FGD: Finally Back At 'Er

Justin Azevedo
January 31 2013 03:44PM

After a long 4-day break, the Flames are back on the ice tonight at home versus the Colorado Avalanche.

While a 1-2-1 record might not look too fancy, I've been quite impressed with the play of the Flames thus far. Of course, the caveats about it being early and small sample size, etc. apply - but the Flames have outchanced a really good team at evens (San Jose), a crap team at evens (Edmonton), and have basically played two games to a draw with two teams that right now have the look and feel of bubble teams (Vancouver, although that will change, and Anaheim).

Point being, this start has just added to my optimism about this edition of the Flames.

Tonight, Calgary will welcome the Colorado Avalanche to the 'Dome. The Avs are on the second game of a back-to-back (losing 3-0 last night to Vancouver in the rainy city), and are currently sporting a depleted roster - meaning that tonight is a great opportunity for the Flames to pick up two points.

NHL.com's preview teases this as a showdown between the two bottom teams in the west, but that's a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that the Flames have only played 4 games - two less than 6 other teams and 3 less than another 6  (the remaining have 5). Being a game against a division rival and a team the Flames will be fighting off in late April, it would be nice to see the Flames' relative dominance against the Avs continue: after struggling against Colorado for a couple of years, Calgary is 9-2-1 against the Avs in the past two seasons.

The Line-Up 

  • Glencross - Tanguay - Iginla
  • Cammalleri - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Hudler - Stajan - Cervenka
  • Begin - Jones - Comeau

  • Giordano - Bouwmeester
  • Wideman - Brodie
  • Sarich - Butler

  • Kiprusoff

SVEN! will not be playing tonight as he is week-to-week with a hip flexor strain, suffered a couple of days ago in practice. So far, he hasn't put up points with the same gusto as he did in his 5 games last year but I think he's looked pretty good out there for a 20-year old in his first pro year.

Chris Butler draws back into the lineup, which is definitely a good thing. He's the teams 4th or 5th best defenseman, so it doesn't make sense to me that he would sit in favour of the 6th or 7th, especially since it didn't seem to me like there was anything wrong with his play.

I've mostly liked Hartley's line matching this season, as through 4 games to my eye it seems that Iginla's line has been gifted the high ground as much as possible, although he is still mostly playing against the other team's best. This is a nice change from Brent Sutter, who of course, uh, struggled with that at times.

Roman Cervenka missed the last two practices but he's good to go for tonight.

THE OPPONENT

  • Olver - Duchene - Parenteau  
  • McGinn - Stastny - Jones  
  • Kobasew - Mitchell - Hejduk  
  • McLeod - Malone - Bordeleau  

  • Johnson  - Wilson  
  • O'Byrne - Hejda  
  • Zanon - Barrie

  • Giguere

Matt Duchene's had a nice start to the season, with two goals and three assists in 6 games. Duchene had a bit of a down year last year, as a concussion limited him season to 58 games and he put up just 28 points (.49 PPG). Problem was he had a personal SH% of about 3% less than his two previous seasons, plus he lost some ice time with the emergence of O'Reilly/Landeskog.

As you can tell, the Avs are pretty weak right now, as their two best players (the aforementioned Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reiliy) are both out of the lineup. Landeskog suffered a head/neck injury after a nasty hit earlier this week, and O'Reiliy is currently holding out because the Avs are insanely cheap and don't want to give one of the the best all around players in the Northwest Division the cash he deserves.

On that note, OFFER SHEET HIM FEASTER HOLY CRAP

Sum It Up

The Flames are a better team right now than the Avs are, full stop. There is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't run them out of the building tonight, especially since the Avs are coming in tired after a late game last night. The way the Flames have played early on makes me think that will be the case.

Go Flames.

And Now A Word from our sponsor...

 

One last reminder to swing by the Tilted Kilt tonight for what I'm sure will be the first of many FlamesNation game nights there. FN readers get $10 off their tab and a chance to win other prizes. Just let the manager know you read the site and presto! Free stuff.

See you there.

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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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#51 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:18PM
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@Willi P

The reason I ask is because Iginla has had 9 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in his career where as Gordie only had 3. Upon hearing this, the source suggested renaming it the Iginla Hat Trick.

If it were renamed, I believe it would have to be the Shanahan Hat Trick, since I believe he has the record for the most.

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#52 Willi P
January 31 2013, 07:19PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:
The reason I ask is because Iginla has had 9 Gordie Howe Hat Tricks in his career where as Gordie only had 3. Upon hearing this, the source suggested renaming it the Iginla Hat Trick.

If it were renamed, I believe it would have to be the Shanahan Hat Trick, since I believe he has the record for the most.

Thanks Vintage, did not know that.

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#53 Willi P
January 31 2013, 07:21PM
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I would take either from Iginla

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#54 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:27PM
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@Willi P

Well I stand corrected and you are indeed correct.

Shanny ended with 9 GHHT's and last year, Iggy recorded his 10th.

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#55 Willi P
January 31 2013, 07:28PM
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So it is a JIHT!

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#56 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 07:30PM
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@Willi P

how many did rocket richard get?

