Calgary Flames versus Minnesota Wild
The Flames will meet with the Minnesota Wild tonight, and our lineup projections will start in the blue paint where it looks like the team will stick with the hot hand.
Per Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 from optional morning skate:
Based on small number of players who skated this morning, looks like Dan Vladar starts vs. Minnesota. Starter’s net empty and Markstrom working with scratches.— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) December 7, 2022
Also looks like Brett Ritchie in, Kevin Rooney out.
Will confirm at warmup. 6 pm puck drop tonight. #Flames
This will be Vladar’s sixth start in the team’s last eight games, as he has been increasingly called upon to fill in for a struggling Jacob Markstrom. This will be his first stint with three consecutive starts this season. Vladar is 4-4-1 on the season and comes into tonight sporting a .914 Save Percentage
- Kevin Rooney is back to being healthy scratched. He’ll flip-flop out of the press box with Brett Ritchie as they’ve done most of the year.
- Ritchie’s return also likely means Trevor Lewis will be shuffled back from fourth line wing to fourth line centre.
- Oliver Kylington remains away on personal leave.
- D-Man Michael Stone is officially back from Injured Reserve since November 26th against Carolina, and he has skated on the third pairing with Nikita Zadorov since.
- Connor Mackey remains scratched alongside Nick DeSimone. Despite seeing plenty of blue line minutes, Dennis Gilbert has been sent back down to the Wranglers as of November 27th.
- In the forward groupings, Adam Ruzicka looks to remain swapped off the top line but might be finding his offense again. He went pointless against Arizona but posted a three point night and a plus three with a game winning goal on Saturday against the Caps. Over the prior six games, he had one powerplay goal and one assist at a -1.
- Jonathan Huberdeau will stay cycled back up to the top trio and is hopefully rounding into form after tacking on six points over his last six games, including two powerplay helpers on Monday.
Without any last minute surprises, lines are projected as follows:
FORWARD 1: Huberdeau-Lindholm-Toffoli
FORWARD 2: Dube-Kadri-Mangiapane
FORWARD 3: Ruzicka-Backlund-Coleman
FORWARD 4: Lucic-Lewis-Ritchie
DEFENSE 1: Hanifin-Andersson
DEFENSE 2: Weegar-Tanev
DEFENSE 3: Zadorov-Stone
GOALTENDERS: Vladar (starting) Markstrom (backup)