Flames Weekend Guide, November 8 2012

Ryan Pike
November 08 2012 11:41AM

 

 

While CBA talks are reportedly heating up (or at the very least occurring), the players in the Flames organization who can play hockey continue to do so. Once again, we've got a very busy weekend ahead, with only four prospects getting to rest up.

So, while John Ramage of the Wisconsin Badgers, Karri Ramo of Avangard Omsk and Markus Granlund and Joni Ortio of HIFK Helsinki enjoy some relaxation, check out what's on top for everyone else this coming weekend.

BATTLE OF ALBERTA, AHL STYLE

After a very productive few weeks (with only one regulation loss), the Abbotsford Heat will head into battle in a pair of very important, “measuring-stick” games Friday and Saturday against the Oklahoma City Barons. You might remember the Barons as the AHL affililate of those dastardly Edmonton Oilers. Saturday's game can be watched via Sportsnet, with Rob Kerr and Charlie Simmer calling the action live from Abbotsford. We will have BofA style cross-post here and OilersNation on Saturday as well.

The Heat continue to be lead by the dynamic duo of Sven Baertschi and Roman Horak, each of whom have 11 points. Horak is tops in the the American League in goals, which is just awesome to see from a guy who didn't really find his footing in Abbotsford last year. Danny Taylor is expected to be back between the pipes for the Heat.

The Barons boast the likes of Justin Schultz (15 points), Jordan Eberle (11 points), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (10 points) and the rest of the Oilers' highly-touted prospect base. They're backstopped by the tandem of Yann Danis and Olivier Roy. Despite the stacked line-up, the Baby Oilers are hovering just above .500.

Meanwhile, the Baby, Baby Flames (the Utah Grizzlies, Abbotsford's farm team) plays a pair this weekend against the Colorado Eagles, the ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. Mitch Wahl and Bryan Cameron each have 6 points in 7 games for Utah, while James Martin (4 points), Gaelan Patterson (3 points) and Ryan Howse (1 point) are also expected to suit up this weekend for the Grizzlies.

JUNIOR

Fresh off a pair of appearances with Team QMJHL at the Subway Super Series, Ryan Culkin returns to the Quebec Remparts for a pair of home games this weekend. On Friday, the Remparts host the PEI Rocket, while the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles visit on Saturday. In the OHL, Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires have a relatively quiet weekend, visiting the Plymouth Whalers on Friday night.

Fresh off holding the best team in the WHL (Kamloops) to a single goal, Laurent Brossoit and the Edmonton Oil Kings face off against the Prince George Cougars on Friday and Saturday in Prince George. The Red Deer Rebels and captain Turner Elson play once, on Friday in Kelowna, their only game until November 17.

The surging Portland Winterhawks play three in three: Friday they tangle with Brett Kulak's Vancouver Giants (on Shaw), Saturday they visit the Spokane Chiefs, and on Sunday they host the Kamloops Blazers in a clash of the WHL's titans. Vancouver closes their weekend with a clash at home on Sunday against Prince George (who will be at the back-end of three games in three nights).

And last but not least, the Swift Current Broncos and Coda Gordon play twice this weekend: Saturday they host Prince Albert, then they travel to Brandon to play the Wheat Kings on Sunday.

COLLEGE

College prospects collide on Friday night in Boston, as the Boston College Eagles (featuring Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold) face off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (home of Nick Larson). Sure, it's a non-conference game, but it'll be a nice showcase of how good the Eagles are. Or how good Notre Dame is, maybe. BC closes out their weekend on Sunday against Massachusetts.

Providence College, home of Mark Jankowski and Jon Gillies, plays just once this weekend, facing Massachusetts on Friday. Jankowski had a great performance last weekend, so hopefully he can keep it up.

Speaking of players who had good weekends, Michigan State forward Matthew Deblouw hopes to repeat his recent four-point outburst during a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday against Michigan.

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#2 SmellOfVictory
November 08 2012, 12:34PM
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Does anyone watch the Remparts with any regularity? Because I watched the two Superseries QMJHL games, and Culkin didn't demonstrate the playstyle of someone sitting at a point-per-game. He was quite good defensively (bad luck notwithstanding), but offensively there was very little of anything from him.

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#3 Kent Wilson
November 08 2012, 12:38PM
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@SmellOfVictory

The QMJHL is the weakest in league in the CHL, so it tends to be a bit easier to put up points there, especially if you are on one of the better teams.

Culkin is. Grigorenko is the big gun there and he has 31 points in 16 games so far. He's a guy who will probably skip the next step altogether and go straight to the show.

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#4 SmellOfVictory
November 08 2012, 01:47PM
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Yeah, that was indirectly what was curious about; whether or not Grigs is the primary reason for his point totals, or if he's just a secondary point booster. I know Culkin and Grigorenko both play on the first PP unit, so that right there is kind of a flag.

At the same time, it could be possible that he's quite good offensively and just had a couple of bad games in a row. Happens to the best of us.

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#5 Kent Wilson
November 08 2012, 03:08PM
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@SmellOfVictory

Yeah. We'll have to wait to see how he does through the rest of the year.

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