The Flames may be down a starting goalie, but they still pose a serious threat to the Nashville Predators. There are no easy games in today’s NHL.
The Pacific Division might be weaker than the Central but any given team can win on any given night. The Calgary Flames are still loaded with talent and could make the Nashville Predators look foolish if they decide to play another game like they did on Tuesday. While the Blues game was fun and exciting, it’s a coaches nightmare and one that distills a bit of fear into fans. Comeback kids are fun, but they rarely make it past the second round.
Calgary comes to town on the second game of a four-game homestand, and they mean business as they’re in the playoff race. Unfortunately their starting goaltender, Mike Smith, is injured and will be out for this game. Troy Brouwer and Kris Versteeg will also be unavailble.
Too Hot, Hot Darn
I’m not allowed to curse, so this heading is what we’re left with. Johnny Gaudreau headlines a deadly top line and could be a Hart trophy contender in any other year. He currently has 67 points in 57 games and is a dominating force. Johnny Hockey may not be physically imposing, but he’s so slippery in the corners and almost impossible to pin down. His passing is also top five in the league today, as he’s turned Micheal Ferland into a 20 goal scorer.
Sean Monahan, aka Mr. Boring, is becoming an incredible two-way center. At the very least, he’s reminiscent of a young Jonathan Toews or Anze Kopitar. Mr. Moneyhands hasn’t scored at Gaudreau’s pace, but he does have 27 goals and 50 points in 56 games and is extremely clutch with 10 game-winning goals.
The next player I want to mention isn’t a player, but actually a line. The 3M line consists of Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik and they’re incredible. Whether it’s the eye test or advanced analytics, the line is almost dominant. They’ll face the JoFA line and do their best to make them invisible.
Continuing on without focusing on one player, the Flames’ blueline is exquisite. Probably the third or fourth best defense in the entire NHL. Dougie Hamilton, Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie make up an impeccable offensive top three. Travis Hamonic and Michael Stone are also fun pieces in the bottom three that are good on the penalty kill.
The Nashville Predators
The lineup is the same as Tuesday.
- Make Kenny Loggins proud: Control the corners and get the puck to a certain, DANGER ZONE. More specifically, the high danger zones.
- Don’t let their D play in transition: The Flames’ defense is so good at getting the puck out of the zone before a forecheck can be applied. This can be beaten by not reverting to a dump and chase system.
Where To Watch
The match will be on Fox Sports Tennessee at 7 PM. You can listen on 102.5 The Game.