Preseason Game No. 7: So this is it

Ryan Lambert
October 03 2010 04:32PM



Last time out was a nice little game for Calgary, which scored five goals in the second half of the game. So why not do it all again before doing it all again again on Thursday?

I'm writing this well in advance of tonight's 6 p.m., so I don't know what lines or anything look like yet, but you have to imagine that this game will take on a fair bit of intensity, given that it's the last one of the preseason.

This is the game in which guys will make their case for staying with the big club, and now there are more spots open than we would have imagined just three days ago. In addition to the injuries to Stajan, Stone and Langkow, Calgary also lost Kotalik and Moss for "indefinite" amounts of time on Friday night, so this game is the closest thing to a final dress rehearsal the kids are going to have.

Guys like Brett Sutter and Stefan Meyer, who seemed on the outside looking in to make the roster when camp opened, now appear primed for a spot on Thursday. And all they have to do tonight is not play too terribly and/or get injured to pretty much guarantee themselves a couple games' worth of NHL checks.

But the injury problems haven't cleared the way for one player to get the NHL roster spot many would argue that he deserves. TJ Brodie gets his last chance tonight to show Brent and Darryl Sutter that he belongs with the big club and a guy like Steve Staios doesn't (well, the latter is certainly true regardless of what Brodie does tonight, but you see my point.) Gotta figure he needs at least another goal and a strong defensive effort to make a big enough impression, eh?

The game will also give us another look at what might be the top line come this time next week: Backlund between Tanguay and Iginla. It worked wonderfully once it got its feet moving on Saturday, combining for two goals and four assists, though that was against the Oilers' defense and Nikolai Khabibulin, so it may be faint praise.

The regular season is now just one game and four days away. Let's just hope nothing happens to Miikka or Jarome.

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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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#1 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 04:37PM
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Or Bourque. Hell, I'm probably more scared something will happen to him given his history and overall utility to the club.

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#2 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:16PM
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Haha...yikes. That's some frightful goaltending from Dubnyk.

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#3 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 06:17PM
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That's why Alex Tanguay shoots 18%.

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#4 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 06:20PM
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Pardy hurt already?

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#5 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:20PM
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Brodie looked pretty nervous on that last shift. I think someone took him aside and said "you've almost made this team kid."

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#6 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 06:22PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Pardy hurt already?

Yeah, I saw that Sportak tweet as well. I'll only be surprised now when the Flames actually finish a game with no one hurt.

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#7 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:22PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Pardy hurt already?

Yeah, not sure. I saw him with Brodie that once, but not since.

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#8 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:23PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Yeah, I saw that Sportak tweet as well. I'll only be surprised now when the Flames actually finish a game with no one hurt.

Huh, missed that one.

Pretty incredible run the club has going here and the season hasn't even started.

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#9 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 06:24PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Yeah, not sure. I saw him with Brodie that once, but not since.

Stick in the face from Ryan Jones.

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#10 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:27PM
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Actual puck movement on the PP. Nice to see.

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#11 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:29PM
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You know what? Backlund is impressing me in this period.

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#12 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 06:31PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

You know what? Backlund is impressing me in this period.

He looks quick to the puck and into the holes.

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#13 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:32PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

He looks quick to the puck and into the holes.

He's thieving pucks around the offensive blueline as well, which I really like.

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#14 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:37PM
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Looks like a Brule/Gio tilt is inevitable tonight.

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#15 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 06:42PM
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Flames mostly dominated that period. Although they're lacking a bunch of regulars they still dressed the superior line-up so that's not much of a surprise.

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#16 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 07:07PM
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Still no Pardy in the 2nd so far.

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#17 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 07:26PM
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i gotta say, i like the idea of a regehr/gio and bouwmeester/white setup.

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#18 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 07:27PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Still no Pardy in the 2nd so far.

Tangauy playing D...

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#19 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 07:28PM
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Lots of good chances shot wide by the Flames in the second.

