AGD: Looking for back of the net

Kent Wilson
December 15 2012 02:39PM

 

Time: 8:00pm MST

Location: Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre

Broadcast: SNET

While the Heat have deserved a better fate in some of the games they've lost this month, last night wasn't one of those instances. Abbotsford was being outshot 21-5 at one point in the second and spent a generous portion of the evening in the penalty box. The 3-1 score probably flattered them.

The Heat can get right back on the horse tonight against the Stars, potentially with the return (maybe) if Sven Baertschi. Scoring has continued to be an issue in his absence and there's no question he is the most creative offensive talent on the club by a wide margin.

The Line-up

  • Horak - Reinhart - Walter
  • Kolanos - Byron - Sylvester
  • Banks - Olson - Aliu
  • Ruesegger - Laing - Street

  • Brodie - Piskula
  • Breen - McCarthy
  • McKelvie - Lamb

  • Brust

Greg Nemisz wasn't in the line-up last night. I don't know if that's because he's injured again or Ward just wanted to try something else with Aliu. Either way, it's bad news for a guy who has yet to mark the scoresheet in this, his third (and pivotal) pro season with the team.

If Baertschi returns, look for him to replace Kolanos in the top 6.

The Opposition

Cody Eakin scored another two points in the Stars win last night, moving his total to 17 points on the year and 10 in December. Apparently Alex Chiasson had a good outing yesterday as well. 

  • Fraser - Eakin - Sceviour
  • Roussel - Morin - Vincour
  • Chiasson - Wathier - Smith
  • Heddon - Peterson - Gazdic

  • Oleksiak - Fortunas
  • Benn - Barker
  • Nemeth - Dillon

  • Nilstorp

Texas may well go with Nilstorp again since he won last night, but this being a B2B it could be Campbell in net instead, which would be good news for Abbotsford.

Sum it Up

The Heat's offense has completely dried up this month, with just eight goals in their last six games. The defense continues to be relatively strong, but averaging just 1.3 goals/game makes it to tough to win. Here's hoping Baertschi can come back from IR and spark something sooner rather than later.

Also, remember the game is on SNET tonight, so set your PVR's if you're heading out for Christmas festivities. It's the closest thing we'll get to Flames hockey for awhile it seems.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 mk
December 15 2012, 03:48PM
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Here's to hoping the boys make something happen tonight. It might not be in the cards, but it would make my lockout sickness a wee bit better if the Heat topped to AHL at the end of the season. Especially if the Barons continue to be meh.

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#2 bookofloob
December 15 2012, 03:58PM
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It's always a good day on Barry Brust day

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#3 RexLibris
December 15 2012, 05:57PM
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What is the word on Baertschi? Is it still concussion-related? Any updates?

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#4 SmellOfVictory
December 15 2012, 05:59PM
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bookofloob wrote:

It's always a good day on Barry Brust day

In Brust We Trust

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#6 Vowswithin
December 15 2012, 08:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Might be a concussion. Might be a neck problem. Either way, he's supposed to be back soon.

Could be either, but I would guess if it was a concussion they would take more time with the flames savior lol. So if you see him soon my guess is it was neck.

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#7 Baalzamon
December 15 2012, 09:05PM
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T.J. Brodie is definitely the best player on either team.

I don't know if it's play style or what, but Max Reinhart looks HUGE!! bigger than Nemisz.

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#8 RexLibris
December 15 2012, 09:30PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Might be a concussion. Might be a neck problem. Either way, he's supposed to be back soon.

According to Bob McCown (and what isn't?), a neck problem IS a concussion depending on the severity and location.

I loved listening to his big scoop at the All-star game and then watching the furious backpedaling.

Honestly, though, I hope it is something like a pinched nerve in the neck or some other such common athletic ailment. He may be a Flame, but hockey shouldn't be deprived of a talent like him.

I see the Heat are trying to adopt the famous Rope-A-Dope strategy on the shot clock. Has anyone told them it doesn't work? In Brust They Trust, apparently.

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#9 jeremywilhelm
December 15 2012, 09:32PM
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If you can't score on Jack Campbell, you can't score on anyone.

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#10 jeremywilhelm
December 15 2012, 09:34PM
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Haha, classic Kolanos. Lets everyone do the hard work.

Horak is ruining his Cy young candidacy with these assists.

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#11 RexLibris
December 15 2012, 09:41PM
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Eberle had a 4 goal, 5 pt night tonight and is currently sporting a 27.9 shooting %. Schultz is clocking in at 18.3 %.

It'd be nice if the Barons could spread some of that around a little.

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#12 jeremywilhelm
December 15 2012, 11:28PM
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How many AHL lifers are actually as good as Brust is this season?

I say the guy deserves an extended look in the NHL.

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#13 Baalzamon
December 16 2012, 12:05AM
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not to sound like a raving madman, but seriously, there is NO WAY in which T.J. Brodie doesn't contribute to the Heat. Top EV pair, top PP unit, top PK unit AND he was their first shooter in the shootout (and he scored).

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#14 FireOnIce
December 16 2012, 03:08AM
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@jeremywilhelm

Ty Conklin, Brent Johnson, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton.

Brust would pretty much fit into that category of goalies, if he was an NHL regular. Give him a shot, make Irving work for the backup job, and hope we get the record-setting Boucher and not the losing the Stanley Cup Boucher.

As for Kolanos, I'm not surprised he fell back to Earth. Everyone was all up on his short and curlies last season but his play was a fluke. Never been an NHL regular and never stuck with a single AHL team for longer than a year or two. Might as well sign Brad Isbister while we're at it.

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#15 thymebalm
December 16 2012, 05:39PM
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You are so off base on Kolanos.

He would have been an NHL regular were it not for injury, he went straight from college to the NHL, and had a good rookie year.

His play last year wasn't a fluke, it's consistent with his AHL career: 251PTS in 287GP.

I mean, if you are gonna hate on the guy, at least do it for the right reasons. The knocks on Kolanos are simple and obvious, he's a terrible back checker, he lacks physicality and he goes through spells where he floats around and won't engage the play.

He's still one hell of a sniper and has the skill level to continue last years output.

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#17 Baalzamon
December 16 2012, 11:17PM
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@Kent Wilson

I didn't even watch the whole game, and I'm not even kidding, he made at least 6 unbelievable passes... and made them look mundane. His poise is just ridiculous, and when put together with his skill and skating... wow.

His defensive game is really coming along too. Maybe--just maybe--he has more upside than we thought.

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#19 Baalzamon
December 17 2012, 12:14PM
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@Kent Wilson

Oh absolutely. He doesn't strike me as the sort of player who'll go out and score 50 points (he really isn't an explosive player, though he can really dominate in the AHL). What's getting me right now is his defensive game. This is the first time since I've been watching him that I've felt he might have average or above-average defensive upside.

then again, it was an AHL game.

But yeah, Paul Martin upside from a 4th rounder. I'd be pretty happy with that too.

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