Game No. 5: Sayonara Staios?

Ryan Lambert
October 19 2010 05:31PM


And now Calgary comes to yet another crossroads in this young season. Is it win and finally start playing like a half-decent team more often than not? Or continue to take every other game off and hope that you somehow luck into enough road points to back into the playoffs? Find out live on Sportsnet West Flames Nation!

This will be an interesting game for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it's Rene Bourque's first night back in the lineup. He should provide plenty of pop for a pivot and a wing that have been sorely lacking anything resembling it this season: Curtis Glencross has a single goal in his account, and Mikael Backlund has nothing. These three could be a solid combination out there tonight, particularly if one of the top two lines fails to carry its weight, and that's the kind of thing you've been able to set your watch to so far this season.

The prime candidate for that, of course, is the second forward unit of Hagman-Jokinen-Morrison. I understand B-Mo has more points than anyone on the team, but holy hell this is Brendan Morrison. I'm sorry, but there should never be a point at which he is leading your team in scoring. On the other hand, you have to like what you saw out of the top line of Tanguay-Stajan-Iginla on Saturday against the Oilers. They moved the puck effectively, won a lot of battles and, of course, scored a bunch. So that's always nice to see, and hopefully it can continue here tonight.

But the best news of the day is that Steve Staios might not be long for this Flames roster with the acquisition of Brendan Mikkelson, who won't be suiting up tonight. While unfortunate that his joining the squad was the impetus for TJ Brodie being sent to Abbotsford, rather than, say, Staios being fired, screaming, into the white hot center of the sun, he's certainly an upgrade over whoever he replaces. And honestly, what the hell is Bob Murray thinking letting Mikkelson go to make room for Andreas Lilja? It defies logic.

But anyway, the Flames take on a fairly good, if largely untested opponent in Nashville tonight. Granted they beat Chicago 3-2, but they also snuck three past Corey Crawford, not the most difficult of tasks. More interestingly, the Preds go tonight with a bit of a depleted lineup. No Matt Lombardi to pivot the top line, meaning its up to rookie Colin Wilson to go between Martin Erat and JP Dumont, and no Marcel Goc to center the second. The real trick will be stopping Steve Sullivan and Cal O'Reilly, of course, but Sully's never been particularly good against the Flames in Nashville (you have to go back to 2006 to find the last time he scored against them there, and since then he's minus-6 with two assists in four games). In addition, this is Pekka Rinne's first game back since sustaining a lower body injury in the season opener.

Provided the right team shows up for Calgary tonight (never a guarantee), the Flames probably don't bottle this one too badly, right?

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#51 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 07:59PM
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More good possession, but just can't get that puck to the net from a meaningful area on the ice.

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#52 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 08:13PM
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Flames are marginally outchancing so far in this period, but the Preds are still mostly smothering everything.

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#53 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 08:28PM
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Well...we're 5 minutes away from being shut-out for 3 of the first 5 games.

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#54 Robert Cleave
October 19 2010, 08:32PM
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That was good work by Bourque and Morrison on that entire shift, starting with Morrison's calm play in his own end.

Corsi.

CGY +25, +14 in the third and OT. EV Shots 33-21 CGY, 17-9 in the 3rd/OT.

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#55 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 08:32PM
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Goal!

Nice to steal the win in that one.

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#56 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 08:33PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

That was good work by Bourque and Morrison on that entire shift, starting with Morrison's calm play in his own end.

Corsi.

CGY +25, +14 in the third and OT. EV Shots 33-21 CGY, 17-9 in the 3rd/OT.

The Flames are really good at ringing up big possession numbers without commensurate scoring chances. That said, it's better than the alternative.

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#57 terry
October 19 2010, 08:38PM
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great game by kipper keepin em in it again. nice to finally get a shut out for all hi hard work

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#58 dickshilling
October 19 2010, 08:40PM
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Does scoring one goal still make this game considered a failure?

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#59 coptin_
October 19 2010, 08:50PM
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canucks getting spanked. loui only 11 saves,nucks fighting the fans

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#60 Kent Wilson
October 19 2010, 09:10PM
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dickshilling wrote:

Does scoring one goal still make this game considered a failure?

Nah. It'd be nice if the Flames could do more with their possession, but at least the rest of the game was more or less solid.

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