PGD: Flames and San Jose

Pat Steinberg
September 11 2011 01:22PM

It's our Young Stars version of FGD in Penticton, as it's Flames Prospects Game Day tonight when Calgary's top young players hook up with those of the San Jose Sharks.  The game can be seen live on www.calgaryflames.com and we'll have a full recap following the matchup.  It's a pretty veteran looking Flames squad as they take part in the first game of the tournament.

The facility in Penticton is gorgeous, with two pristine sheets of ice and a main facility that most WHL teams would drool over.  The South Okanogan Events Centre can hold 5200 people for Penticton Vee's games, and some pretty nice crowds are expected tonight, especially for Vancouver's game against Oilers prospects.  You'll see a lot of familiar faces in the lineup for the Flames tonight, with a lot of guys who have played together.

The Lineup

It'll be our first look at 2011 first round draft pick Sven Baertschi in Flames game action, as he'll suit up for the game tonight, looking to see time with Roman Horak and Carter Bancks to start things off.  Baertschi scored 34 times in the regular season, helping him to 85 points in his rookie WHL season.  He was flying during gameday skate, and there's no question he has deadly finishing ability.  His skills might be heavily displayed tonight.  Here are the forward lines:

Lance Bouma-Mitch Wahl-Greg Nemisz
Sven Baertschi-Roman Horak-Carter Bancks
Patrick Holland-Max Reinhart-Ryan Howse
Gaelan Patterson-Blake Gal-Michael Ferland

A couple of interesting combinations to watch for tonight, starting with that first unit, which could be called the "08 Draft Line".  Going left to right, Bouma, Wahl and Nemisz went third, second, and first round in 2008 and all have spent time with the Abbotsford Heat last season.  Look for them to get a ton of ice time, because all three players will be heavily used by the Heat for the coming year.  Bouma is by far the most experienced, having suited up for 16 games with the Flames last year.

I'm wondering if Howse and Bancks might switch spots at some point during the game tonight, just because of the natural connection between Howse and Horak, who were teammates in Chilliwack.  Reinhart and Holland playing together really intrigues me, and I'm going to be heavily focused on them and what situations Troy Ward puts them in.  They're both strong two way players, and they both have shown an ability in junior to move the play north even when put in tough defensive situations.

I wasn't able to catch defensive pairings for the Flames, but they'll go with 6 on the blueline tonight, and a pretty veteran look at that.  These are not pairings, but I'll put them down in that format.

Chris Breen-T.J. Brodie
John Negrin-Reid Jackson
Joey Leach-James Martin

Again, those are not official pairings, just the six guys playing tonight, but you might just see Leach and Martin end up together in this one, as they're teammates with the Kootenay Ice.  Breen and Brodie are going to be given plenty of opportunities in all situations, while Jackson and Martin are both playing on tryout offers.

In net, the Flames have brought in Strathmore product Adam Avramenko to take the spot of Laurent Brossoit, who injured his groin last week.  Avramenko played a pair of game with the Floride Everblades of the ECHL last year, but spent most of his time in the SPHL splliting time with Fayetteville and Augusta.  He likely won't see any playing time tonight, as it looks like Joni Ortio will get the start; Andrew Engelage will be his backup.

The Opponent

We don't know a whole lot about who the Sharks will dress tonight, as their skate was going on at the same time as Calgary's this morning.  Last year, their group of prospects went 2-1 in the Young Stars Tournament, and will bring a number of players back this time around.  Two of San Jose's 2011 draft picks will also participate in defencemen Dylan DeMelo and Justin Sefton.  They've brought eight defencemen overall.

  • Konrad Abeltshauser, Halifax (QMJHL)
  • Sena Acolatse, Price George (WHL)
  • Zach Bell, Brampton (OHL)
  • Antoine Corbin, Prince Albert (WHL)
  • Dylan DeMelo, Mississauga (OHL)
  • Taylor Doherty, Kingston (OHL)
  • Justin Sefton, Sudbury (OHL)
  • William Wrenn, Portland (WHL)

Michael Sgarbossa lead the Sharks in scoring one year ago at this tournament, and finished second overall with four points in two games.  He returns this year after a year split between Sudbury and Saginaw in the Ontario Hockey League, and joins a fairly sizeable group of returning forwards including Freddie Hamilton who's coming off a great year in Niagra.  San Jose brought 16 forwards to Penticton.

