The Calgary Flames hit the road with a four game winning streak as they take on the reeling Anaheim Ducks. The Flames are tied for first place in the Pacific with the San Jose Sharks while the Ducks are 2-6-2 in their last ten and have fallen to fifth. This is the first time the two divisional opponents will square off.
There are plenty of lineup changes to go around. First, Anthony Peluso was recalled from Stockton and he’s going to start tonight in place of Garnet Hathaway. Hathaway’s stock has fallen since his two goal performance against the New York Rangers and he’s dead last on the team in relative Corsi, Fenwick, and expected goal percentages. Peluso will have to earn the chance to stick around.
Of course, the Flames wouldn’t have been able to recall Peluso without a roster spot and that came at the expense of Dillon Dube who was placed on the I.R. retroactive from November third. His spot in the lineup will be replaced with Austin Czarnik. Czarnik’s numbers are far better than Dube’s - the injury is terrible for Dube, but this is probably a net gain.
The final change - Mike Smith is in for David Rittich. Smith comes into this one with the fourth worst delta save percentage and the third worth GSAA in five-on-five play. It’s still early and the Flames are in first place, but he needs to start improving and do so very quickly or they’ll either be looking at acquiring a different goalie or mortgaging yet another promising season to lacklustre goaltending.
This one is one of those late California games - game time is at 8:30 M.S.T. Grab coffee for the morning.