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Flames Daily: Practice Line Puzzler, Lucky Sevens Saturday, Wild Finish(ed)

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As the Calgary Flames look to clinch against the Dallas Stars tonight, the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming to an end. So far, two teams have been eliminated. The  Nashville Predators spent “a waste of eight days” in a sweep at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. On Thursday night, the Minnesota Wild were eliminated as well.

A few are going the distance. There will be three game sevens and many televisions are going to get a lot of work in on Saturday as a result. The festivities start at 2:30 p.m. between the Bruins and Hurricanes, then continue at 5 p.m. between the Maple Leafs and Lightning, then close out at 8 p.m. with Oilers/Kings.

Still hoping for that playoff Battle of Alberta in Round Two. The big Edmonton win in Los Angeles makes that more likely, but the Calgary Flames need to do their part. Tonight they have a chance to lock up their first traditional second-round appearance since 2015.

Many believe that the spark from the line of Blake Coleman, Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund from the Calgary Flames’ big 3-1 win at home in Game 5 could help carry the team again in Dallas. However, the practice lines on Friday offered a different look as head coach Darryl Sutter went with the same lines he started the series with.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Minnesota: Wild head coach Dean Evason made a bold move Thursday night starting former Calgary Flames backstop Cam Talbot over former Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury in an elimination game. Things did not go as planned, as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Wild 5-1 and took the series in six games.

Colorado: This means the Blues and Avalanche will meet in the second round of the playoffs.

Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby took a high hit from Jacob Trouba Wednesday night in New York. He missed the remainder of the game and was not on the ice for the Pens’ morning skate Friday. Tristan Jarry was.

Washington: Despite taking a 2-1 series lead earlier this week, the Capitals face elimination in Game 6 against Florida. It won’t be easy. T.J. Oshie says the Washington Capitals need a reset.

Vancouver: An update on the Bruce Boudreau situation in Vancouver.

Boston: The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t finish them. Not even close. The old lions fought to live another day and forced Game 7 with a resounding win at the “Gahden.” Boston Bruins win.

Sportsnet: The Edmonton Oilers laid an egg against the LA Kings in Game 5. Edmonton didn’t make the same mistake twice. Connor McDavid was at his best, and Edmonton won Game 6. The dream of the first Battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames in the playoffs in 30 years lives on.

TSN: The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions aren’t dead yet. The Tampa Bay Lightning survived Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs to force a pressure-packed, universe-changing Game 7 in Toronto on Saturday. Yikes.

NHL: The NHL announced the Hart Trophy Finalists. Johnny Gaudreau deserved to be a finalist, but the three are hard to argue. Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Igor Shesterkin are the Hart finalists.

NHL AWARDS UPDATE

NHL Awards: The NHL has been slowly revealing the nominees for major awards in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jacob Markstrom got the Vezina nod for the Calgary Flames, but Gaudreau was snubbed despite his incredible season – which has continued into the playoffs.

So far here are the nominees/winners for the major NHL awards.

  • Art Ross- (Most Points in Regular Season)- Won by Connor McDavid
  • Maurice Richard (Most Goals in Regular Season)- Won by Auston Matthews
  • William Jennings (Goalie Tandem with lowest sv%)- Won by Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen
  • Hart Trophy (MVP)- Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Igor Shesterkin
  • Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman)- Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Cale Makar
  • Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie)- Igor Shesterkin, Juuse Saros, Jacob Markstrom
  • Calder Trophy (Top Rookie)- Trevor Zegras, Moritz Seider, Michael Bunting
  • Ted Lindsay (Most Outstanding)- Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Roman Josi
  • Bill Masterton (Dedication to Hockey)- TBA (5/16)
  • Frank J. Selke (Top Defensive Forward)- TBA on 5/17
  • Lady Byng (Most Gentlemanly Player)- TBA on 5/18
  • Jack Adams (Top Coach)- TBA on 5/19
  • King Clancy (Humanitarian)- TBA on 5/20
  • Jim Gregory (Top GM)- TBA
  • Mark Messier (Leadership)- TBA

Best bets for Calgary Flames in the future unveilings are Elias Lindholm for the Selke and Darryl Sutter for the Jack Adams.

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