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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche 11/1/18 (14/82): Flames Need To Control Av’s Triple Threat

Colorado is relentless on offence, but their goaltending is nothing to sneeze at either.



Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Calgary Flames 7-5-1 (15 points) – Colorado Avalanche 7-3-2 (16 points)

NHL Standings

Don’t look know, but the Flames are coming home tied for the most points in the Pacific Division with 15. Calgary secured 4 of a possible 4 points on a road trip that saw them shake off a disastrous home games against the Penguins and Capitals at the Saddledome. The Flames have been getting solid goaltending from their backup keeper David Rittich and the Flames top line has been dominant, leading the way for Calgary’s resurgence.

How strong have Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm been? Gaudreau has 4 points in his last 3 games, Lindholm has 4 points in his last 3 games and Sean Monahan has 5 points in his last 3 games. Whether they’ve been paired together 5 v 5 or they’ve been out there on the PP, one thing is for sure: these three are what stirs the Flames drink on offence and as they go, the Flames go. To add fuel to the fire they each had a point in the Flames 3-2 OT victory over the Av’s back on Oct 13th.

While we’re pumping the Flames tires we can’t neglect to mention just how good this Colorado team is playing so far in 2018-19. Colorado is sitting in second place in the Western Conference, only 2 points behind the Nashville Predators. The Av’s have won 4 of their last 6 and they’ve done it with success at both ends of the ice. The Avalanche are tied with the Flames in GF with 41, good for 6th place in the NHL and the Av’s have pumped in 11 PPG, good for 6th as well. They have 3 players in the Top 10 in points, Mikko Rantanen currently leads the NHL with 21 points (6G 15A) and Gabriel Landeskog is 4th in the NHL in goals with 10. While Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon dominated the early season headlines, Landeskog has been a force lately, collecting 4 points in his last 2 games.

And while their offence has been staggering their goaltending has been just as stellar. Semyon Varlamov is sporting a .950 Save% which is tops in the NHL (just barely ahead of David Rittich) and his 1.62 GAA is good for second place, just behind Boston’s Jaroslav Halak (1.51). When you breakdown the numbers what’s more frightening is his GA vs SA. He’s let 13 pucks past him while staring down 262 shots in 8 games.

The Flames took the last contest 3-2 in OT at the Pepsi Center behind a Johnny Gaudreau breakaway goal. The Dome isn’t exactly a home away from home for Colorado as they’ve lost 5 out the last 6 times when visiting Calgary.

Team Leaders

Calgary Flames

Goals: Lindholm (8), Points: Gaudreau (16), PIM: Tkachuk (16), Save%: Rittich (.939)

Colorado Avalanche

Goals: Landeskog (10), Points: Rantanen (21), PIM: Zadorov (17), Save%: Varlamov (.950)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Colorado Avalanche Coverage: Mile High Hockey

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 Buffalo Sabres 1 OT (recap)

Colorado Avalanche 2 Minnesota Wild 3 (recap)

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Elias Lindholm: 8G 5A, 5 points in his last 5 games

Colorado Avalanche

Gabriel Landeskog: 10 G 6 A, 8 points in his last 5 games

by Mark Parkinson