Geoff Ward is not messing around, that’s for sure. The “new look” Flames will take on the Sabres tonight and bodies have been moved EVERYWHERE through the lineup. Ward has sent Johnny Gaudreau to the third line (yes, he broke up that juggernaut 3rd trio), Andrew Mangiapane to the top line, Sean Monahan to the second line and added Matthew Tkachuk to the top line.
Punishment? Kick starter? Slump buster? Could be a little of everything, but what hasn’t been working all season is the status quo. Calgary’s best players haven’t been the best and maybe a little movement through the lineup will be good for this squad. Tkachuk and Mangiapane certainly have earned the right to play with Elias Lindholm, but maybe a stint on the 3rd line and not going up against the opposition’s best players is what someone like Johnny Gaudreau needs to get going. Though it’s kind of frightening if that’s the scenario for one of your highest paid players.
As usual, David Rittich will man the crease and do all he can to try and get the Flames their first three game winning streak of the season.
Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane
Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund - Dillon Dube
Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Johnny Gaudreau
Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Michael Frolik
Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson