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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#101 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:57PM
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@Justin Azevedo

So the shots don't reflect the way the game is going?

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#102 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:57PM
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Leave it to Stajan to try a slapshot on his backhand

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#103 Emir
January 23 2013, 08:57PM
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Baertchi is looking good, and stajan doesnt look like a complete plug out there.

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#105 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:58PM
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@schevvy

Canucks owning puck. Not shooting much.

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#106 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:58PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Not as bad as I thought it would be.

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#107 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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Darn.

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#108 schevvy
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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Ah get the backhand in the air Iggy

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#109 negrilcowboy
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Cammalleri looks like Fat Falloon so far this year! #DrinkPink

loophole broke his arm tonight, maybe the leafs would take cammy in exchange for a first round pick

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#110 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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So much for Backlund staying on the Iginla line...

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#111 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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Can't believe Iginla didn't bury that one. Nice save by Schneider though.

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#112 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 08:59PM
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Flames looking better.

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#113 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:01PM
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Nice to see the Flames doing better over the FO dot. 8-7 Nucks and all 8 are probably Malholtra

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#115 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:02PM
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I didn't think backlund looked bad; I thought cammi was the weak link on that line.

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#116 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:02PM
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The first 15 minutes were uninspired but they limited the damage and were decent to end the period.

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#117 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:02PM
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I was leery early on. But that actually ended up being a better period than I had hoped.

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#118 kevin
January 23 2013, 09:02PM
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Iggy should have atleast 3 goals this year...UGH

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#119 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:02PM
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Emir wrote:

I didn't think backlund looked bad; I thought cammi was the weak link on that line.

Agreed. Cammy looks awful. Iggy and Backlund were fine

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#120 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:04PM
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I want a full period of Baertchi-Backlund-Iginla

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#121 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 09:05PM
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Flames get a B- for the period.

They got hemmed into their own zone but didn't seem like they were in any trouble. They created chances but couldn't bury them. They had bad luck with wonky passes once again. But Kiprusoff was good.

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#122 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:05PM
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Also this team relies completely on chemistry. Complete discombobulation as soon as lines are jumbled.

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#123 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:05PM
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I'm really hoping at some point, we get to see Baertschi - Backlund - Cervenka on Saturday

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#124 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:08PM
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Who are we playing Saturday?

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#125 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:08PM
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@Vintage Flame

Im just curious to see cervenka period. I really wonder what kind of player he is. But I think we most likely see hudler with cervenka

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#126 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:10PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Who are we playing Saturday?

The Oil

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#128 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:11PM
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@ChinookArch

The dreaded Oil.

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#129 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:11PM
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Emir wrote:

Im just curious to see cervenka period. I really wonder what kind of player he is. But I think we most likely see hudler with cervenka

Me too. And, ya, I can see him at least starting with Hudler. Maybe those two with Stemps?

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#130 Baalzamon
January 23 2013, 09:13PM
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Hartley juggled the lines too fast. Just when the Glencross-Tanguay-Iginla unit was starting to show flashes of usefulness.

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#131 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:13PM
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@Justin Azevedo

I wonder what is was prior to the one faceoff win? Probably double digits.

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#132 Cp
January 23 2013, 09:14PM
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Cp wrote:

Is there a way to stream this game to a computer? Can't use a tv tonight.

So no live stream anywhere?

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#133 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:16PM
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@Vintage Flame

Based on cammi's play as of late I would probably go with Backlund in the middle with cervenka and hudler.

I'm doubtful they put cervenka up the middle right away.

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#134 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:18PM
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Also do the flames passes just seem terrible? The flames have never been known for their passing ability but right now its a 50% chance of working out.

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#135 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:18PM
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Man there were a lot of posts in the 1st.

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#136 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:20PM
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Great, here comes the sister act . . .

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#137 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:20PM
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Sneaky play by JayBo there.

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#138 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:23PM
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Kipper looks better.

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#139 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:24PM
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How do the Flames constantly get caught by the slow up on the wing and cut in. EVERYTIME!!!!

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#140 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:24PM
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Haha.. That's funny them trying to set up Kassian on the backdoor play

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#141 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:25PM
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backlund should have shot that.

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#142 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:26PM
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Oh god Sarich was trying to jump up on the play.

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#143 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:26PM
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MAKE A F*CKING PASS!

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#144 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:26PM
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Flames just can't seem to transition through the neutral zone.

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#145 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:26PM
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Emir wrote:

Based on cammi's play as of late I would probably go with Backlund in the middle with cervenka and hudler.

I'm doubtful they put cervenka up the middle right away.

I wouldn't mind seeing that experiment.

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#146 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:27PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

MAKE A F*CKING PASS!

Flames fans are in mid season form

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#147 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:28PM
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Uhh, is Baertschi benched? And, if so, why?

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#148 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:28PM
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I thought for sure we were going to see the Scorpion from Kipper there.

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#149 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:28PM
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Well i'm glad the regular kipper showed up tonight. Otherwise its 2 goals for vancouver by now.

But we have to cover the point better. Their defense is just doing whatever they want from the blue line

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#150 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:29PM
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Jesus, Flames video coaches need to just show this entire game to the defense on how to not be horribly sh!tty at playing defense.

I havent seen a single one of our D men cut off a pass in the N zone.

This is men against boys.

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