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#20 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 07:29PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Lots of good chances shot wide by the Flames in the second.

ahhhh, the 09/10 flames we know and love.

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#21 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 07:31PM
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We gonna see Hank in there for the 3rd?

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#22 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 07:36PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

We gonna see Hank in there for the 3rd?

I think so.

Overall, the Flames look OK, but they passed their way out of entirely too many good offensive situations in that period, and the Iggy line was particularly guilty.

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#23 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 07:39PM
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@Robert Cleave

Agreed... definitely overpassing, especially Iggy's last shift there. If that was regular season, I woulda snapped.

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#24 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 07:41PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

I think so.

Overall, the Flames look OK, but they passed their way out of entirely too many good offensive situations in that period, and the Iggy line was particularly guilty.

Yeah, a little too much looking for the tap in. Tanguay doing it is more than enough for the 3 of them.

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#25 JF
October 03 2010, 07:46PM
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Hi All,

Missed the first period but I really liked the trio of Hagman, Backlund, Bourque... some nice moves by those guys this period I thought.

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#26 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 07:48PM
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Kipper still. I'm not sure why.

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#27 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 07:55PM
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Flames look like crap so far this period.

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#28 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 08:14PM
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i'm pretty sure giordano is still the best player in red (save for kipper, of course). this is not necessarily good news.

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#29 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 08:14PM
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I swear Jokinen messes up more 5 alarm chances than he finishes.

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#30 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 08:22PM
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ian white is a good hockey player.

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#31 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 08:23PM
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Horrible third period. Iginla's trio got worked a lot, especially in the final minute by a line featuring AHLer Giroux and rookie Jordan Eberle.

Not the confidence boost I was looking for heading into the regular season.

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#32 Robert Cleave
October 03 2010, 08:25PM
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Kipper was good, but most of the forwards spent the last 40 minutes in a daze. Now, we wait for the injuries and whether they move a defender.

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#33 Austin
October 03 2010, 08:27PM
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@Robert Cleave

Have Bouwmeester Gio Regehr and White be your top 4 Defenseman, then have Brodie and Sarich be your third pairing, once pardy comes back, brodie will then become 7th defenseman. Forget about Pelech.

Looked like some of the 03-04 Kipper flashback

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#34 RossCreekNation
October 03 2010, 08:43PM
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LOLZ...

FAN960 postgame...
Rob Kerr: "Looks like you have a running feud with Brule out there."
Mark Giordano: "He plays for the Oilers."

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#35 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 09:27PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

LOLZ...

FAN960 postgame...
Rob Kerr: "Looks like you have a running feud with Brule out there."
Mark Giordano: "He plays for the Oilers."

god, i love that man.

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#36 Greg
October 03 2010, 10:32PM
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Brodie didn't look as solid tonight. Not bad and will definitely be on the team next year, but I'm back to thinking he'd be better off getting lots of ice and confidence in the AHL this season. Pelech can sit in the press box instead. Although assuming Staois has to go down and if Pardy is hurt I'd keep him up and play him as #6 until Pardy is back.

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#37 GermanFlame
October 03 2010, 10:35PM
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So the pre-season is over. And other than all the injuries at least this pre-season has given us reason to be optimistic about the real thing.( a 2-5 pre-season probably would have brought this city in an uproar) This is one of the most I probably have ever payed attention to the pre-season (Many thanks to FlamesNation and all the great reads I get)

However I do know its only exhibition and I do know they have to show up now and avoid being like Toronto last year. Although with Edmonton first I somehow have a good feeling that wont be happening, anything can happen though.

And now, to my only real question, What are your guys predictions on the T.J. Brodie situation? Probably tired of talking about it by now, but after tonight imo, I think he deserves a spot on the team. He looks to me he can handle playing against teams bottom six forwards and with some powerplay time mixed in there, he could be a good asset. That being said though if he ends up being the 7th dman I rather just have him go to Abbotsford, get a year under his belt, play top talent in there and develop and develop.

