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 22-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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#51 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:25PM
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I hope for his sake Backlund excels with Iginla and Cammalleri tonight.

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#52 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:26PM
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What happened to the regular Canucks anthem dude?

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#53 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 08:27PM
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@Kent Wilson

Backlund? What about Baertchi, he is working with Stajen and Comeau

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#54 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 08:28PM
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@schevvy

Heart attack

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#55 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:28PM
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The Tanguay line starts. Interesting.

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#56 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:29PM
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God the Sedins are good.

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#57 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:29PM
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@ChinookArch

Eh. Baertschi has plenty of leeway with the club to find his way.

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#58 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:29PM
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LOTS of empty seats in Vancouver

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#59 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:29PM
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Is this a test for Backlund tonight Kent? Or just Hartley mixing things up?

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#60 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:30PM
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Beartschi with Comeau and Stajan..... *facepalm*

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#61 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:32PM
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@Vintage Flame

I'd say so. Hartley experimenting, looking to see what works.

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#62 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:34PM
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Wow Schneider. Playing the puck is not his forté

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#63 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:35PM
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Not a lot going on so far.

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#65 negrilcowboy
January 23 2013, 08:36PM
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schevvy wrote:

Wow Schneider. Playing the puck is not his forté

heck of alot easier being the number two guy, the spotlights pretty blinding when exspectations are higher

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#66 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 08:37PM
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@Kent Wilson

Did you get a chance to look at Blyve?

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#67 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:37PM
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Smith's gap control isn't terrible.

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#68 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:37PM
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This fan right, fan wrong telus promo is awful.

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#69 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:38PM
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Why would Giordano play the puck like that?

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#70 Baalzamon
January 23 2013, 08:38PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This fan right, fan wrong telus promo is awful.

ugh makes me yearn for the criminally easy trivia.

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#71 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:39PM
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Looks like AV wants the Sedins against Tanguay. Figures having a non-center playing center is an advantage for his top line.

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#72 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:40PM
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Again, Flames neutral zone strategy is non-existent.

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#73 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:40PM
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Brodie looks awesome.

Cammalleri is driving me nuts.

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#74 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:41PM
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I'm baffled Schreoder is on the second line. Baffled.

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#75 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:41PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This fan right, fan wrong telus promo is awful.

It makes that Telus ad from a couple years ago seem incredible

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#76 Baalzamon
January 23 2013, 08:43PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Kassian on the top line.

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#77 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:43PM
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Good play by Baertschi to keep that PP drive alive.

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#78 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 08:43PM
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The 2nd pp unit is good again.

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#79 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:43PM
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Once again the Flames 2nd PP unit creating the chances..

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#80 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:44PM
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Help us PP. You're our only hope.

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#81 negrilcowboy
January 23 2013, 08:44PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Kassian on the top line.

somebody has to throw a check, god knows the sistas dont

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#82 kevin
January 23 2013, 08:44PM
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it is just me or does the 2nd pp unit look better than our first

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#83 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:45PM
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@Baalzamon

It's the perfect spot for him. He doesn't have to do anything. Just like he likes.

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#84 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 08:45PM
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Sloppy period so far on both sides. Lots of random passes. Nice move by Baertschi on the PP, though.

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#85 Baalzamon
January 23 2013, 08:45PM
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does Malhotra ever lose a draw? like, ever?

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#86 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:45PM
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The 1st unit did score the 2 goals on Monday.

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#87 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:47PM
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Cammalleri looks retarded out there.

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#88 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:47PM
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Seriously. Cammalleri is a liability every single shift.

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#89 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:48PM
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Kipper definitely looks better this game... so far.

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#90 negrilcowboy
January 23 2013, 08:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Seriously. Cammalleri is a liability every single shift.

rainy boork bad

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#91 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:50PM
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Maybe Cammalleri took too much of his pink juice in the off-season and it affected him negatively.

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#92 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:50PM
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Wow. Dominated.

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#93 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:50PM
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How does AV get the Sedins out against the 4th line and 3rd pairing?

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#94 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:50PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Kipper definitely looks better this game... so far.

Shut up VF, don't jinx him

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#95 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:52PM
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Just terrible. Even worse period yet.

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#96 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:52PM
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I have faith Cammalleri will get better, but for now...take him off the top line.

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#97 Emir
January 23 2013, 08:52PM
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Ah we have become a cherry picking team. That will help us out defensively.

On another note it appears that skating is optional. Should have signed Redden.

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#98 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:52PM
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Cammalleri looks like Fat Falloon so far this year! #DrinkPink

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#100 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:57PM
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Decent shift by the Stajan line. Baertschi has had a good first.

Not much else going on though. I think they generated 2 ES scoring chances in that period, none by the top 6.

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