information for you!

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT

Channel: SNW, TSN3 in Jets region

All-time record: When you've got a younger franchise that took root in the other conference, you don't have that big a history between you. Calgary leads the Battle of Former Atlanta Teams with a 9-7-1-0 record, and a +8 goal differential.

Common threads: The Jets signed former Flame TJ Galiardi in the off-season. The Flames signed former Jet Devin Setoguchi. The Flames sent Setoguchi down. The Jets sent Galiardi down. Galiardi has been recalled due to injury. Setoguchi has... not. Good show all around, fellas.

Also, former Flame Adam Pardy, of Bonavista, Newfoundland has been a Winnipeg defenceman for two seasons now. He's played 29 games for the Jets so far this season, but hasn't dressed since Jan. 8.

Also also, Adam Lowry is former Flame Dave Lowry's son. Remember him?

Approaching milestones: Tonight's the night! The night of Mark Giordano's 500th NHL game!! Our esteemed captain, All-Star, and the next Norris Trophy winner began his career as an undrafted camp invitee who was about to go to business school. Instead he played in the minors, played in Russia, became a top four defenceman, became an alternate captain, became a top two defenceman, and then ended up being the best defenceman in the entire league, scoring the most while playing in the most difficult circumstances of them all. So. Congrats Gio, what a long and eventful road you've taken. We love you never leave us.

Current records and leaders

Calgary Flames Winnipeg Jets
Record: 27-19-3: 57 points Record: 26-17-8: 60 points
Pacific Division: 4th Central Division: 4th
Western Conference: 8th Western Conference: 6th
Goal Differential: +15 Goal Differential: +10
Time on ice
Defence: TJ Brodie (25:08 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:27 per game)
Defence: Toby Enstrom (24:05 per game)
Forward: Andrew Ladd (19:42 per game)
Goals: Sean Monahan (16)
Assists: Mark Giordano (31)
Points: Mark Giordano (42)
Goals: Andrew Ladd
Bryan Little (18)
Assists: Andrew Ladd
Blake Wheeler (24)
Points: Andrew Ladd (42)
Shots on goal: Mark Giordano (126)
Shooting percentage: Josh Jooris (18.9%)
Shots on goal: Blake Wheeler (155)
Shooting percentage: Bryan Little (18.6%)
Faceoff Leaders
Sean Monahan (50.1%, 1118 taken) Bryan Little (48.6%, 1100 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (47)
Hits: Lance Bouma (163)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (152)
Penalty minutes: Dustin Byfuglien (97)
Hits: Dustin Byfuglien (153)
Blocked shots: Mark Stuart (89)
ES Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)
Corsi for%: Mark Giordano (47.9%, 50 GP)
Josh Jooris (47.8%, 35 GP) 
Jiri Hudler (47.8%, 47 GP)
Fenwick for%: Josh Jooris (51.3%, 35 GP)
Johnny Gaudreau (49.1%, 49 GP)
Corsi for%: Blake Wheeler (55.7%, 51 GP)
Mathieu Perreault (55.0%, 48 GP)
Fenwick for%: Ben Chiarot (55.3%, 26 GP)
Blake Wheeler (55.1%, 51 GP)

Possible starting lineups

Calgary Flames
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Mikael Backlund David Jones
Mason Raymond Josh Jooris Joe Colborne
Brandon Bollig Matt Stajan Paul Byron
Left Defense Right Defense
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dennis Wideman
Rafa Diaz Deryk Engelland
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

Winnipeg Jets
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Andrew Ladd Bryan Little Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault Mark Scheifele Michael Frolik
Evander Kane Adam Lowry Chris Thorburn
TJ Galiardi Jim Slater Anthony Peluso
Left Defense Right Defense
Tobias Enstrom Dustin Byfuglien
Ben Chiarot Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart Jacob Trouba
Michael Hutchinson
Ondrej Pavelec

Brandon Bollig continues to dress for the Flames. Brandon Bollig's coach knows he's useless (that's why he only gave him 18 seconds at the start of the third period when down by two), but continues to dress him anyway. Brandon Bollig couldn't even get five minutes of ice time against the Edmonton Oilers, but he has a permanent roster spot.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="">#Flames</a> Mikael Backlund is sick and not on the ice. He&#39;s expected to play tonight but Sven Baertschi is skating on his line this morning.</p>&mdash; Derek Wills (@Fan960Wills) <a href="">February 2, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Yeah screw you, Baertschi. And Wotherspoon, too, I guess.

I genuinely don't get it and wish someone would explain. Holy crap. Just send the kids down and let them play if this is the garbage we're all being subjected to.