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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#201 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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#202 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 09:48PM
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Only the Calgary Flames can complicate a 5 on 3...

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#203 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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#204 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:51PM
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sad trombone.

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#205 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:51PM
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Woo! Backs!

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#206 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:51PM
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F'in yeah!

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#207 RKD
January 23 2013, 09:51PM
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Backlund!!!!!

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#208 Emir
January 23 2013, 09:51PM
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I love it!

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#209 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:52PM
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THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!

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#210 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 09:52PM
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Backlund!

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#211 schevvy
January 23 2013, 09:52PM
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That was a surprisingly nice play by Iggy

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#212 Gunk
January 23 2013, 09:53PM
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Good lord. what a mess of a PP that still scores... I'll take it. Kerr always inspires me.

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#213 Canucks Suck
January 23 2013, 09:53PM
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YAY BACKLUND

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#214 kevin
January 23 2013, 09:53PM
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Iggy with the dangle and dish! Wait what?

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#215 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 09:54PM
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@schevvy

Yeah quite the deke.

The first unit was generally poor before that. Kinda funny they had about 3 minutes of 5on3 time, only for most of the second unit to come out and score in about 5 seconds.

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#216 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 09:54PM
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@schevvy

Agreed, those moves rarely work with Iggy's. Baertschi effect?

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#217 Drad
January 23 2013, 09:54PM
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That's actually a terrible goal for the Flames - now Iggy's gonna think he can toe-drag and beat guys one-on-one.

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#218 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:54PM
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Amazing how the goaltender interference get missed on Kipper and then called 15 sec later on Comeau

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#219 Gunk
January 23 2013, 09:54PM
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Am I the only one who absolutely loves Wideman? what an addition he is, if you thought a rock was solid...

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#220 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:56PM
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Gunk wrote:

Am I the only one who absolutely loves Wideman? what an addition he is, if you thought a rock was solid...

It would be nicer if Wideman could hit the net more consistantly.

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#221 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 09:57PM
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Canuck fans are stupid.

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#222 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 09:59PM
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Gunk wrote:

Am I the only one who absolutely loves Wideman? what an addition he is, if you thought a rock was solid...

I actually like Babchuks slapper more (sorry, everyone).

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#223 Gunk
January 23 2013, 09:59PM
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Wideman's accuracy isn't as bad as Fanoof's is :-)

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#224 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 09:59PM
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Gotta love when Simmer starts talking about fisting

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#225 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:00PM
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...at least he doesnt break teammates arms

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#226 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:00PM
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Well, Flames are lucky the Nucks took three straight penalties. That said, good on them for taking advantage of their opportunities.

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#227 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:00PM
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loudogYYC wrote:

I actually like Babchuks slapper more (sorry, everyone).

Shut up loudog :)

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#228 clyde
January 23 2013, 10:01PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Gotta love when Simmer starts talking about fisting

during the play too

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#229 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:01PM
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@loudogYYC

Wideman is a very good quarterback, and so far I trust not to get caught flat footed when the puck comes to him. Babchuk is terrible.

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#230 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:01PM
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I heard the awkward fisting comment... I think he realized he was walking on ify territory with the whole fisting penalty.. lol

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#231 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:01PM
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Backlund has less ice time that Comeau and Jones in this contest so far.

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#234 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:03PM
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@Kent Wilson

Maybe he earned a little more time after his goal.

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#235 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:03PM
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Amazing Calgary is 54% in the FO circle

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#236 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:04PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Wideman is a very good quarterback, and so far I trust not to get caught flat footed when the puck comes to him. Babchuk is terrible.

Oh I know. Babchuk is one of those players that was blessed with a wicked shot but nothing else. Like Andy Delmore.

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#237 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:05PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Again, Im surprised it's that close.

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#238 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:06PM
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@loudogYYC

Babchuk has a very heavy shot. Igive him that.

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#239 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:06PM
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@ChinookArch

Part of it has been the special teams I guess since he doesn't PK or play on the first unit PP.

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#240 SmellOfVictory
January 23 2013, 10:08PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Backlund has less ice time that Comeau and Jones in this contest so far.

I assume that's partially due to Comeau and Jones getting hemmed in for like five minutes straight. Also probably screwed a little bit by the line juggling.

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#242 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:11PM
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I hope for Comeau sake that he finds his game, he has not been good in the 1st three games.

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#243 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:11PM
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K boys what's the verdict, has Calgary already played it's 1 good period or is it coming next?

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#244 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:13PM
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Yotes lose Mike Smith eh...

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#245 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:14PM
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Loving how many comments are on here! Good work folks

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#246 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:14PM
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@Vintage Flame

Yandle for Bernier and a pick. Wild guess.

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#247 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:14PM
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I wish I had faith that the flames will get "inspired" and own the 3rd period. but my money would be on Van to take it. (shhh this is my new reverse jynxing theory)

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#248 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:15PM
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@loudogYYC

I'm not optimistic. Sorry.

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#249 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:16PM
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Enough with this awful thing Telus.

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#250 Canucks Suck
January 23 2013, 10:17PM
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I am loving that shot by wideman on the powerplay our PP this season alone is one bright spot so far. Its 110% better than last year it seems.

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