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Fire in the Deep: A Kraken vs Flames preview

The Need to Knows

Time: 7:00 pm PT / 10:00 pm ET

The Place: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle

Where to Watch: ROOT-NW or ESPN+ if out of market

Where to Listen: KJR 93.3

An Opposing Viewpoint: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Know Your Enemy

We’ve seen the Flames a few times this season. They are in a weird spot right now in the standings. As the March 3rd trade deadline starts to approach, teams are taking stock of where they are. The bottom teams will look to deal their expiring contracts to teams looking to pick up someone for a playoff run.

The Flames don’t seem to really know which bucket they fall into. Calgary is fifth in the division and ninth in the conference, so they’re just out of the playoffs if the playoffs started today. Their best shot at the postseason is not to catch Seattle for a top three division spot, but as a wildcard. Do they make a push to get into the postseason, and at what cost to their future?

The team composition itself is more top-heavy than Seattle. They have a very good top-six forward group led by Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, and Nazem Kadri, and they have two good defensive pairings. The bottom-six is where the roster quality really falls off.

Hurting the defensive group is Christopher Tanev, Brandon’s brother, who will miss the next two games before the All-Star break.

Game Preview

Calgary is coming off a back-to-back, losing 5-1 at home to Chicago Thursday night. Jacob Markstrom started in goal against Chicago, so we should expect Dan Vladar on Friday. The last time the Flames played a back-to-back was on December 27th when they played at home against Edmonton, then played December 28th in…Seattle, which they won 3-2.

Seattle will be without Justin Schultz and Jaden Schwartz, and also likely Matty Beniers, who is on the injury report after this “garbage” hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers.

The little injuries are adding up. Seattle has two games at home on a back-to-back before a nice, long rest. After January 28, Seattle doesn’t play again until February 7 with 9 days off between games.

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