  • Joe Antilla, Kootenay (WHL)
  • Trevor Cheek, Calgary (WHL)
  • Mike Connolly, Minnesota-Duluth (WCHA)
  • Curt Gogol, Chilliwack (WHL)
  • Freddie Hamilton, (OHL)
  • Chalres Inglis, Prince George (WHL)
  • James Livingston, Plymouth (OHL)
  • Tony Lucia, Worcester (AHL)
  • James Marcou, Worcester (AHL)
  • Nathan Moon, Kingston (OHL)
  • Brodie Reid, Northeastern (HE)
  • Michael Sgarbossa, Sudbury (OHL)
  • Ben Thomson, Kitchener (OHL)
  • Scooter Vaughan, Michigan (CCHA)
  • Marek Viedensky, Saskatoon (WHL)
  • Dylan Wruck, Edmonton (WHL)

Forward Benn Ferriero took part in this tournament last year and made a very good impression, so much so that he saw 33 games with the Sharks in the regular season.  He also scored an overtime winner against Detroit in one of his eight games in the postseason.

In net, both J.P. Anderson and Thomas Heemskerk return for another year, joined by Harri Sateri from Finland who saw seven games of action in the AHL last season.  Sateri is the oldest of the three.

  • J.P. Anderson, Mississauga (OHL)
  • Thomas Heemskerk, Moose Jaw (WHL)
  • Harri Sateri, Worcester (AHL)

The Story

The common narrative over the past few seasons has been how bare the cupboards are for the Calgary Flames.  It's true, there are very few blue chip, high end prospects in the system right now.  That said, as I believe this tournament will flesh out, there are some bonafide NHLers in the system.  Over the past couple seasons, names like Reinhart, Holland, Howse and Brodie have emerged as players to be excited for; combine Baertschi with that group, and there's plenty of reasons to watch tonight's game online.

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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 Sincity1976
September 11 2011, 02:41PM
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According to the official site the D pairings are:

Brodie-Breen Negrin-Jackson Leach-Martin

On forward it looks like they are going to challange Howse to develop his defensive game by putting him with Reinhert and Holland. I am really interested in seeing how the Reinhert/Holland combination works.

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#4 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 04:27PM
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Lots of interesting names in the game tonight. I'm going to try to catch as much as possible.

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#5 Eric
September 11 2011, 04:31PM
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It's too easy for skeptics to say there are no high-end prospects in the Flames system, but there are definitely guys playing tonight to get excited about. How do we know guys like Reinhart, Brodie, Howse - just three examples - won't keep making the huge strides they've been making the past few seasons? There are multiple examples in recent hockey history that your potential does not cap off in your late teens, early 20s. You can always grow, always amaze, always dazzle, and always overachieve as a young hockey player. This season could very well be a huge year for some Flames prospects. On the same hand, it could be riddled with more mediocrity and disappointment. Tonight is certainly the first test either way. I'm pumped!

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#6 RossCreekNation
September 11 2011, 04:42PM
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Interested to see (among others) how Reinhart, Breen & Ortio look specifically. If Breen is as good as some suggest, he should stand out a bit. Hoping Ortio is a legitimate prospect that surpasses Irving.

Nemisz, Wahl, Bouma & Brodie should all look good, given their experience, but I'm more interested in seeing how they perform in main camp.

Curious whether or not Howse & Horak are legit as well.

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#7 RossCreekNation
September 11 2011, 04:44PM
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Oh... and that Baertschi guy, too ;-)

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#8 Sincity1976
September 11 2011, 04:51PM
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@Eric

A quick scan at last years top 10 in NHL scoring shows one undrafted player, one picked in the 7-round, and one picked in the 3. So anything is possible.

Of course five were picked in the top 5 and seven were picked in the first round.

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#10 FireOnIce
September 11 2011, 05:15PM
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Wow, terrible mis-play by Ortio, saved by the D, and then the Sharks score. I know it's early but that did not look good at all.

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#11 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:15PM
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Tough sequence for Ortio on the opening goal. Breen also turned a recovery into a giant give away too.

