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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#151 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:29PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Uhh, is Baertschi benched? And, if so, why?

Wonder if got a stinger on that shot from Wideman?

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#152 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:29PM
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@Kent Wilson

No the play has been in our end the whole time so why deploy him in that situation. At least thats what Im thinking.

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#153 kevin
January 23 2013, 09:30PM
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Thank ya kip

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#154 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:30PM
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I am really trying to temper my thoughts on the team this early, but they look like an AHL team. Just crap.

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#155 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:30PM
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@jeremywilhelm

Let's not get too mad, it is still scoreless. The Canucks are playing better but it is not that bad for Calgary

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#156 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:31PM
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Wow, just garbage.

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#157 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:31PM
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Falling apart

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#158 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:31PM
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Well that was long time coming.

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#159 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:31PM
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schevvy wrote:

Let's not get too mad, it is still scoreless. The Canucks are playing better but it is not that bad for Calgary

Shut up schevvy

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#160 kevin
January 23 2013, 09:31PM
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Wow

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#161 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:32PM
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why do I get the feeling that the flood gates have opened?

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#162 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:32PM
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Dumb penalty by Smith

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#163 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:33PM
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@schevvy

It's not that it was just scoreless, it's that I have seen beer league teams play with more hockey smarts than this team has.

They look exactly as terrible as they did last year. Its like I have been transported a year back in time.

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#164 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:33PM
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@schevvy

Stupid double post

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#165 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:35PM
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Yep, all those moronic tendencies I saw last year are on display tonight.

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#166 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:35PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

It's not that it was just scoreless, it's that I have seen beer league teams play with more hockey smarts than this team has.

They look exactly as terrible as they did last year. Its like I have been transported a year back in time.

In hindsight, I agree haha

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#167 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:35PM
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The Iginla on the PK thing is ridiculous.

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#168 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:35PM
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*facepalm*

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#169 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:36PM
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Why does Raymond always score vs the Flames

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#171 Rain Dogs
January 23 2013, 09:38PM
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Not even halfway through the game and the shots are 25-9....

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#172 Clyde
January 23 2013, 09:38PM
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The drive for 30th is looking great. Wouldn't it be great if Feaster can do well at the trade table. This team is a disaster but at least Kipper can't even hide that fact any longer.

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#173 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:38PM
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I feel as if i am going off a but here,

but I must say, in the 20 games I have seen this season from all over the NHL, no team has looked as terrible as the Flames. No other team is so disorganized in all three zones. It is becoming unwatchable.

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#174 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:39PM
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Hey-o!

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#175 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:39PM
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that goal looked AND sounded nice.

Glad tangs took the shot.

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#176 RKD
January 23 2013, 09:39PM
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Tangs scores!!

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#177 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:39PM
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Great shot from Tangs

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#178 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:40PM
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Man I love it when Tanguay shoots.

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#180 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:40PM
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Right decision by Tanguay there.

Flames are lucky to be in this one.

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#181 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:41PM
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Hey just for the record, this team does look bad. But at times I see the parts that look good. I think this team needs to keep working through everything. I think we have something, but this something has to figure itself out or else it wont get a chance to see what it can be.

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#182 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:42PM
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Haven t seen anything this year from Comeau that I've liked. He has been bad.

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#183 Gunk
January 23 2013, 09:42PM
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hey folks, newb alert, is there a place where i can watch your comments update automatically so I can troll without hitting F5 :-)

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#184 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 09:42PM
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2-1 and they have no reason to be.

I'm PVRing the rest, so I don't punch my computer and to give you guys a break from my terrible hissy fit.

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#185 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:42PM
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Have to give credit to Glencross though. He's looked pretty decent so far.

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#186 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:43PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

2-1 and they have no reason to be.

I'm PVRing the rest, so I don't punch my computer and to give you guys a break from my terrible hissy fit.

Bye JW

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#187 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:43PM
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@Gunk

I wish. For now we're stuck with this, but we're looking at alternatives.

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#188 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:44PM
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Speaking of trolls.. Is it just me, or does anyone else miss Toad, err... Todd?

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#189 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:45PM
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At least the PP looks good.

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#190 Gunk
January 23 2013, 09:45PM
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roger that. thanks. 5-3? woot!

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#191 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:45PM
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HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN???

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#192 Canucks Suck
January 23 2013, 09:45PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Speaking of trolls.. Is it just me, or does anyone else miss Toad, err... Todd?

Yep right here HAHA

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#193 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:45PM
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Not me.

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#194 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:46PM
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Let's score boys

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#195 Canucks Suck
January 23 2013, 09:47PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Not me.

No way he was way too funny. I always died laughing at what he would say then when his team chokes its even better.

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#196 clyde
January 23 2013, 09:47PM
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@Kent Wilson

That is true at least as far as puck movement goes.

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#197 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:47PM
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Shouldn't Hamhuis putting his hand on the puck in the crease mean a penalty shot?

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#198 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:47PM
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Why is cammi on the power play. He hasn't earned it. Put him in the press box.

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#199 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 09:48PM
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Only the Calgary Flames can complicate a 5 on 3...

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#200 Clyde
January 23 2013, 09:50PM
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loudogYYC wrote:

Only the Calgary Flames can complicate a 5 on 3...

Would love to see Sven, Back and someone else here right now

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