Calgary Flames versus Seattle Kraken
Climate Pledge Arena
The Flames are coming off what might be their worst, and therefore most embrassing, loss of the season. They’ll have no time to pout about it, as they’re back at it again tonight on the road in the Emerald City.
We’ll start our line projections in the crease where with Jacob Markstrom starting last night, and not looking good in the process, we’ll expect Dan Vladar to get the nod tonight.
In his last start, Vladar stopped 22 of 25 in an OTW against Johnny Gaudreau’s Blue Jackets. He’s now raised his record to 10-4-4 alongside a .904 Save Percentage and 2.75 GAA. Vladar has won his last four straight starts, and this’ll be his fifth in the last eight games for the Flames.
After the Hockey Day In Canada post-game hullabaloo of his NHL debut, Jakob Pelletier will stay in the lineup for his third straight game despite any uproar of dismissal from his head coach.
Pelletier was the Flames 26th overall selection at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He has 34 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 now have more appearances than previous undersized callup Matthew Phillips, who only saw two NHL games of action.
There was a ton of line juggling last night as the game wore on, likely a shake-up response to the team’s abysmal effort. We would expect lines to revert to where they were prior to the loss, when the team was at least managing to hang-on in games. Although with Coach Sutter you never know and warmups might show us more tonight.
- The team announced on January 24th that d-man Chris Tanev will be getting some injury recovery time ahead of the All-Star Break. He injured his non-surgically repaired shoulder and will miss a pair of games in addition to getting an extra week of recovery from the break as the Flames’ bye week comes directly after the All-Star festivities. Connor Mackey skated in his stead and that will bump Nikita Zadorov up one pairing to play with Mackenzie Weegar, which will move Weegar back to his strong side. Mackey will slide in with Michael Stone on the third pairing.
- 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.
- Defender Oliver Kylington remains away on personal leave, and has not been placed on LTIR as of yet.
- 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. He was recalled again on January 26th due to the Tanev situation.
- After being a highly published healthy scratch for three games this season, Milan Lucic will remain in the lineup and in the top six. Dennis Gilbert was recalled from the Wranglers this afternoon to shore up the blue line bodies. With Mackey coming in from the press box, Adam Ruzicka will be a healthy scratch and will do so for the fourth straight game. This leaves the current active roster at 23.
- On that note, Ruzicka has finally been scratched after an earlier hot streak. Over the prior twenty-six games before sitting 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-three points in his last twenty-nine 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 a highlight-reel deke goal against Chicago on the 26th.
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)