FGD: Let's Have a Pardy

Pat Steinberg
December 07 2010 12:33PM

Adam Pardy looks to make his return to the Calgary lineup this evening as the Flames play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning; the only meeting between the teams this season (7:30 pm, Sportsnet West and The FAN 960).  Everyone is excited to see Steven Stamkos in action for the first time, as the Lightning kick off a western Canadian swing.

This one should be fun...mostly because of the high flying opposition; or more accurately, the high flying top talent on the opposition.  Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have been as scary a duo offensively as there is in the NHL this season, and shutting them down was what everyone was talking about at morning skate today.

The Lineup

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 1: Adam Pardy #7 of the Calgary Flames celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the first period of NHL action during the season opener on October 1, 2009 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)
 

It was an optional skate this morning, but we know Adam Pardy will return to the lineup in place of Steve Staios.  It'll be just the third game of the season for Pardy, who was injured back in early October in Calgary's home opener against the LA Kings.  Head Coach Brent Sutter hinted that Pardy would play with Anton Babchuk tonight, at least to start.  Here would be the suspected pairings for tonight:

Robyn Regehr-Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano-Cory Sarich
Anton Babchuk-Adam Pardy

Up front, it seemed this morning like Mikael Backlund may sit out for a second straight game, but that was until this tweet from Roger Millions:

There's a rumor Flames may take Jokinen out..and put backlund in...interesting...Jokinen may be wearing out the Coach

We'll see if we can't flesh that out the rest of the day; we may not know until pregame skate, so check back at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg closer to the game.  These were lines on Sunday in Chicago:

Alex Tanguay-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla
Niklas Hagman-Olli Jokinen-Ales Kotalik
Curtis Glencross-David Moss-Rene Bourque
Tom Kostopoulos-Brendan Morrison-Tim Jackman

Sutter was asked about Bourque a few times this morning, and the message is clear...the guy has to be more consistent, and has to start working to be the type of player we all know he can be.  That's the frustrating part about Bourque...when he's going, he's extremely difficult to contain and can control a game.  When he's not, he's ineffective and very frustrating to watch.

Miikka Kiprusoff gets the start in net.

The Opponent

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Steven Stamkos  of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on November 17, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
 

The 15-9-3 Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Saddledome for the first and only time this season, a team we all know has top end scoring punch.  Stamkos is second in the NHL in both goals (21) and points (40) and St. Louis is rolling with 34 points.  It drops off from there, however...Vincent Lecavalier is out of the lineup as he recovers from hand surgery while Steve Downie could be sidelined 3-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered Thursday.

Simon Gagne has been elevated to the top line with Stamkos and St. Louis, as he skated with those two in Tampa's 6-5 win over Colorado on Saturday.  Here are projected lines and pairings:

Simon Gagne-Steve Stamkos-Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone-Dominic-Moore-Teddy Purcell
Johan Harju-Mattias Ritola-Sean Bergenheim
Adam Hall-Nate Thompson-Dana Tyrell

Mike Lundin-Pavel Kubina
Brett Clark-Victor Hedman
Mattias Ohlund-Randy Jones

Tampa's goaltending has been atrocious at times, with neither Mike Smith nor Dan Ellis impressing anyone...Ellis will start tonight.  Both goalies have save percentages below .900 and both have goals against numbers north of three.  Yikes.

The Story

Calgary took far too many penalties on Sunday against the Hawks, finding themselves shorthanded nine times and surrendering four goals in that span, albeit one into an empty net.  Tampa's powerplay is statistically right there with Chicago's, clicking at 23.6% for the season.  Yeah, with that Stamkos kid setting up at that left circle...maybe staying out of the box would be good.  Everything else pertinent to the Flames has been said about 200 times this season: get on a roll, find consistency, limit mistakes, blah blah blah.

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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 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 12:54PM
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So...how long do the brothers Sutter leave Backlund needlessly rotting on the vine in the press box?

Not going to play him gents? Send him down. I'm not of the mind that watching games helps development all that much.

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#2 icedawg_42
December 07 2010, 12:56PM
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Why would you pair a defensive liability with someone who hasnt played in ~2 months? Then Pardy will get "sat" for having a poor performance tonight.

