A Dying Seconds Win Over the Stars — Game Day Thoughts vs. Wild
Is anyone else in utter disbelief of the results of last night’s 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars?
Despite giving up not one, but two two-goal leads, the Flames managed to snatch victory from the jaws of overtime by means of a Tyler Toffoli breakaway goal set up by Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.
Two trains of thought there.
Yes! We Should Win!
The team and the fanbase needs the positivity at this point. This season has been gut punch after gut punch.
So what if a late push falls just short? That sounds a lot more entertaining than the alternative. Winnipeg also has a pretty difficult schedule in the next five. Wild, Panthers, Lightning, Hurricanes, Bruins.
The Flames, meanwhile, have a fairly easy remaining schedule in terms of opposition — the Wild and two games against both the Kings and Golden Knights being the exceptions.
And, of course, the April 5th game in Winnipeg.
No! We Should Lose!
In theory, we want the best pick possible. Barring some major stroke of lottery luck, the best outcome is 10th overall. 2023 is projected to be a deep first round, but the one extra team getting a pick before your team can make all the difference.
Imagine if the Flames picked 7th instead of 6th in 2016. No Matthew Tkachuk. Likely Clayton Keller or Mikhail Sergachev.
Imagine being Coyotes general manager John Chayka in 2015 and seeing Timo Meier, Zach Werenski and Mikko Rantanen go off the board immediately before settling on the next best player on your list: Lawson Crouse at 11th overall.
Likewise, imagine being Vancouver general manager Jim Benning when Trevor Zegras goes right before your selection at #10 in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Podkolzin is a fine pick, but Zegras is already one of the more marketable players in the NHL.
That one extra spot either higher or lower can go a long way.
A few thoughts on tonight.
A Different Outcome
Who else is expecting a strong offensive performance from the visiting Calgary Flames?
A big win last night and a clear, defined challenge in figuring out ways to get shots from the inside — Something that Calgary struggled greatly in doing on Saturday. Sounds like a recipe for success.
Another factor to a potentially strong offence? A birthday rookie of course. The Quebec City native turns 22 today. Jakob is coming off a 2-shot, +1 performance last night.
His new line of Pelletier-Lindholm-Toffoli went 9-1 in scoring chances while on the ice.
Bottom Six Struggles
The Mangiapane-Backlund-Coleman line will be looking for a rebound performance. They finished the night 1-7 in high danger chances at 5v5. Despite also being 3-13 in scoring chances, the line managed to neither score nor get scored on.
Lucic-Dube-Lewis fared no better. An embarrassing 20 CF% and 0-2 in high-danger chances. Lewis at least put up six hits. Lucic, on the other hand, had zero hits and zero shots on the night.
Calgary will be playing their third game in four days — which generally seems to heighten the possibility of an overtime loss this season. Minnesota last played on Saturday against the Flames.
Calgary Flames Projected Lineup
Source: last night’s game.
Minnesota Wild Projected Lineup
Courtesy of Jessi Pierce. @jessi_pierce
Kaprizov - Hartman - Zuccarello
Johansson – Eriksson-Ek - Boldy
Foligno - Gaudreau - Sundqvist
Shaw - Dewar - Reaves
Middleton - Spurgeon
Goligoski - Dumba
Merrill - Klingberg
Game time is 6:00 pm MST. Catch the broadcast on Bally Sports in the States and
Stats via naturalstattrick.com and nhl.com.