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.

A9d138d0e612f28cd46f9b7057ed715d
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.
Avatar
#251 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@loudogYYC

I can't imagine they'll be that bad again. The second was their terrible period and luckily the Canucks punctuated it with 3 consecutive penalties.

Avatar
#252 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

With the way other team players are dropping from injuries this season, if the Flames stay healthy they may get in by default!

Positives!

Avatar
#253 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Iginla looking bad again tonight.... very slow

Avatar
#254 clyde
January 23 2013, 10:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Watching Bieska run Kipper with no penalty called simply because the refs had called Van for 2 straight penalties is why NHL officials are such a joke.

Avatar
#255 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Got a feeling Iggy just needs that "first" goal, and he might go on a tear.

Avatar
#256 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Comeau looks like he's playing with a floor hockey stick

Avatar
#257 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
clyde wrote:

Watching Bieska run Kipper with no penalty called simply because the refs had called Van for 2 straight penalties is why NHL officials are such a joke.

Let's be honest though... as we saw in the NFL, the real refs are the best we can get

Avatar
#258 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I can see Iggy warming up, even if he doesn't score this game, he's about to break out. That's perfect if we want to trade him at the deadline :)

Avatar
#259 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Vintage Flame wrote:

Comeau looks like he's playing with a floor hockey stick

I don't like him with Baertschi at all

Avatar
#260 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

holy bowl over kipper>

Avatar
#261 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

About time Van gets called on the goalie interference

Avatar
#262 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Rubberbadger wrote:

I don't like him with Baertschi at all

Nope.. me neither

Avatar
#263 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 10:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Man just once I would like to see a flames player mess some ones stuff up after running our goalies like that! jezzzzzus!

Avatar
#264 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Rubberbadger

Jarome hasn't looked too bad to me. He's more engaged than he was half the time last year at least.

Avatar
#265 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Iggy has a sickly strong wrister but he always seems to take just a split second too long to get it off alot of times..

Avatar
#266 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Good pressure from the Flames.. Keep it rolling

Avatar
#267 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Coach finally separates Baertschi from Comeau! Man... What the hell happened to that guy he plays like a tiny European checker.

Avatar
#268 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

What a pace to this game now...

Avatar
#269 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Backlund is on fire

Avatar
#270 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

What a great third period.

Avatar
#271 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

FFS.. Get off the ice Comeau

Avatar
#272 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This one is definitely more evenly contested.

Avatar
#273 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

How do you miss that Bouw!!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#274 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yikes that was some good play there.

Avatar
#275 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That is a LOAD of Brown Bananas that Iggy the post

Avatar
#276 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That was the hardest shot that I've ever seen from Bouwmeester.

Avatar
#277 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I love that Gio commercial

Avatar
#278 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
ChinookArch wrote:

That was the hardest shot that I've ever seen from Bouwmeester.

Hahah you wrote exactly what I was thinking.

Avatar
#279 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Maybe it's just me but I'm never going to see that Mama movie. Looks terrifying

Avatar
#280 JonnyR
January 23 2013, 10:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Why does JayBo hate hitting the net?

Avatar
#281 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames look good but need an accurate shot

Avatar
#282 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
schevvy wrote:

Maybe it's just me but I'm never going to see that Mama movie. Looks terrifying

You'll need an adult to accompany you schevv.

Avatar
#283 Drad
January 23 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

If Iginla and the 'top' line can at least stay close to above water in PVP, our bottom six should be able to make some hay. There's a lot of useful bodies to make a relatively capable group once Cervenka and Hudler come back.

Matchups are the big problem. Witness the big boys on ANA and SJ.

But man, Vancouver does not look like the Vancouver of the past couple years.

Avatar
#284 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I'm sure Shnied's will be happy that his GAA will drop significantly from the 11 when he started this game.

Avatar
#285 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Vintage Flame wrote:

You'll need an adult to accompany you schevv.

I'll need a guardian angel so I don't die

Avatar
#286 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well damn

Avatar
#287 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

F*ckin Jones...

Avatar
#288 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Drad wrote:

If Iginla and the 'top' line can at least stay close to above water in PVP, our bottom six should be able to make some hay. There's a lot of useful bodies to make a relatively capable group once Cervenka and Hudler come back.

Matchups are the big problem. Witness the big boys on ANA and SJ.

But man, Vancouver does not look like the Vancouver of the past couple years.

Not to defend the V-boys but they had the least players in Europe or AHL so bound to start slow

Avatar
#289 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Drad

Yeah take out Kesler and it's a different story.

Avatar
#290 Drad
January 23 2013, 10:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

However, you still shouldn't take a penalty in the late stages of the third against them.

Avatar
#291 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Yeah take out Kesler and it's a different story.

Yup he matters

Avatar
#293 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

That call was a load of brown bananas

Avatar
#294 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Don't blow it Flames

Avatar
#295 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hit the net!

Avatar
#296 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Why is Stajan on the ice!?!?!?!

Avatar
#297 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

ooo kipper. back to your old self. *sigh

Avatar
#298 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

FIRST POINT OF THE YEAR.

Avatar
#299 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

A POINT!!

Avatar
#300 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

1 point!!! #Progress

Comments are closed for this article.