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#12 FireOnIce
September 11 2011, 05:18PM
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2 shots, 2 goals? 3 shots? Man, Ortio does not look good up high.

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#13 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:18PM
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Brodie has to contain better on the rush there.

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#14 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:19PM
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@FireOnIce

I can't say he had a chance on the 2nd goal. That was a point blank roof job.

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#15 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:20PM
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Nice sequence for Holland and Reinhart.

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#17 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:25PM
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Big push back by the Flames here.

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#19 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 05:27PM
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I can't find the link for the game. Can someone please post it here?

Thanks,

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#20 FireOnIce
September 11 2011, 05:27PM
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http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=73219&navid=DL|CGY|home

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#21 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 05:31PM
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@FireOnIce

Thank you!

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#22 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:32PM
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I've liked a couple of plays by Bancks as well. Baretschi looks pretty comfortable given his age. I was hoping for more from Wahl et al, although they had one nice shift.

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#25 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:35PM
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Outstanding play by Reinhart to create the SH break-away. The saves by the SJS goalie were amazing too.

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#26 FireOnIce
September 11 2011, 05:36PM
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Good breakout by Reinhart there and he stayed with the puck even after the first save. Perhaps a little faster skating and he might have had a clean breakaway.

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#27 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:37PM
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Baerstchi is quite fast. His pass over the sprawling defender was great too.

Flames are really unlucky to be down by 2 here.

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#28 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:39PM
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Aside from all of two mistakes, Flames kids with a pretty strong period.

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#29 FireOnIce
September 11 2011, 05:41PM
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Baertschi looks pretty good, however, I don't think he has really had a chance to shine. He shows brief flashes of excellent stickhandling but really has not been able to capitalize.

Brodie and Breen need to make some smarter decisions.

But, it's still only the first period of the first game in a prospect tournament, so these are very small things.

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#30 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 05:42PM
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Finally I'm now watching and I missed the 1st. BTW it won't play on the IPad.

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#31 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 05:46PM
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@Kent Wilson

Dominant really. Possesion time is heavily in their favour. I am sure Ortio wants that first one back. Great play by the Shark kids on the second goal.

All in all, typical Flames team play. Low skill level, high on compete.

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#32 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:48PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I liked the skill level in some cases as well. Pucks didn't just go in for them is all. I mean, Ferland, Reinhart and Baertschi were all in on high-end chances. Goalie just stood on his head.

Sometimes the scoreboard doesn't reward the better team.

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#33 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 05:54PM
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Interesting to hear how well the Sharks have drafted over the last few years.

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#34 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 05:55PM
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@ChinookArch

They are one of the very best in the league in terms of procuring players from the draft.

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#35 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 05:55PM
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@Kent Wilson

True enough, guess I was looking for a few more plays like Reinharts

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#36 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 06:01PM
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Geez, Flames can't buy one.

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#37 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 06:01PM
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Great play with some nice passing.

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#38 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:02PM
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Poop. Nice pass by Horak.

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#39 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 06:03PM
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Negrin and Hal just got worked on that 2-on-2. Backed in way too far and watched the puck to boot.

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#40 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:07PM
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Reinhart. Goddamn. Kid can play.

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#41 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:10PM
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Well that was Poor-tio

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#42 Robert Cleave
September 11 2011, 06:10PM
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Nice save, Kipper.

Err...

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#43 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 06:10PM
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Yeesh. Rough night for Brodie and Ortio.

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#44 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 06:10PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Well that was Poor-tio

haha, well done.

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#45 Kent Wilson
September 11 2011, 06:12PM
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Like what I've seen from Baertschi again in this period.

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#46 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:13PM
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Poop. Some good plays. But some bad finish.

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#47 Robert Cleave
September 11 2011, 06:14PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Like what I've seen from Baertschi again in this period.

His hands and passing look about as advertised.

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#48 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:14PM
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@Kent Wilson

Agreed. Kid is one of the youngest out there and is standing out. In a good way.

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#49 jeremywilhelm
September 11 2011, 06:14PM
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Man, Brodie really looks like crap out there tonight. That's disappointing.

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#50 ChinookArch
September 11 2011, 06:16PM
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When is sJ back up coming in this guy is killing us.

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