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 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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#101 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:42PM
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I must say, Gene is always willing and able to work the low brow puns and I find them quite humourous.

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#102 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 08:45PM
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Gunk wrote:

That was a nice looking PP (and don't say "that's what she said")

Okay I won't,,, but she did

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#103 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:46PM
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GET RID OF THIS PROMO

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#104 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:48PM
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Underwhelming,

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#105 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:49PM
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Jeez Butler has been legit awful

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#106 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 08:49PM
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We should play the Falling Stajan game. He falls so much. It's insane. Also, another goal with Sarich and Butler playing like Crap.

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#107 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:49PM
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Sarich andn butler. Awesome defending.

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#108 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:50PM
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The flames can not afford to lose this game. Can we blame it on puck luck? :-)

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#109 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:51PM
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@Gunk

Blame Sarich.

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#110 Clyde
January 31 2013, 08:51PM
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The team that can't score has 3 on us. Don't wait too long to trade Kippet

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#111 schevvy
January 31 2013, 08:53PM
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Hudler for Hart

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#112 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:53PM
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OOOOOOOOOOOOo baby! are you kidding me?!

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#113 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 08:53PM
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Holy Hudler. WTF!?

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#114 Q
January 31 2013, 08:53PM
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Flames blowin chunks tnite!

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#115 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:54PM
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Wideman was actully trying to get a shot on net there but accidentally passed it :)

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#116 Mitch P
January 31 2013, 08:55PM
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I hope that Hockey News guy is watching this show by Hudler right now.

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#117 Rain Dogs
January 31 2013, 08:56PM
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Hudler is very good.

Sarich, Butler and Kipper.... not so much this game.

Sarich and Butler together is a very bad idea.

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#118 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 08:56PM
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Maybe, if Stajan plays with Hudler and Cervenka long enough, the Flames can get a GM into believing he's good at hockey.

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#119 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:56PM
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@jeremywilhelm

Dad would be proud

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#120 Q
January 31 2013, 08:58PM
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Hudler is probably the most skilled acquisition we've had in a long time. Lets not waste this effort by him in the 3rd. Come on D!

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#121 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:59PM
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@ChinookArch

lol. Maybe...

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#122 Ryan Pike
January 31 2013, 09:01PM
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At Dome. Kipper has been okay. Hudler and Cervenka have been great. Crowd is okayish.

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#123 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:12PM
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Keep Sarich and Butler off the ice and we should be fine.

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#124 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 09:16PM
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Sarich and Butler have looked brutal tonight but Kipper has loked soft on a couple.

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#125 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:20PM
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That was a full on dive. Brutal.

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#126 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:21PM
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Too bad for the penalty, I was just thinking I really like Jones.

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#127 Q
January 31 2013, 09:21PM
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Man we need cammi scoring. Frustrating. We should be taking Ito this team!

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#128 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:24PM
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Iggy saved Kipper there

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#129 Subversive
January 31 2013, 09:25PM
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As much as it pains me to admit, Rob Kerr is much better than he used to be.

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#130 Q
January 31 2013, 09:25PM
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No more game chat on flames nation?

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#131 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:25PM
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That was fun!

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#132 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:26PM
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Rob Kerr sucks.

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#133 Vanderneuf
January 31 2013, 09:27PM
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That would have been huge for Backlund. I can understand not scoring but hit the net from three feet out, please.

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#134 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:27PM
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I mean, he's a good guy, but a really bad PBP guy.

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#135 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:29PM
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How bad are the Avalanche?

They have 3 players who are near career AHLers in their top 6 and Greg Zanon on defense.

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#136 Subversive
January 31 2013, 09:29PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I mean, he's a good guy, but a really bad PBP guy.

I think he sucks a lot less than he used to.

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#137 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:29PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I think he's a lot better than last year. He needs a decent color-guy - not named Simmer.

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#138 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:31PM
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ooo what a sweet chance for Backlud again! need to get it on net though :-(

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#139 Subversive
January 31 2013, 09:31PM
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@ChinookArch

Agreed, Simmer still sucks terribly.

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#140 Q
January 31 2013, 09:32PM
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Not lookn good if we can't challenge this crap avs team missing 3 of top six!

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#141 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:33PM
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Should be winning, but now it's time to put up or shut up. Gotta get a goal

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#142 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:34PM
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Kerr sounds like that buddy you went to school with who always gets over exuberant about little things. And now he is sitting in your living room doing play by play for you.

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#143 Q
January 31 2013, 09:34PM
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Gotta bad feelin bout how this game plays out!

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#144 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:36PM
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This is a big PP

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#145 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:36PM
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If they lose it'd be a load of brown bananas

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#146 Q
January 31 2013, 09:38PM
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Kerr tries so hard to sound professional but he's a loser who's only experience was the call in show after the games getting pissed at angry fans. He is an idiot!

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#147 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:39PM
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#2 pp unit please.

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#148 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:40PM
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Kerr's a bit nerdy but at least He's got relavent things to say most of the time and resists the urge to be super biast like a lot of American play by play guys.

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#149 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:41PM
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Q wrote:

Kerr tries so hard to sound professional but he's a loser who's only experience was the call in show after the games getting pissed at angry fans. He is an idiot!

Haha Q, maybe you shouldn't call in when your'e so angry.

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#150 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 09:41PM
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Q wrote:

No more game chat on flames nation?

We are looking for an alternative to Cover-it-live since they made the platform we used to use fee-based.

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