FGD: It's T-Shirt Time!

Pat Steinberg
November 24 2010 11:23AM

I'm hoping you get my Jersey Shore reference, and if you don't, then I've completely outed myself as one of the only FlamesNationers to have watched the oddly entertaining MTV program.  What it has to do with tonight's Flames-Devils game in Newark (5:30 pm, TSN and The FAN 960)?  Absolutely nothing, but anytime I can get a Jersey Shore reference in...I'm doing it.  By the way, it's a big game for the Flames.

Henrik Karlsson does indeed get the start tonight in net for the Flames, as Calgary tries to snap a two game losing skid and rectify something much deeper...two wins in 11 games, a span that has put them three games below the .500 mark.  The good news?  For the first time in a while, the Flames take on a truly mediocre opponent WITH the results to go with it.

The Lineup

EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 1: Henrik Karlsson  of the Calgary Flames skates against the Calgary Flame on October 1, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
 

With Calgary playing five road games in seven nights, they needed to get their backup goaltender in at some point.  I know there is a strong argument to play Miikka Kiprusoff tonight, but you simply can't play him every night, and this was a good opportunity to play the backup.  Karlsson wasn't good at all in his last start, a 6-5 loss to Colorado...but neither was the team in front of him.  Calgary has made a theme of playing some stinker hockey in front of their backup at times, and needing a win, that can't happen tonight.

Matt Stajan will not play tonight after being hammered by New York's Marc Staal on Monday night...the hit knocked Stajan out of the game, but the feeling is he might be ready for the weekend.  The timing seems to work though, as Stajan's exit coincides with Olli Jokinen's return after serving a three game suspension; he'll play in between Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay tonight, re-uniting the unit that started the season together.

Good news comes in the form of Robyn Regehr, who returns to the lineup after missing one game...he went awkwardly into the boards trying to finish a check Sunday against the Red Wings.  Calgary loses a lot with Regehr out of the lineup, primarily the tough minutes he plays, almost always in key situations.  Here are lines and pairings for tonight:

Alex Tanguay-Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla
Niklas Hagman-Mikael Backlund-Rene Bourque
Curtis Glencross-David Moss-Brendan Morrison
Tom Kostopoulos-Stefan Meyer-Tim Jackman

Robyn Regehr-Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano-Anton Babchuk
Steve Staios-Brendan Mikkelson

Henrik Karlsson

Craig Conroy won't play again tonight, but it seems like he's battling a shoulder injury, which is why he's missed time.  The Flames Twitter has updated to say Cory Sarich is scratched tonight...no word as to why.

The Opponent

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 05: Johan Hedberg  of the New Jersey Devils reacts after the 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers at the Prudential Center on November 5, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
 

Ahhhh, the vaunted 6-13-2 Devils...a team that went all out to retain Ilya Kovalchuk during the off season, to the detriment of the rest of their team.  Depth wise, this team ain't great...injuries to key players like goalie Martin Brodeur, Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise make things even worse.

Johan Hedberg gets the start in net, coming off a Monday shutout over Washington, a game where the Devils exploded for a 5-0 win.  We all remember Hedberg from the 2004 first round against Vancouver, don't we?  He was such a game changer.  Here are lines and pairings for the home side:

Ilya Kovalchuk-Dainius Zubrus-Alexander Vasyunov
Patrik Elias-Jason Arnott-Mattias Tedenby
Brian Rolston-Travis Zajac-David Clarkson
Rod Pelley-Adam Mair-Stephen Gionta

Colin White-Henrik Tallinder
Andy Greene-Mark Fayne
Matt Corrente-Anton Volchenkov

Johan Hedberg

The Story

Plain and simple, Calgary needs a win...they played good in Detroit, but the Red Wings came back to take that game in overtime.  They played eh in New York, with a listless first period followed up by a better second and third, but couldn't find the equalizing tally heading into the third period.  Tonight, even with their backup in, this is a game the Flames are supposed to win.  If they go out and control this game at even strength, which they have the ability to do, they won't have to worry about who's in net.  Even with the 14th place spot occupied by Calgary currently, they're just six points back of where they want to be.  So if they can put something together now, things start to become a little less dicey.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 kermitology
November 24 2010, 11:33AM
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You need to die in a fire for somehow getting me to click that YouTube video. That was just wrong Steinberg! Go to the corner and feel shame.

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#2 Eric
November 24 2010, 11:35AM
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Nice work representing the Shore P-Stein.

