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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Boston Bruins 10/17/18 (6/82): The Challenges Keep Coming

Calgary’s faced some tough challenges, but nothing so far like the Bruins trio of Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Boston Bruins, 7:30 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 3-2-0 (6 points) - Boston Bruins 4-1-0 (8 points)

NHL Standings

The Flames will start a mini 2 game home stand by taking on the red hot Boston Bruins Wednesday night. The schedule makes have been kind in giving the Flames a few days off to heal up, but the teams they’ve lined them up with haven’t been exactly easy. Calgary has played Nashville, St. Louis, Colorado, now Boston and they follow the B’s up with Nashville again before hitting the road. The good news is, outside of a clunker against the Blues the Flames have been more than up for the task, taking down the Predators and Avalanche for 2 of their 3 wins.

The Bruins present a ton of obstacles for the the Flames, mainly in terms of their speed and ability to take games over very quickly. Calgary has had to contend with some of the NHL’s best top lines so far this season, but the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak is a completely different nightmare. Calgary struggled early in Denver with the duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, but this could get out of hand really quickly if the Flames can’t slow down this Bruins trio. All 3 Bruins forwards are in the top 10 in points, Pastrnak is second in goals (7), Marchand is second in assists (9) and combined they have 4 PPG. So, you know, nothing special. With that said, the Flames top line isn’t filled with a bunch of slouches either. Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm have combined for 20 points and 5 PPG.

Where the Flames could gain some ground is with Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goaltender hasn’t been as sharp as he normally is, giving up 10 goals in his 3 starts. Boston has rotated Rask and Halak every other game so far this season and while the results have been favorable record-wise, you’d have to think one of their keepers needs to step up and take the reigns. If the Flames can get the jump early and put a few pucks in the net that could help Mike Smith out at the other end of the ice. Washington jumped all over the Bruins keeper opening night en route to a 7-0 victory. That should be the Flames strategy: score early and often and get Tuukka on the ropes early.

In the end it comes down to the Flames being able to stop Boston’s top trio. Calgary, despite an auspicious start, did a very good job slowing down Colorado’s potent offence Saturday night. The Bruins haven’t exactly been the best house guests over the years, winning 4 out the last 6 games they’ve played at the Saddledome.

Starting Goalies

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 2-2-0 3.56 0.881
Bruins: Rask (E) 2-1-0 4.08 0.881

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Boston Bruins Coverage: Stanley Cup Of Chowder

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 - Colorado Avalanche 2 (OT)

Boston Bruins 8 - Detroit Red Wings 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames: Elias Lindholm (F)

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Lindholm has settled in quite nicely on the Flames top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. As the major prize in the draft day trade with Carolina, Lindholm is living up to expectations and making the loss of Micheal Ferland and Dougie Hamilton seem like no big deal. He leads the Flames in goals (4), has 2 PPG and is 3rd on the team in points with 6.

Boston Bruins: David Pastrnak (F)

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What Pastrnak has done since coming into the league has been amazing and in 2017-18 he just got better. Last season the Czech Republic native reached the 80 point plateau for the first time and this season he looks well on his way to another outstanding campaign. He leads the Bruins in goals with 7, collecting 3 of those in a 8-2 thumping of the Detroit Red Wings. He has 4 goals in his last 5 games against the Flames.