Game Day: Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild
Keep your eyes on Dennis Wideman and Mikael Granlund
Calgary (6-6-2) at Minnesota (8-4-3)
6 p.m. (MT), Xcel Energy Center
TV: Sportsnet West, Sportsnet
Radio: The FAN 960
Keep an eye on
D Dennis Wideman — A steady contributor on the Flames’ blueline and was especially big in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Blocked five shots and was instrumental in a big five-on-three penalty kill in the third period with the defending Stanley Cup Champions pressing. Logging a pile of minutes lately. Will be needed again should rookie goalie Reto Berra get the nod against the Wild.
* C. Glencross M. Stajan D. Jones
* S. Baertschi S. Monahan J. Hudler
* M. Cammalleri J. Colborne T. J. Galiardi
* L.Bouma/T.Jackman M. Backlund B. McGrattan
* K. Russell D. Wideman
* C. Butler T. J. Brodie
* D. Smith S.O’Brien
* R. Berra
* K. Ramo
* D Mark Giordano (ankle), D Chris Breen (abdomen), RW Lee Stempniak (foot)
Keep an eye on
LW Mikael Granlund — Currently riding a five-game point streak, the kid is hot. His one goal and 10 assists in 15 games is third in team scoring behind Jason Pominville and Zach Parise. The 21-year-old Finn has great vision and can distribute the puck. Part of the Wild’s best line.
* Z. Parise M. Koivu J. Fontaine
* N. Niederreiter M. Granlund J. Pominville
* M. Cooke K. Brodziak T. Mitchell
* C. McMillan Z. Konopka D. Heatley
* R. Suter J. Brodin
* C. Stoner K. Ballard
* M. Scandella J. Spurgeon
* J. Harding
* N. Backstrom
*RW Charlie Coyle (knee)
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
1. ABOUT THE WILD — Mikael Granlund’s seven points in his past five games is a career-best five game point streak . . . Nino Niederreiter has three goals and nine points in 15 games with the Wild. Interesting considering he had only two goals and an assist in 64 games with the New York Islanders . . . G Josh Harding leads the NHL with 1.10 goals against average and a .950 save percentages in 11 games. As a team, the Wild currently allows the fewest shots per game (23.6) . . . Sunday’s 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils was Minnesota’s second shutout of the season . . . Led by Mikko Koivu, the Wild won 39 of 54 faceoffs against the Devils. Minnesota’s faceoff win percentage (55.7) is second in the NHL . . . Their power play is second in the league (24.6); penalty kill is third-worst (76.3).
2. SPEAKING OF FACEOFFS — The Flames are dead-last in the NHL in that stat, rolling at 43.5 per cent behind New Jersey (43.9) and Winnipeg (44.5). There could be a few reasons for that. For one, they’re operating with two young and inexperienced NHL centreman Sean Monahan (42.1) and (42.7). Against the Chicago Blackhawks, Colborne won four of 17 while Monahan won eight of 20. Matt Stajan, in comparison, won 13 of 26.
3. CAMMALLERI’S ROLLING — The production of left winger Michael Cammalleri has been lost in all of the recent Flames happenings. Since coming back from a hand injury he suffered during training camp, the 31-year-old veteran has netted four goals and three assists in seven games including Sunday’s snipe against the Chicago Blackhawks. “He deserves so much credit,” said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. “The way he showed up to camp in shape. Then, he got injured real early in the camp. He was skating and was in the gym after practices. From the first game on in L.A., it was amazing. His fitness level . . . he looked like a regular player that didn’t miss a beat from the start.”
4. CALGARY CONNECTIONS — Forward Charlie Coyle re-aggravated a knee injury, so the Wild called up former Calgary Hitmen forward Carson McMillan from their AHL affiliate in Iowa and filled a fourth-line checking role . . . Calgary native Dany Heatley netted the 141st power play goal of his NHL career on Sunday for a total of 362 career markers. Playing on the team’s fourth line, Heatley had his best game of the 2013-14 season . . . The Wild are still considering their options when it comes to defenceman Mathew Dumba. A healthy scratch the past two games, the Red Deer Rebels blueliner has been in nine appearances and has one remaining until his three-year entry level contract kicks in.
5. POMINVILLE NHL’S FIRST STAR — Wild winger Jason Pominville was dubbed the NHL’s first star of the week on Monday morning. He tied for the league lead in goals (four) and points (six) scoring in all three games to help Minnesota earn four of a possible six points. The 30-year-old Wild leading scorer has scored in four consecutive games and is tied for third in the NHL with 10 goals and 12 points, three game winning-goals and a plus-six rating in 15 games. Could we see him at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi? He has dual citizenship and could compete for the U.S.
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