Interesting tweet from Roger Millions:

"There's a rumor Flames may take Jokinen out...and put backlund in..interesting...Jokinen may be wearing out the Coach"

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#5 icedawg_42
December 07 2010, 01:15PM
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Article in the Herald today quoting Brent Sutter saying he wants Backlund to see how the stars like Toews and Stamkos do it or something to that effect, but Im with you guys - he should play.

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#6 icedawg_42
December 07 2010, 01:21PM
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Aforementioned article quoting Brent Sutter: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Injury+Staios+opens+door+Flames+teammate+Pardy/3938295/story.html

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#7 dotfras
December 07 2010, 01:24PM
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Should be a good game!

Hoping Backlund gets in the lineup tonight.

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#8 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 01:53PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Why would you pair a defensive liability with someone who hasnt played in ~2 months? Then Pardy will get "sat" for having a poor performance tonight.

Interesting tweet from Roger Millions:

"There's a rumor Flames may take Jokinen out...and put backlund in..interesting...Jokinen may be wearing out the Coach"

If true, I retract my initial rant.

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#9 Domebeers.com
December 07 2010, 01:57PM
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Did he say that? That Backlund will get better by watching Toews, instead of playing against him?

Can we sit Brent up in the press box?

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#10 Roadhouse
December 07 2010, 02:03PM
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SEND THE SUTTERITES BACK TO THEIR FARM!!

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#11 Backburner
December 07 2010, 02:05PM
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I would just keep Joker on the 4th line for the rest of the year.

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#12 Backburner
December 07 2010, 02:06PM
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Anyone else hearing trade rumours? I hope that's not why Backlund has been a healthy scratch!

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#13 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 02:07PM
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Backburner wrote:

Anyone else hearing trade rumours? I hope that's not why Backlund has been a healthy scratch!

Trade rumors will dog this team for the rest of the season. At least.

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#14 everton fc
December 07 2010, 02:15PM
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Seems we should be seeing how Backlund competes versus Stamkos... would being in the same game inspire him.

Sitting Jokinen would be a huge development.

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#15 otto
December 07 2010, 02:31PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

So...how long do the brothers Sutter leave Backlund needlessly rotting on the vine in the press box?

Not going to play him gents? Send him down. I'm not of the mind that watching games helps development all that much.

Sitting out teaches young players that sitting out sucks.I like Backlund but his last few games hes looked pretty soft.I wouldn't mind seeing if our other centers could learn a thing or two by watching a game.

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#16 Dave
December 07 2010, 02:33PM
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it's interesting that every blog on here always turns into "fire the sutters" or at least D sutter. I think it just goes to show what the fans find important.

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#17 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 02:43PM
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Dave wrote:

it's interesting that every blog on here always turns into "fire the sutters" or at least D sutter. I think it just goes to show what the fans find important.

I think you'll find similar sentiments across the web under any story concerned with the Flames.

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#18 Gange
December 07 2010, 02:49PM
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Dave wrote:

it's interesting that every blog on here always turns into "fire the sutters" or at least D sutter. I think it just goes to show what the fans find important.

I'm not sure how, when you look at the makeup of this team, you can separate the GM from the team.

Understand that if Yzerman had put this team together in YYC I'd call for him to be responsible as well.

It really has nothing to do with the name Sutter.

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#19 Monaertchi Gaudnett
December 07 2010, 03:32PM
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Santa Claus is a pervert.

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#20 walkinvisible
December 07 2010, 03:32PM
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at some point, if you're going to "stay the course," it makes SENSE to play a backlund over a jokinen because the outcome doesn't matter any more.

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#21 PrairieStew
December 07 2010, 03:35PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

If true, I retract my initial rant.

Rant away brother.

15 minutes a game or send him down to get PP time. No more Doug Wickenheiser treatment.

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#22 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 07:14PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Article in the Herald today quoting Brent Sutter saying he wants Backlund to see how the stars like Toews and Stamkos do it or something to that effect, but Im with you guys - he should play.

let him learn on the ice, give him minutes at the nhl level. otherwise he must be in abbotsford.ya got play him somewhere, the press box is for the spare parts.

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