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#57 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:30PM
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Just for the sake of drama, I'll say Tangs gets the first goal tonight.

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#58 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:31PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

how many did rocket richard get?

No way to know for sure, since they didn't track them back then.

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#59 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 07:36PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

No way to know for sure, since they didn't track them back then.

safe to say he was a leader well before howe, he was a madman

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#60 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:37PM
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@negrilcowboy

One tough Frenchman, that's for damn sure.

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#61 Willi P
January 31 2013, 07:38PM
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Hudler's first

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#62 thymebalm
January 31 2013, 07:42PM
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Hudler goal 5v5 with Stajan. mark it down!

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#63 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 07:43PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

One tough Frenchman, that's for damn sure.

tough oh ya and crazed too. his eyes were like a great white sharks, death stare.

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#64 schevvy
January 31 2013, 07:44PM
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What a beard on Zanon. Shea Weber's got nothing on that. Wow

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#65 thymebalm
January 31 2013, 07:46PM
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too bad he was flat footed... Cammy could have had a shot.

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#66 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:48PM
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I really wish Wideman was a bit better at hitting the net on those one-timers from the point.

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#67 thymebalm
January 31 2013, 07:52PM
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Backlund flashed skill that whole last shift!

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#68 thymebalm
January 31 2013, 07:52PM
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Nice tip effort by Jackman

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#69 schevvy
January 31 2013, 07:52PM
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Wow how did that not go in??? Stone hands Jackman lol

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#70 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 07:53PM
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Nice tip from Jackman there. Almost looked like a goal scorer.

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#71 Mitch P
January 31 2013, 07:58PM
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Can someone text that idiot from the Hockey News Hudler just scored?

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#72 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:00PM
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Yuck Butler

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#73 Mitch P
January 31 2013, 08:01PM
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Butler noooooooooooo.....

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#74 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:01PM
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That's why he was scratched

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#75 Sarich
January 31 2013, 08:02PM
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Sarich and butler with a minute left in the period and a one goal lead? Is this calgary novice hockey fair play equal ice? That's a pathetic display of bench management

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#76 Mitch P
January 31 2013, 08:05PM
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@Sarich

I don't know man. As horrible as that pass was I don't think you can fault lousy bench management for that one.

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#77 Jonathan Happy
January 31 2013, 08:06PM
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Great screen by Sarich. Too bad it was on the wrong goalie.

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#78 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 08:07PM
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schevvy wrote:

That's why he was scratched

schevvy for coach of the year. better yet rename the trophy the schevvy

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#79 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:11PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

schevvy for coach of the year. better yet rename the trophy the schevvy

I'm surprised my phone isn't ringing with calls from the NHL! :)

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#80 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:15PM
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I missed the 1st. How did it go?

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#81 exsanguinator
January 31 2013, 08:16PM
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Damn it Phoenix, just move to Quebec City already and call a spade a spade.

Sorry, seeing hockey central made me angry.

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#82 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:17PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

I missed the 1st. How did it go?

They played generally pretty good, Hudler got his 1st. The Avs goal though was caused by a brutal play by Butler. Shots 12-7 Flames

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#83 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:19PM
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Thanks Shevvy.

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#84 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 08:19PM
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schevvy wrote:

I'm surprised my phone isn't ringing with calls from the NHL! :)

whats the n for schev lol, watched your ole pal dion tonight. what a trainwreck. my leaf fan buddies who never seen him in the flames silks figure there must have been an alien abduction

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#85 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:20PM
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TV Buddy with the glasses says the coyotes deal expires at midnight which is about 2am Calgary time. Um... its actually midnight here too guy. kids.

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#86 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:23PM
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BOOOO yAAAA ka Shaaa Hoodie!

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#87 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:23PM
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WOW! That was incredible!

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#88 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 08:25PM
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stajan is a ragin. wow

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#89 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:25PM
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Ugh Kipper. Yuck

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#90 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:26PM
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ohh boy. Kipper wants that one back. softie

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#91 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 08:29PM
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At this rate Stajan is going to have to have a tete-en-tete with Kipper in the intermission.. #WaitWhat

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#92 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:32PM
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I am liking this Czechs + Stajan line

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#93 aloudoun
January 31 2013, 08:33PM
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Hudler and Cervenka are such amazing players they make Stajan good!

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#94 aloudoun
January 31 2013, 08:34PM
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schevvy wrote:

I am liking this Czechs + Stajan line

They keep Stajan in czech? (har har)

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#95 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:34PM
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there definitely seems to be a roll reversal bewteen Stajan and Kipper doesn't there. Cervenka is on fire tonight.

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#96 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 08:36PM
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Stajan finally found some wingers he has chemistry with. 3 years later.

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#97 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:37PM
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aloudoun wrote:

They keep Stajan in czech? (har har)

Well played sir (not really haha)

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#98 thymebalm
January 31 2013, 08:38PM
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We should call the line... The Czech Matts!

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#99 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:39PM
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Dirrrty puns...

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#100 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:39PM
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I think all the commenters coming up with these puns are all secretly Gene Principe

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