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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#301 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

FIRST POINT OF THE YEAR.

Damnit Kent

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#302 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:50PM
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1 pt so far. Yeah!

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#303 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:50PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

1 point!!! #Progress

Beat you though haha

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#304 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 10:51PM
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As per Rob Kerr, this is big boy hockey.

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#305 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:52PM
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Cmon get the puck

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#306 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:52PM
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What is Kerr talking about?

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#308 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:54PM
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Hit the net.. god...

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#309 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 10:54PM
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How can that pile of humanity in front of the net lead to zero penalties?

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#310 Vintage Flame
January 23 2013, 10:54PM
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How did Smith put that over the net???

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#311 Ryan Pike
January 23 2013, 10:54PM
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@Kent Wilson

Big boy hockey.

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#312 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:56PM
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They tackled Iginla

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#313 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Shootout baby

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#314 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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HOW WAS THERE NO CALLS ON THAT SCRAMBLE

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#315 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Amazing Smith missed that chance.

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#316 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Tanguay Backlund Iginla

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#318 Gunk
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Stemp/Wideman/Glencross

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#319 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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We are a much better team 4-4 this team, better skating and passing... thanks to Brodie, Wideman, Stemp, Backlund, Baertschi

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#320 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 10:57PM
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Tangs Bear Glen

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#322 schevvy
January 23 2013, 10:58PM
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Well. Sven, Tangs and Backs?

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#323 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 10:58PM
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funkyjaman wrote:

Tangs Bear Glen

Maybe pull Gelinas off the bench to shoot

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#324 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 10:59PM
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Tangs, Stemp, Backlund

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#325 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 10:59PM
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sven, backs, stemp

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#326 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 10:59PM
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Cammi.?

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#327 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 10:59PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Didn't the Flames get at least two chances in that scrum?

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#328 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:00PM
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We want Lu to play the shootout

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#329 Gunk
January 23 2013, 11:00PM
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needless to say this is a HUGE 2pts on the line>>>

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#331 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 11:01PM
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@MC Hockey

This seems to be his team and moment!

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#332 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 11:01PM
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oof

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#333 loudogYYC
January 23 2013, 11:03PM
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Iggy always slows down... I don't get it.

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#334 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 11:03PM
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Booyah

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#336 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 11:04PM
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Cammi gonna win it!

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#337 Gunk
January 23 2013, 11:04PM
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close... :-)

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#338 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 11:04PM
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Backlund

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#339 Gunk
January 23 2013, 11:05PM
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Stemper? 4th

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#340 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 11:05PM
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Oh Cammalleri. You have been a sink hole to start the year.

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#341 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 11:05PM
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Henhenh Raymond

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#342 Rubberbadger
January 23 2013, 11:05PM
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Gotta let Baertschi shoot now

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#344 Gunk
January 23 2013, 11:06PM
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grrrr.... baertchi now?

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#345 funkyjaman
January 23 2013, 11:06PM
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This team is awful at this stuff!

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#346 Kent Wilson
January 23 2013, 11:06PM
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Quite the move by Kassian.

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#347 Clyde
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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Not winnin for Mckinnon still alive and well.

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#348 schevvy
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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Boo

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#349 MC Hockey
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

god damnit

Second that

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#350 ChinookArch
January 23 2013, 11:07PM
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Good night gents!

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