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Ego Over Common Sense - One Encouraging Line - Flames vs Ducks Game Day

April 2, 2024, 7:06 PM ET [24 Comments]
Trevor Neufeld
Calgary Flames Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Whoever originally said, it's in adversity that you grow in spirit, clearly didn’t watch the Calgary Flames in 2022-2023.

Or the Flames on March 26 when they lost 3-1 to the 31st-place Chicago Blackhawks. Or the Flames on February 16 when they were dominated to a 6-3 final by the 32nd-place San Jose Sharks. Or 5-2 to the Blue Jackets in late January, or any of the other four losses to the Blackhawks in the last two seasons.

Or the March 10, 2023, back-breaker against the Anaheim Ducks. The only loss the Flames have suffered to the SoCal team in the past two seasons, but one of the more spirit-breaking losses in a season full of disappointing results.

Why are you bringing this up? We were supposed to have buried those memories. Why are you like this?

Merely to remind you that heartbreak lingers around every blind corner. Maybe tonight’s seemingly-assured win against the floundering Ducks doesn’t come to be. There is no such thing as a schedule win with this iteration of the Calgary Flames – and as we learned on Saturday as the team cruised past the 14th-place Kings, there is no such thing as a schedule loss either.

Calgary Flames (34-34-5, 73 pts) vs Anaheim Ducks (24-47-4, 52 pts)

Last Ten: Calgary (3-7-0) Anaheim (1-8-1)
Time: 7:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
TV: Sportsnet One, Sportsnet West, Bally Sports SoCal, ESPN+


Something to Disagree With

Jacob Markstrom is pegged to get the start tonight. Rasmus Andersson, who took a maintenance day on Monday will play. Andrew Mangiapane, who has missed the last two games, will miss another, but he did skate this morning during the pre-game.

All three appear to be dealing with this or that in terms of quiet injuries. The latter two have contract year’s coming up next season.

The question is: Why? Why play through injuries now that the playoffs are off the table?

Markstrom, posted a 3-4-0 record through March and a save percentage of .874. Andersson put up a whopping four points in 14 games on the month. Mangiapane has a mere 13 goals on the season.

There is nothing keeping these players from taking the rest that they need beyond foolish pride. All four will have receive top minutes to start next season regardless of whether they miss the final nine games.

Andrew Mangiapane is a case that just drives you nuts. He played through a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason for all of 82 games last season before getting a “precautionary MRI” and surgery following garbage bag day. He’s not doing himself any favours in forcing himself to get back into the lineup. Adam Klapka or Jakob Pelletier aren’t stealing his job. It’s just lunacy.

In terms of Markstrom, playing through something might be the worst possible scenario for both player and team. He’s tanking his trade value and might be doing damage that carries on into next season.


Something to Agree With

On the optimistic side, it’s nice to see Zary-Sharangovich-Coronato continue to get deployed as a line. Sharangovich is skating exceptionally well of late, and there are elements of chemistry on that line that only need repetition to develop.

The unit has only been deployed in three games so far, but there is some excellent puck support happening in the neutral zone in those appearances.


The Ducks

The end of a three game road trip that included an Edmonton-Vancouver weekend back-to-back, utterly embarrassed in Edmonton 6-1 on Saturday; it would be a surprise if Anaheim showed up with much fire.

Radko Gudas is out of the lineup, so if there is any retribution coming towards MacKenzie Weegar for accidentally injuring Leo Carlsson on Dec 21, it will probably be at the hands of Calgary-born forward Brett Leason. Chances are solid that nothing comes of it, and the Ducks simply want to get this road trip over with.

On the other hand, teams often play their best in their last loss of a losing streak. They made a push to beat Vancouver on Sunday after going down early, but it seemed like the Canucks more just hopped into autopilot and clogged the middle after scoring two powerplay goals.


Calgary Flames Projected Lineup

Huberdeau-Backlund-Coleman
Pospisil-Kadri-Kuzmenko
Zary-Sharangovich-Coronato
Greer-Rooney-Hunt

Weegar-Miromanov
Hanley-Andersson
Kylington-Pachal

Markstrom
Wolf


Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup

Killorn-Carlsson-Terry
Zegras-McTavish-Strome
Vatrano-Lundestrom-Silfverberg
Meyers-Groulx-Leason

Fowler-Zellweger
Lacombe-Lindstrom
Vaakainen-Lageson

Dostal
Gibson



Puck drop is at 7:10 p.m. MST


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