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#3 the forgotten man
November 24 2010, 12:04PM
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Steinberg...

At the 3:19 mark, a space-time continuum WORMHOLE started forming in my laptop - had to abort because my wife still needs me in this dimensional zone :(

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#4 The Calgary Puck
November 24 2010, 12:10PM
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Good to see Jokinen-Igninla-Tnguay back together. I don't think Sutter gave them the chance to develop chemistry and with Tanguay on the line Iginla and Jokien could pot 40 each for the rest of the year with a playmaker on the line!

Hopefully the Flames can buy into the system like NJ did when Sutter was coaching there. It is a good system, one of the best in the league when the players buy in.

If there is one positive this year its Langkow on the IR. I don't mean to be bash him, but 4.5 is way too much for 10 goals.

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#5 dotfras
November 24 2010, 12:32PM
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-Jokenin-Iginla-Tanguay will never work.

-The Flames aren't buying in to what Brent is selling.

-Langkow being injured is probably the biggest negative of this season. He's the guy on our team who takes on the toughs so Iginla can do work on easier competition.

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#8 icedawg_42
November 24 2010, 12:48PM
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the question would be Does Tangs and Iggy's hot streak rub off on Olli, or does he douse it?

Im gonna guess the latter.

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#9 PrairieStew
November 24 2010, 12:58PM
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Steinberg:

You could market that as the "Steinberg's Jersey Shore Ab Workout". T shirt on; T shirt off, flex abs, repeat.

Personally, seeing the other half of the cast adjusting their wardrobe would have been better from my POV.

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#10 walkinvisible
November 24 2010, 01:05PM
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fyi: i'm pretty sure "t-shirt time" applies cause that's all anyone's wearing outside in NYC today, and i know cause i'm here. my guess is that it's somewhere around the 844th coldest city in the world today, not the 2nd.

i'll let you know how the arena snacks at the prudential center measure up to the pocketdawg.

you can start hating on me anytime now.

;)

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#11 Eric
November 24 2010, 01:20PM
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I have no doubt by the end of this game, Mikael Backlund will be the Flames' number 1 center indefinitely. It's place he belongs after toiling on the 3rd line & PK all season. I'm glad Sutter is teaching him responsibility, and as a result I'd say Backlund is the foremost 2-way center, for his age bracket, in the entire league. However, he isn't Curtis Glencross in that he has big offensive upside and needs to start applying it ASAP. We don't need another Dustin Boyd or Chuck Kobasew.

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#12 Rain Dogs
November 24 2010, 01:34PM
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@walkinvisible

I can't hate anyone after the free tickets I got from MSG to watch the Isles - Rags game two years back. Sometimes, life works out when you're stuck in NYC alone.

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#13 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 01:41PM
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Flames on Twitter just now said Sarich is scratched.

Is he hurt or is it just because he's been fairly terrible in the last 2 games I wonder?

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#14 Domebeers.com
November 24 2010, 01:58PM
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P Sizzle doesnt shave before going on TV and proudly reps the brain melting JS?

You posting this with the bong in your hand or what?

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#16 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 02:18PM
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Pat Steinberg wrote:

Just made the edit...Mikkelson and Staios together it looks like.

Well that's frightening.

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#17 Aaron
November 24 2010, 02:25PM
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$2M to $4M worth of defencee sitting up in the press box on any given game... brutal. Add in injuries, more than $10M being paid to guys who aren't playing.

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#18 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 02:40PM
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Aaron wrote:

$2M to $4M worth of defencee sitting up in the press box on any given game... brutal. Add in injuries, more than $10M being paid to guys who aren't playing.

At some point they may do one of those "hoarder" shows on Darryl Sutter.

"Darryl...why is this room filled with overpriced defensemen? You already have dozens stashed around the house."

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#19 R O
November 24 2010, 02:48PM
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Just me or does this team just willingly dress a bunch of really awful 3rd pairing Dmen now?

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#20 schevvy
November 24 2010, 03:20PM
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The Flames should give Backlund a chance to be a number 1 centre. If they keep playing him 3rd line, they won't know what he could do on a first line

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#21 Tach
November 24 2010, 03:44PM
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@Kent Wilson

It may also be possible he has been awful because he has been hurt and it just now occurred to Brent that Staios/Mikkelson healthy is a better option.

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#22 Kent Wilson
November 24 2010, 03:56PM
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@Tach

Yeah, I asked about the possibility on Twitter today, but never got a reply from anyone in the know.

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