Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets, 8PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
TV: SN1, CITY
Radio: Sportsnet 960
The Flames and Jets will tangle tonight at the Saddledome in Calgary’s home opener. The Flames are coming off a demoralizing loss where Connor McDavid took the Flames down on his own 3-0 on Wednesday night. Mike Smith was the clear highlight of the night for the Flames as he weathered the storm and kept the Flames in the game until they collapsed in the third period. It’s hard to call the second game of the season a “must win” because there’s still 80 games left, but Calgary could use a boost in the win column with what awaits them next week. Calgary has the Ducks on on Monday IN Anaheim and we all know how that goes. An 0-3 start would certainly get people talking and not in a good way. The Flames need to get their offence moving tonight if they want to win. Calgary spent most on Wednesday night in their own end and only generated 5 shots in the third when it was still a 1 goal game. The Jets should be ripe for the picking as their goaltending tandem struggled mightily in their opener.
Speaking of the tandem, Steve Mason was brought in to give young Connor Hellebuyck some relief. Hellebuyck has shown promise in his brief run with the Jets, but he doesn’t appear to be ready to handle the full load. Insert Steve Mason and.......insert 5 goals. Mason got shellacked, giving up 5 goals on 20 shots in the Jets 7-2 loss to the Leafs. Hellebuyck didn’t fare much better as he gave up 2 goals on 11 shots in mop up duty. Where the goal tending fails, there’s still Patrick Laine and the muscle provided by Dustin Byfuglien. Laine had 2 goals in the Jets 3-2 (SO) loss to the Flames in their final preseason game.
Here’s how the teams match up.
|5th Pacific||Division||4th Central|
|14th West||Conference||15th West|
|N/A||Goals||Mark Scheifele (1)|
|N/A||Points||Mark Scheifele (1)|
|Glass (5)||PIM||3 Tied w/ 2|
|Smith (.955)||Save %||Hellebuyck (.818)|
|0 (18th)||PP%||0 (19th)|
|100 (3rd)||PK%||50.0 (25th)|
|14-10-1||Overall Record VS||10-14-1|
|Flames: Smith (E)||0-1-0||2.03||.955|
|Winnipeg: Mason (E)||0-1-0||7.32||.750|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 0 Edmonton Oilers 3
The season opener didn’t go as planned, as you may have heard. Connor McDavid came close to dominating the Flames all by himself as Edmonton easily rolled past Calgary 3-0. The lone bright spot for the Flames was Mike Smith as he stood tall stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com
Winnipeg Jets 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 7
Speaking of bad season openers, the Jets got smashed in their opener by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jets goaltending tandem of Steve Mason and Connor Hellebuyck surrendered 7 goals on 33 shots, with Mason taking the majority of the blame (5 goals on 20 shots). Here’s the recap from Arctic Ice and the highlights from NHL.com
Players To Watch
Sam Bennett (C). A lot of people have their eyes on young Sam Benentt this season. He has had 2 disappointing season since being drafted and just got a new contract. Bennett looked decent in the Flames opener and could get a boost if a certain NHL legend throws on a Flames sweater tonight and joins him on the ice.
Dustin Byfuglien (D). Byfuglien is always in the scrum when the Jets play the Flames and he’s a physical presence that can get in Calgary’s heads. He only had 1 goal last season against the Flames, but he did collect 11 PIM in the 3 games Winnipeg and Calgary played last year. He picked up an assist in the Jets 7-2 loss to Toronto opening night.