Calgary Flames versus Colorado Avalanche
The Flames are back home after wrapping their five-game road trip on Monday in Nashville with a regulation loss. All told, it was their only regulation loss on the trip and they’ll try to keep turning the corner tonight in familiar quarters as the defending Stanley Cup Champions come to town.
We start our projections in the crease, where we won’t see any change from Monday.
Per Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960:
Jacob Markstrom starting tonight vs. Colorado. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) January 18, 2023
A lack of run support sank Markstrom against the Predators, so he’ll get another crack at it tonight after stopping 27 of 29 shots on Monday. He’ll now go back-to-back after Dan Vladar did it for a pair on the 10th & 12th. Markstrom carries an .894 Save Percentage matched with a 2.81 Goals Against Average so far this year. He has a 13-11-5 record overall.
In other recent roster news, Dennis Gilbert and Radim Zohorna were sent back down to the AHL as of December 29th, but Zohorna was recalled one day later on December 30th. Other Wranglers making the trip down the hallway are Walker Duehr and Jakob Pelletier who were recalled on January 7th. With Zohorna heading back down the other way as of January 13th, this leaves the active roster at 22 for the time being.
With no changes in the crease, we also expect no changes to forward lines or defensive pairings.
- Brett Ritchie exited the New Year’s Eve game against Vancouver with what appeared to be a wrist injury. He saw a specialist for it on January 3rd and has been placed on retroactive Injured Reserve as of January 8th. The retroactive placement sees him technically eligible to return anytime now, it’s just dependent on the functionality and severity of the injury.
- D-Man Chris Tanev had missed four games since suffering a head injury against Montreal on December 12th. He made his return December 20th and skated on the second pair with Mackenzie Weegar and looks to remain there for the time being.
- Defender Oliver Kylington remains away on personal leave.
- Dennis Gilbert has been up and down like a roller coaster. The defender was sent back down to the Wranglers as of November 27th and recalled on December 18th, and spent a stint on IR before being recalled December 28th, then sent down again the next day.
- After being a highly published healthy scratch for three games this season, Milan Lucic will remain in the lineup and in the top six. Connor Mackey and Jakob Pelletier will be tonight’s healthy scratches.
- In the forward groupings, Adam Ruzicka doesn’t look to be headed back to the top line anytime soon after an earlier hot streak. Over the prior twenty-five games he has two goals and twelve points and has been held off the scoresheet in ten straight contests.
- Jonathan Huberdeau will stay in the top six but remain on the second line since being swapped with Dillon Dube. Huberdeau is hopefully rounding into form after tacking on twenty-one points in his last twenty-five games. His best performance so far was three assists against the Sharks on December 20th. He also scored the big GWG against the Kraken on December 28th, and recently chipped in two assists against Dallas on January 14th.
Barring any major changes when lineups are submitted, they are projected as follows:
FORWARD 1: Dube-Lindholm-Toffoli
FORWARD 2: Lucic-Kadri-Huberdeau
FORWARD 3: Mangiapane-Backlund-Coleman
FORWARD 4: Lewis-Ruzicka-Duehr
GOALTENDERS: Markstrom (starter), Vladar (backup)