Game Preview

February 11, 2018 – Calgary Flames @ New York Islanders

Current Record: 28-19-8

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Current Record: 27-23-6

Watch the game at 5:00 pm on Sportsnet West or listen on the radio on Sportsnet 960.

Travis Hamonic will return to Brooklyn, NY for the first time since his trade from the Islanders to the Flames this summer as those two teams do battle at the Barclays Centre tonight at 5:00 PM on Rogers Hometown Hockey!

Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives on the bubble of the picture. The Islanders have a terrific offensive attack, led by the likes of John Tavares, Mat Barzal, Josh Bailey, and Anders Lee, with Jordan Eberle, Andrew Ladd, and Brock Nelson chipping in while playing supporting roles. However, their defense has been significantly hampered this season and currently sits dead last in the NHL. Calvin De Haan and Scott Mayfield have both spent significant time on the IR while the loss of Hamonic over the summer has clearly affected the team.

Meanwhile, the Flames seemingly have opposite problems. Their defense has been terrific all season, save the odd gaffe from the still great T.J. Brodie, but they’re having a world of trouble scoring goals up front. While Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Micheal Ferland, and Matthew Tkachuk will all likely wind up with 20+ goals this season (Mikael Backlund could too with a strong finish), many of the Flames’ key supporting characters on paper have failed to produce this season. Michael Frolik scored 17 goals last season, but has just 8 this year while having battled injuries. Troy Brouwer’s 12 goals last year is down to 3. Kris Versteeg also sits at 3, also the number of months he’s missed due to a hip injury.

One place where the Flames haven’t suffered this year? Goaltending. Eddie Lack aside, the Flames have gotten terrific contributions this year from Mike Smith and David Rittich. Smith should start tonight for the Flames, while the ever-inconsistent Jaroslav Halak should go for the Isles.

Projected Flames Lines

Forwards

Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Micheal Ferland
Matthew Tkachuk Mikael Backlund Michael Frolik
Curtis Lazar Matt Stajan Ryan Lomberg
Sam Bennett Mark Jankowski Garnet Hathaway

Defence

Mark Giordano Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak Michael Stone

Starting Goalie: