On Tuesday, December 22nd the surging Calgary Flames will host the struggling Winnipeg Jets at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the 2nd of 3 meetings between the two clubs during the 2015-2016 NHL season.
The Flames have been trying to pull their season together after a slow start and it seems to be working. The team is 7-3-0 in their last ten games and they are slowly climbing the Western Conference rankings. The Jets have dropped to 10th while the Flames are currently 12th though the two teams are tied in points with 32.
Conference Standings: 12th (24th overall)
If the Flames are to salvage their season, they must find a way to fix their road game. At the moment, the Scotiabank crowd can feel satisfied that they’re seeing the best of their team, one that has a 10-5-0 winning record at home but a dismal 5-11-2 record on the road.
November was a rough month for the Flames in that respect. Out of twelve games played, only four were at home, all victories by the Flames. Of the eight road games, Calgary managed one overtime win against a strong Capitals team that isn’t a division rival and seven losses (one in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes). The team took advantage of a five game home stead to start December, winning all five games. They split their most recent road trip and now have the benefit of returning home for eight of the next nine games.
Conference Standings: 10th (22nd overall)
A six game losing streak in November took its toll on the Jets who had a strong start to the season and were within the playoff picture as recently as last week. Still, the team hasn’t managed more than two consecutive wins all season and stringing together some points would help them regain some traction in the West.
The Western Conference boasts some tough and even competition this season with only five points separating the San Jose Sharks who are currently in 8th and the lowly Anaheim Ducks who are ranked at the bottom. All four of Canada’s Western Conference teams are in between with the Jets ranking just below the Vancouver Canucks in 10th.
Like the Flames, the Jets are going to have to start to win on the road if they’re going to boost themselves ahead of the pack. With a 6-10-1 record in the opposition’s building and seven of nine upcoming games on the road, the Jets will lose valuable points if they can’t find a way to win outside the MTS Centre.
This is the second of three meetings between the two clubs and the first at the Scotiabank Saddledome this season. The Jets took the first game by a score of 3-1 but it took until the final two minutes of the third period before Dustin Byfuglien broke a 1-1 tie. Blake Wheeler added an empty net goal with under a minute to seal the victory for the Jets. With Calgary’s strong home record and Winnipeg’s weak road record, the Flames might be able to take advantage of a tired Jets team that is visiting Rexall Place and the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.