Postgame: Preseason Shutout

Pat Steinberg
September 27 2011 10:06PM

The Calgary Flames got back on the winning side of their preseason schedule, using a 13 save performance from Henrik Karlsson to get by the New York Islanders 2-0 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  It's the second to last exhibition contest for the Flames, who easily controlled an overmatched Islanders squad who had next to no desire to be in Calgary.  It wasn't a spectacular Flames performance, but they certainly didn't let the opposition do anything at all.

What Happened

This won't be all that wordy, because not all that much happened throughout.  The first period was very much similar to the two that would follow, in that Calgary had the puck for a vast majority of the game.  They didn't take a lot of shots or generate a one of scoring chances, but at even strength, they quite honestly limited almost nothing against.  The opening frame saw no scoring, with the Flames outshooting their opponent 7-4.

Calgary opened the scoring at 4:10 of the second period, as some four-on-four play ended.  Technically shorthanded, the Flames took advantage of a break the other way, as Matt Stajan slid a pass to Curtis Glencross who went backhand on Evgeni Nabokov.

Lee Stempniak would score at 4:21 of the third period at even strength, as the Flames would force a turnover at the defensive blueline, leading to an odd man situation the other way.  Alex Tanguay would fire a pass right to Lee Stempniak, who would fire it into the back of the net as a result for a 2-0 lead.  Karlsson would barely be tested, but would make stop all 13 shots he faced in rather easy fashion, for his first career shutout; albeit a preseason one.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames won?  Because they allowed nothing.  It doesn't matter if the Islanders brought a squad lacking in NHL regulars, it was on Calgary to be better.  While they weren't spectacular, the Flames pushed them to the outside and didn't let a young group start to feel it.  It was a controlled effort from them, and it's the preseason, so...yeah.

Red Warrior

I really liked Olli Jokinen on this night.  He's never going to be the 90 point guy he was in Florida, and that's okay.  He plays a top six role with the Calgary Flames, and he's turned his game into a simple one.  His decision making was just fine on this night, and he was pretty good in his own zone.  Playing with David Moss and Curtis Glencross, Jokinen seems to be at his most effective.

Sum It Up

And then there was one.  Calgary plays their final preseason game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night before they sit and wait for nine (NINE!) days prior to their October 8th regular season opener.  I think the Coyotes will give them more of a test, and ice a better lineup, so it should be a good evaluation tool.

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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 Karasu89
September 27 2011, 10:10PM
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Horak did alright tonight

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#2 coptin_
September 27 2011, 10:18PM
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woohoo when is the parade

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#3 CitizenFlame
September 27 2011, 10:33PM
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See who got caught pinching on the second goal? I hope that doesn't cause Staios his tryout with the Islanders. I'm glad the Flames didn't offer to re-up him this year.

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#4 SmellOfVictory
September 27 2011, 11:16PM
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Yeah, Joker only made one stupid pass attempt! And he made some very nice plays otherwise, including the near shorthanded breakaway. And competition aside, Karlsson looked quite good to me - better than I've seen him before in terms of being snappy and whatnot (technical terms).

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#5 Jeff Lebowski
September 28 2011, 12:28AM
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I didn't watch the entire game (boring) but what I saw was terrible entry by Calgary. When they're off the Flames just don't transition to offense well. It's rim it around the boards and high and hard off the glass breakouts. This is clearly not a puck possession team and that is as advertised but what we saw tonight is their fatal flaw IMO. When they struggle to make offense off the rush or click with their passing they dump it in and the other team just swing the puck around and prevent a forecheck. This team has to find a way to attack through the middle of the ice, they need to find someone who can control the puck and back the d up so they can keep possession (instead of dumping it every time). If only for the PP. Not one current player has that skill set. Calgary is full of straight line shooters save for Tanguay (Iggy is a great direct player but he don't dangle) but even Tanguay is more of a puck mover than possessor. Calgary needs some Russian skill!

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#6 ALL THE WAY IN
September 28 2011, 12:52AM
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I am a big fan of Paul Byron. His hockey sense, attitude and skill remind me of Jordan Eberle. I know this kid is going to be a big part of our team in the future and can't wait to see him full-time in a Flames sweater. I actually have faith in some of our prospects after seeing many of them play in the preason and the prospects tourny. I can see Reinhart and Baertchi playing together for a long time, and doing well. Horak doesn't look to far away from being a NHLer. Hopefully he and Howse can generate some offense for the Heat next year and build on their seasons together with the Bruins... P.S Glad to see Budweiser decided to keep the heroine in the beer. GFG!

