Calgary Flames Daily: Crucial back-to-back Pacific Division games

CALGARY, AB DECEMBER 14, 2017: (Photo by Brad Watson/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB DECEMBER 14, 2017: (Photo by Brad Watson/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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We can finally say this again… it’s game day! The Calgary Flames will be in nice and sunny California tonight as they face off the San Jose Sharks.

The Calgary Flames get to be in sunny California these next two days as most of us suffer here in freezing Calgary weather. They have two extremely crucial back-to-back games before the New Year. Tonight they’ll be playing the San Jose Sharks and tomorrow night they’ll be playing the Anaheim Ducks.

Both teams are ahead of them right now. However, Anaheim is only ahead by a point and has two games on hand. But on the other hand, the Sharks are ahead by three points and have played two games less than the Flames. After having five days off, the Flames will need to try and find their groove again.

Both games will be a challenge and both are must-win games. But I’ve been saying that about every game for the last month. Even Mike Smith agrees!

Related Story: Flames already on vacation - lose to Habs

Via Calgary Sun:

"“You look at the schedule, and every game you play it seems like it’s a must-win kind of game,” Smith said. “You look at the standings, too, how close it is in the West … With all the important games we have coming up, every game you look at is like the biggest game of the year, and it’s fun being in games like that, where games matter so much and there’s so much on the line that you can never let your guard down or take your foot off the gas for a second. Because if you do, you’re outside looking in.“There’s some pressure involved in that, but that’s the fun part. You want to be in a situation like this. I’ve been in the situation where you’re so far out of it by this time of the season that it’s sometimes frustrating to come to the rink, but that’s not the case here.”"

The Flames have just three more games before they close out 2017. If they can finish the year in a playoff spot, things will be going accordingly.

Travis Hamonic will be back in the lineup tonight after missing the last game due to a lower-body injury. We’re still unsure if Jaromir Jagr will be in the lineup. Mike Smith and David Rittich will split the two games tonight and tomorrow, however, we’re not sure who’s getting what game. They may want to put Smith in tomorrow night since he got the shutout win the last time the Flames were at the Honda Centre and beat the stinking 13-year long Honda Centre curse.

EDIT: It looks like Rittich is projected to start tonight, so my thinkings were right. Also, Jagr is projected to be in the lineup, but will still be a game-time decision.

Some links surrounding the Flames

Flames head on the road for start of critical stretch (Calgary Sun).

After a white Christmas, playoff spot tops wish list for Flames goalie Smith (Calgary Sun).

Sharks, Flames aim to make Pacific headway (Dec 28, 2017) (FOX Sports).

Back to business (Calgary Flames).

Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL

10 bold NHL predictions for 2018 (Sportsnet).

Parise to play AHL game on way back to Wild (NHL.com).

LATEST NHL SUSPENSION IS MORE AN INDICTMENT OF THE GAME THAN IT IS OF RINALDO (The Hockey News).

Too cold for kids’ hockey tournament on Parliament Hill rink (Toronto Star).

Next: 2018 New Years resolutions: Players

That’s all in today’s Flames Daily! Stay warm.