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.

A9d138d0e612f28cd46f9b7057ed715d
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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#101 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:56PM
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@jeremywilhelm

Dad would be proud

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#102 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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#103 Gunk
January 31 2013, 08:59PM
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@ChinookArch

lol. Maybe...

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#104 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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#105 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:08PM
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I fail to see how kipper can give up 3 goals on 13 shots and be called "okay"... Personally I'm in favor of sitting him for a game or two to show him that a .800ish save percentage ain't going to keep him playing.

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#106 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:10PM
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Seriously we should be mauling this team not tied going into the third. D and goaltending are a fail through two IMO

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#107 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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#108 Jonathan Happy
January 31 2013, 09:13PM
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Kipper's mediocre play and the combined boneheaded plays of Sarich and Butler have put the Flames in a tie in a game where they probably deserve to be leading.

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#109 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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#110 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:20PM
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That was a full on dive. Brutal.

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#111 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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#112 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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#113 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:24PM
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Iggy saved Kipper there

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#114 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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#115 Q
January 31 2013, 09:25PM
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No more game chat on flames nation?

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

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

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#118 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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#119 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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#120 Q
January 31 2013, 09:28PM
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What's with Peter maher saying "cheddarvenka" ? He's trying to sound authentic or something! Sounds hilarious !

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#121 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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#122 Q
January 31 2013, 09:29PM
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Kerr is straight-up awful!

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#123 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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#124 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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#125 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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#126 Subversive
January 31 2013, 09:31PM
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@ChinookArch

Agreed, Simmer still sucks terribly.

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#127 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:32PM
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Yikes, hopefully Hudler isnt really hurt.

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#128 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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#129 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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#130 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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#131 Scary Gary
January 31 2013, 09:34PM
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Haha well at least Kerr gets into it, you haven't watched NBC this year have you?

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

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

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#134 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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#135 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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#136 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:39PM
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#2 pp unit please.

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#137 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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#138 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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#139 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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#140 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:43PM
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Bloody hell, Kipper we need you to bounce back and get us into a shootout so we can have 3 guys not deek and.... booo

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#141 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:43PM
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That was yet another weak penalty and another weak goal against by Kipper.

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#142 Scary Gary
January 31 2013, 09:43PM
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Come...on...kipper

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#143 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:43PM
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Oh Kipper. My gawd

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#144 RKD
January 31 2013, 09:45PM
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Agreed that was softy by Kipper but why is Wideman out killing the penalty, that's not his job.

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#145 Subversive
January 31 2013, 09:45PM
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I don't know what's more annoying, that the Flames are about to be 1-3-1 when they could easily be 4-1, or that all the talking heads and writers will act like they actually deserve their record.

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#146 Q
January 31 2013, 09:45PM
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Thank the hockey gods for a shorts season. Game ovaaaa!

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#147 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:46PM
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I wonder how brown banana'd Kipper's sv% needs to be before the have him ride the pine.

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#148 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:46PM
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wow. the Flames are good at playing hockey... unreal

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#149 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 09:46PM
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Full on collapse here

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#150 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:46PM
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Blow it up!

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