Just the facts
When: Tonight, 7 PM
Where: TD Garden, Boston
How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Matchsticks and Gasoline
Know your enemy
The Flames currently sit third in the Pacific Division with a 29-19-8 record, good for 66 points. In such a competitive division and conference, every game has massive implications for the Flames’ playoff chances.
- Johnny Gaudreau: 18G-48A-66P; Sean Monahan: 27G-23A-50P; Matthew Tkachuk: 20G-19A-39P
- Mike Smith (injured): 23-16-6, 2.53 GAA, .921 SV%; David Rittich: 7-5-1, 2.20 GAA, .927 SV%
- The Bruins are coming off their weirdest game of the season, beating the Devils 5-3 on Sunday night. You can’t complain too much if you get the two points, but the Bruins were definitely not at their best, especially defensively. Pair that with Saturday’s loss to the lowly Sabres, and you’ve got a worrying trend potentially rearing its head. A solid sixty-minute effort tonight would do wonders to dispel any worries that Bruins have hit a wall.
- The Flames have been real streaky lately. They won seven straight to start 2018, then lost six straight, and have now won four of their last five.
- Mike Smith, who has been a revelation for the Flames this year, suffered an apparent groin injury at the end of Sunday’s win against the Islanders. He had to be helped off the ice and is confirmed out for this one. Instead, the Bruins will face backup David Rittich, who has been steady in limited action.
- Calgary’s top two lines (Geaudreau - Monahan - Ferland and Tkachuk - Backlund - Frolik) are a lot of fun. But their biggest strength this year has been their defensive play. The top pairing of Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton are as good a pairing as you’ll find.
- Speaking of which, welcome back Dougie!
Imagine a universe where Dougie can score from center ice on the Bruins. That universe existed last year. We’ve come a long way!