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#7 Vintage Flame
September 28 2011, 12:58AM
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I tried to give a special look at Horak tonight during the game, and I must admit, I liked what I saw. He displayed some good puck handling and he didn't panic when he got into the traffic areas. He's also bigger than I initially thought he was. Overall he put on a decent display and I'm glad the Flames kept him up for some more time.

Good call on the red warrior Pat. I thought Olli looked really good tonight. He was skating north south and didn't see any of the swooping he's infamous for. Glad to see some consistency in the lines as well in keeping OMG together for a couple of games now.

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#8 FireOnIce
September 28 2011, 04:01AM
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Apparently Bourque is nursing a nagging injury... AGAIN. No bueno Rene, you need to stay healthy!

Despite playing the Islander's C team, this is still a good win for Karlsson. Gets him a couple more starts and builds his confidence on North American ice. I'm still not sold on the fact that fewer starts for Kipper will improve his play, but it definitely couldn't hurt. Especially if the team in front of Karlsson has confidence in his abilities (unlike McBackup).

PL3 and Ivanans need to be patrolling the Abbottsford ice this season, laying their own brand of goonery to "protect" players like Howse, Reinhart, and Holland (excuse me if any of these guys are playing in juniors, wasn't sure who was going where).

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#9 ChinookArch
September 28 2011, 07:14AM
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Hopefully Stajan can build on an okay night for him. And full credit to Matt for a great feed to GlenX on the first goal. Like it or not I can't see him being sent down to the Heat, he's gonna stick here. I thought keeping Horak was a publicity stunt by Feaster, but he is much better than I expected. I really see him has a pretty reliable call up this year. Overall the game left me wanting more - welcome to the pre-season.

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#10 icedawg_42
September 28 2011, 07:37AM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Hopefully Stajan can build on an okay night for him. And full credit to Matt for a great feed to GlenX on the first goal. Like it or not I can't see him being sent down to the Heat, he's gonna stick here. I thought keeping Horak was a publicity stunt by Feaster, but he is much better than I expected. I really see him has a pretty reliable call up this year. Overall the game left me wanting more - welcome to the pre-season.

I've really liked Horak this preseason - maybe it's because of how he came into the fold, but I was really expecting a career AHL'er, and I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that could well be wrong. I like his tenacity, patience and creativity. As far as Stajan, that's the best game we've seen out of him since he's been in calgary, albeit a preseason game vs sorely inferior comp. We should warn against reading too much into him moving "up" in the line rotation imo. We all know his biggest problem is his confidence, and i'll bet money that the move was Butter's attempt to bolster that. Now the onus is on him to stay there. As for the rest of the guys, you can really tell they're still trying to shake off the rust. Things will get better. I dont know why some people are expecting a ton of 'emotion' out of the team during preseason - lets get to the show already!

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#11 icedawg_42
September 28 2011, 07:39AM
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@FireOnIce

Reinhart and Holland are both going back to junior - fyi if you are under 20 yrs old you are inelegible to play in the AHL.

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#12 Jeff Lebowski
September 28 2011, 07:56AM
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I was reading Stajan commments that he is the whipping boy and there has been a lot of negativety around him in this city. He also went on to say his contract and poor production last year bring the scrutiny. I think he has a point. It's easy to pick at someone when all you're looking for is flaws. That and he arrived here in a major trade has put him in an unfair spot. I'm not saying he doesn't have to have a much better year. What I've been saying is you have to play him no lower than third line with players that compliment his skill set. Stajan is a give and go guy and he needs guys who move for him into the spots he wants. He would best fit in a non NE US market.

Where the heck does Bourque play? Moss?

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#13 Super_Gio
September 28 2011, 08:05AM
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Nice pass Stajan....I won't get too excited. It was a night where he HAD to stand out.

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#14 Danny Lawson
September 28 2011, 10:23AM
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Stajan did enough to maintain his position with the Flames. Game lacked intensity or emotion. Actually, boring.

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#15 Rain Dogs
September 28 2011, 11:14AM
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Someone has to say it...

You know that it Miikka in the picture, right?

As for Karlsson. If Malarchuk can come in and continue doing exactly what he appears to be doing (as evidenced in last nights observation):

1. Get Karlsson to stay on his feet on high shots. 2. Get Karlsson to eliminate unnecessary movements in the net... (stop over-moving) and 3. Get Karl, to drive his movements hard to establish strong depth and then STAY there...(not fade)...

well, then, we may have a pretty good goalie on our hands.

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#16 xis10ce
September 28 2011, 11:27AM
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I think TK needs to worry more about his roster spot right now than Stajan.

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#17 everton fc
September 28 2011, 11:58AM
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xis10ce wrote:

I think TK needs to worry more about his roster spot right now than Stajan.

