Calgary Flames versus Columbus Blue Jackets
The Flames picked up a big pair of regulation points again the Lightning on Saturday’s Hockey Day In Canada, and they’ll look to continue righting the ship tonight as they host Johnny Hockey and the Blue Jackets.
Our projections start in the crease, where Hot Hand Dan will get another go!
Per Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960:
Dan Vladar starting tonight vs. Columbus. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) January 23, 2023
This is Vladar’s first back-to-back starter stint since earlier in the month, when he started January 12th & 14th against in consecutive wins at St. Louis and Dallas. Jacob Markstrom will hit the pine after a tough loss to the Avs last Wednesday after seeing his own two straight starts, both of which he took the loss. Vladar stopped 21 in a 6-3 win on Saturday, and is 8-0-3 in his last eleven games. His overall record sits at 9-4-4 with a .906 Save Percentage and 2.74 Goals Against Average.
After the Saturday afternoon hullabaloo of his NHL debut, Jakob Pelletier will stay in the lineup tonight despite any uproar of dismissal from his head coach.
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.
Pelletier was the Flames 26th overall selection at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He has 24 points in 31 games with the Wranglers, currently surpassing the near-PPG pace he had last year with the Stockton Heat. He clocks in at 5’9” and 160 pounds but his size isn’t limiting his usage, as he’ll match appearances with previous undersized callup Matthew Phillips who only saw two NHL games.
- 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 Adam Ruzicka will be tonight’s healthy scratches.
- Adam Ruzicka has finally been scratched after an earlier hot streak. Over the prior twenty-six games he had just two goals and twelve points and had been held off the scoresheet in eleven 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-two points in his last twenty-seven 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, as well as an empty-netter against Tampa.
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: Pelletier-Lewis-Duehr
GOALTENDERS: Vladar (starter), Markstrom (backup)