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#38 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 11:13PM
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I'm pretty certain Brodie will end up on the farm for a majority of the year. He probably pushed himself to the front of the "injury call-up" line though.

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#39 walkinvisible
October 03 2010, 11:57PM
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i'll be shocked if brodie isn't demoted. right now there are four top four guys (jbouw, regehr, gio, white ---not necessarily in that order) and then the periphery blueliners (sarich, staios, pardy, pelech). everyone would have to clear waivers to end up in abby, so the most likely demotion (IMO) is staios. if pardy's injured that's kindof a bonus for sutter, cause my guess is that any of pardy, pelech, or sarich on waivers are as good as gone.

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#40 Sincity1976
October 04 2010, 12:24AM
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Based on the number of injuries they are probably going to be running at max salary for the beginning of the season anyways. Might as well use the cap relief and carry 8D.

See him for a few weeks playing actual NHL games. Take a month to decide between players like Brodie, Staios, Sarich, Pardy, and any others.

It doesn't look like they are planning on keeping Pelech based on his performance, recent ice time, and the fact he didn't play tonight.

As long as he is playing 2 of 3 NHL games with 12 to 15-minutes per night it isn't going to hamper his development.

If he doesn't cut it send him down.

I am 65% that he makes the team. I could also see them put him to the Heat and re-evaluate when players return and they have to deal with the salary situation.

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#41 RossCreekNation
October 04 2010, 07:33AM
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I'm guessing barring injuries Brodie plays in the A more than with the Flames. As I've said all along, I'd be shocked if Staios isn't in Calgary. And Pelech disappointed. I wouldn't rule out Sarich getting moved.

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#42 walkinvisible
October 04 2010, 08:15AM
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my guess is that pelech didn't play cause sutter's got a trade on tabled. carrying 8D is about one too many.

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#43 Kent Wilson
October 04 2010, 08:28AM
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walkinvisible wrote:

my guess is that pelech didn't play cause sutter's got a trade on tabled. carrying 8D is about one too many.

Actually, the Flames currently have 10 defenders on the roster (Kronwall still hasn't gone anywhere). And they've already made a fresh round of cuts (Rheault, Armstrong and Irving went down today).

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#44 B
October 04 2010, 09:53AM
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@Kent Wilson

...Brent Sutter at the post game presser almost said Brodie "earned" a spot, but cut himself short. Not sure if this means Brodie earned a spot and will stay (meaning the Flames will have to unload one of their one way contract) or if it means that he earned a spot and is being pushed out because of the one-way contract situations.

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#45 Robert Cleave
October 04 2010, 10:13AM
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@Kent Wilson @B

If you believe Eric Francis' Twitter comment earlier this morning, the club is keeping the kid around.

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#46 Kent Wilson
October 04 2010, 10:23AM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

@Kent Wilson @B

If you believe Eric Francis' Twitter comment earlier this morning, the club is keeping the kid around.

Interesting, although hard to believe Francis would learn this first.

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#47 JF
October 04 2010, 10:43AM
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@Kent Wilson

In related news, I was wrong... Pelech (and Cunning) are on waivers:

http://twitter.com/sungarrioch

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#48 Section 216
October 04 2010, 10:48AM
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Yeah I've had my displeasure's with what Francis has to say.

But if T.J. Brodie makes the team, Really good for him. It will either be the biggest confidence builder he's ever had and we're just starting to see the surface becoming unscratched, or the NHL will prove too much and he'll tail off after a couple games.

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#49 JF
October 04 2010, 10:55AM
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Just out of curiosity who (if any) was the last non-european Flame to break camp with the team without having gone to the farm team first?

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#50 Robert Cleave
October 04 2010, 10:57AM
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JF wrote:

Just out of curiosity who (if any) was the last non-european Flame to break camp with the team without having gone to the farm team first?

Dion, if I were to guess without checking.

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