Agreed. He'd be easy to waive, and with his salary, would no doubt be picked up by someone.

How did Bouma & Desbiens, Byron & Smith look?

I notice Horak was on the PK a lot. Byron was not. I think Byron will be heading to Abby and Horak may hold on.

It'd be nice to see Horak make this team. With Morrison out, he could centre the third of fourth lines (Backlund/Jokinen/Stajan/Horak)

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#18 Rain Dogs
September 28 2011, 12:19PM
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I'd say there are 9 guys on the roster for sure (Iggy, Tangs, Backs, Olli, Glenx, Moss, RBQ, Jacks, and Stemper)

Hagman I think has played himself onto the team...for now, which is 10

We need 13.

So that means Stajan, Bmo, Kosto, Bouma, Horak, Byron and Thug... get to battle it out.

In my eyes Stajan and the two thugs are out.

That gives us Bmo, Bouma, Kosto, Byron and Horak... more than one kid is not going to happen... one of the kids will make it, my money is on Bouma.

Hagman - Bouma/Bmo - Kosto

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#19 Artax
September 28 2011, 12:44PM
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Karasu89 wrote:

Horak did alright tonight

Agreed, he looked good. I think as a centre I'd take him over Byron at this point.

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#20 everton fc
September 28 2011, 01:10PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

I'd say there are 9 guys on the roster for sure (Iggy, Tangs, Backs, Olli, Glenx, Moss, RBQ, Jacks, and Stemper)

Hagman I think has played himself onto the team...for now, which is 10

We need 13.

So that means Stajan, Bmo, Kosto, Bouma, Horak, Byron and Thug... get to battle it out.

In my eyes Stajan and the two thugs are out.

That gives us Bmo, Bouma, Kosto, Byron and Horak... more than one kid is not going to happen... one of the kids will make it, my money is on Bouma.

Hagman - Bouma/Bmo - Kosto

I think the lines may look this way, opening night:

Tanguay-Backlund-Iginla Glencross-Jokinen-Moss Bourque-Stajan/Horak-Stempniak Hagman-Horak/Stajan-Jackman

#13 Bouma/Kosto/P3L

Not a bad fourth line, but no evidence in pre-season they are looking in this direction.

I'd like to see Horak with Hagman. I think Horak makes the team. If he doesn't, Bouma centres the fourth line. They have to give Stajan a shot at redemption. Too much money invested, nowhere to punt him. He will not be re-assigned. If he does well, great. You'd still have trouble moving him, even if he put up #s like he did with the Leafs, due to his salary. And they will not re-assign, hoping someone takes him on re-entry. Too much money to lose... You wait for a trade in the off-season, and move Stajan like you moved Kotalik. As bait for a player another team desperately wants... Who that player is, at this point, who knows...

When Morrison returns, you assess Horak & Stajan. Kostopoulos, Bouma or P3L are the one's fighting for the #13 spot. If Kosto is waived, I get a feeling we are stuck w/P3L, as our #13 forward...

Bouma should be the #13 forward.

Desbiens & Byron go down. Desbiens is the first call up if Bouma sticks, as he is bigger, gritty, and can fill in on the fourth line. If Bouma's sent down, he's the first call up. Byron needs work. His size clearly hurts him. One can't overlook this...

Ivanans is waived, then bought out at some point. He'll never play another game here.

If Kostopolous is not waived, he's your 13th forward, interchanging w/Hagman, short term. But that's not his role, really. It doesn't make sense. He's a regular, everyday fourth liner in this league, with value. A team like the Isles could use him. Good leader, strong work ethic. He'd be ideal on a young team in rebuild mode. Perhaps they can move him for a draft pick...

If Hagman is LW on a line centred by Horak, with Jackman creating space... A fourth line of this caliber, I think scores some goals. And I'd like to see that line starting off the season.

Thoughts?

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#21 Michael
September 28 2011, 02:59PM
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Bouma is likely the better fit for the fourth line, so unless one of the injuries persists Horak is likely going down.

Lots of talk from Feaster and Sutter about the kids being given a chance, but no real roster spots for them, and to be honest, most of them failed to impress...

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#22 everton fc
September 28 2011, 03:13PM
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Michael wrote:

Bouma is likely the better fit for the fourth line, so unless one of the injuries persists Horak is likely going down.

Lots of talk from Feaster and Sutter about the kids being given a chance, but no real roster spots for them, and to be honest, most of them failed to impress...

Bouma would survive in my scenario above, if Horak centered the 4th line. But only if Kosto is waived, and P3L is sent to Abby.

But I do see the value of letting Horak play more minutes in Abby. And Bouma is certainly ready for that 4th line role.

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