FGD: FTC (Attack of the acronyms!)

Justin Azevedo
January 23 2013 02:19PM

 

Well, the past two games haven't gone as well as hoped. 

However, two games is only two games. Sure, 48 is less than 82, but to make as much noise as has been made feels, to me, asinine.

Tonight the Flames play a team with only one more point than they have: the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have gotten off to an even shakier start than the Flames, giving up 7 goals on opening night to the Anaheim Ducks and losing in overtime in Edmonton on Sunday. 

Last year, the Flames finished about even with Vancouver for the first time in years (3-2-1). With a Western Conference and division heavy schedule, Calgary will have to make hay against some of their closet rivals in order to make the post-season.

The Line-Up

  • Cammalleri-Backlund-Iginla
  • Glencross-Tanguay-Stempniak
  • Baertschi-Stajan-Comeau
  • Begin-Horak-Jackman

  • Bouwmeester-Giordano
  • Wideman-Brodie
  • Smith-Sarich

  • Kiprusoff

I'm already starting to question Hartley's decision-making when it comes to lines, although to be fair to the new bench boss he's still figuring out what he has with this roster.

That said, the existing set up above seems like it will get murdered if they try and go power versus power, but there's also no line that you can bury. To me, it looks like the Flames have the players for 3 second lines and a third line that you can feed to the wolves, but Hartley is going with 2 second lines, a generic third line and a 4th line. It is nice to see a natural center on the top unit in Backlund, however.

It seems Jones is getting bumped tonight in favor of Steve Begin, although with Hudler and Cervenka slated to return on Saturday, Roman Horak is the good bet to be sent down to Abbotsford given his waivers exepmt (and would be better served playing rather than watching from the pressbox as well).

The defense looks suspect to me as well - as much as I like Brodie, I'm not sure he's better suited to a top-4 role then Butler is, and given the line combos yesterday Butler could be a healthy scratch tonight, which is insane. Giordano had a terrible game one, Bouwmeester had a terrible game two, and Wideman just looks completely lost on the defending side of the red line. A shakeup is needed, for sure, but moving Butler out of the line-up altogether seems unncessarily harsh.

The Opponent

  • Sedin-Sedin-Kassian  
  • Higgins-Burrows-Hansen  
  • Raymond-Schroeder-Weise  
  • Volpatti-Malhotra-Lapierre

  • Hamhuis-Bieksa
  • Edler-Garrison
  • Ballard-Tanev

  • Schneider

There's been a faux-controversy regarding the Canucks' goaltending situation since...well, pretty much since ever. In my opinion, the better goalie started the season on the bench, but the difference between the two of them is probably pretty small. It remains to be seen how Schneider will hold up throughout a whole season, so it's probably a good idea that Mike Gillis held on to Luongo.

Obviously the prominent name missing from the above roster is Ryan Kesler, who is currently rehabbing from both shoulder and wrist surgeries and still has no timetable to return. Kesler is likely the best single player on the team - or, rather, the player that effects the team the most with his consistent Selke-caliber play. David Booth is also out long-term, which means the Canucks highly adept second line has been completely hollowed-out to start the season. As a result, Vancouver is far more vulnerable in the middle of the rotation - to the degree the Flames arguably have the better depth after the top line up front.

Sum It Up

Even if the Flames lose this one, I wouldn't be too worked up about it. They'd have one basically "equal" loss against Anaheim, a loss against a top-5 Western Conference team and another against their most hated rival/top-5 Western Conference team. Point is, two losses to good teams and an even game against another playoff bubble team isn't a big deal. The issue, more than anything, is timing. It's just not good optics for the team to have a start like this after the past three seasons under Brent Sutter. 

Saying that, it's always nice to see those pukes on the West Coast lose. Go Flames.

Enemy Perspective - Thom Drance sets things up from a Vancouver perspective at Canucks Army. Swing by and make sure to brink the smack talk.

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#351 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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Well, Im glad the Flames got a point to be honest, especially after the first couple periods. It was a good third period too.

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#352 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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God the Flames shooters aside from Tangs were very unimaginative

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#353 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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It's like they've never practised this before

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#354 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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4 Shots in a shoot out! Man! Im lost with these guys. Just sad.

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#355 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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Why no Sven??

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#356 Colin.S
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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Seriously now, is it really THAT difficult to NOT just shoot it directly at the goalie. UGH the shootout the bane of the Flames.

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#357 clyde
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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Good to see we left our creative and skilled youngsters on the bench.

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#358 Drad
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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Cervenka Hudler Reinhart

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#359 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 11:08PM
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Soooo predictable.

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#360 Benny
January 23 2013, 11:09PM
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Why didn t they put Baertchi for a change instead of the same old same old?

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#361 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:09PM
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Oh well. At least we got 1.

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#362 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 11:09PM
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F*ckin f*ck!

I can say that right?

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#363 Gunk
January 23 2013, 11:10PM
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Agreed Kent, there are definitely some positives to take out of this game even though they didn't get the W. pretty entertaining game. G-night guys its been a slice :)

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#364 clyde
January 23 2013, 11:10PM
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We went with the same old same old because we still have the same old same old.

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#365 kevin
January 23 2013, 11:12PM
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Really boys??? shootout was just god awful..Why not put out Sven Or Backlund? WTF

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#366 Jibmeister
January 23 2013, 11:13PM
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SVEN. WHERE WAS SVEN.

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#368 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 11:22PM
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Really not sure why the shootout order didn't go Tanguay - Sven - Backs

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#369 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:25PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Really not sure why the shootout order didn't go Tanguay - Sven - Backs

Yeah that would have been mine. Get some skill guys in there. I could do what everyone except Tangs did.

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#370 Steve
January 23 2013, 11:35PM
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Just look at how Schneider played them! He didn't even know where the shots were going, they just hit him, they didn't have any room. For God's sakes someone make a deke! When Glencross came out I knew it was going to be more of the same.

Since I mention Glencross, I can't help but feel frustrated every time I see him standing still, arms hanging at his side, one hand on the stick... That's the image I have of him after this game - what's that magic phrase, "Keep your *#&@$in' feet moving!".

Kipper, Gio were back on tonight I thought. JayBo, better. Most everybody was decent, but a bit of laziness (mostly GlenX!). Still a bit of fumbleitis, and now we get to add a couple more rusty forwards into the lineup. Oh well, call it a night.

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#371 the forgotten man
January 23 2013, 11:38PM
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Seriously, the Flames may want to invest in a breakaway coach. It would probably return more points per season than any player signing and it doesn't go against the Cap. Hockey needs to go even more like the NFL and have sub specialty coaches for specific things. The players have obviously shown they have no confidence or creativity when put in a breakaway situation...with that the case you then implement a former player or specialist who can "design" up to 10 scripted moves to begin. Then have your 6-7 best skilled guys practice these ad nauseam. Sad it comes to this when you are paying some of these guys the jack they get.

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#372 Kevin R
January 23 2013, 11:48PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

Seriously, the Flames may want to invest in a breakaway coach. It would probably return more points per season than any player signing and it doesn't go against the Cap. Hockey needs to go even more like the NFL and have sub specialty coaches for specific things. The players have obviously shown they have no confidence or creativity when put in a breakaway situation...with that the case you then implement a former player or specialist who can "design" up to 10 scripted moves to begin. Then have your 6-7 best skilled guys practice these ad nauseam. Sad it comes to this when you are paying some of these guys the jack they get.

Sounds like a job for Theo Fleury.

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