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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#151 Clyde
January 31 2013, 09:47PM
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Another game closer to Seth jones

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#152 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:47PM
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McKinnon or Jones?

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#153 jeremywilhelm
January 31 2013, 09:47PM
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Kipper is terrible this season. This team is going no where with Kipper as the #1.

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#154 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:47PM
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The flames Brown Banana'd the bed in the last 2mins

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#155 RKD
January 31 2013, 09:48PM
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Q are you one of the guys Kerr yelled at on OT? It's not an easy job, you have to have a lot of patience, he probably got burned out. Steinberg has a ton of patience. Rogers has made a lot of changes, before Roger Millions was doing play by play then they changed to Loubardis and now Kerr.

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#156 Q
January 31 2013, 09:48PM
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@ChinookArch

I live in the states so I can turn it all off. No media saturation here!

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#157 Luc
January 31 2013, 09:48PM
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I've never read anyone on this site be happy with the play by play. Calm down. Kerr does fine

In other news, the defensive breakdowns by sarich and butler combined with bad play of kipper, cost us this game

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#158 Parallex
January 31 2013, 09:49PM
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Seriously, 5 goals allowed to these chumps? I don't care what his undeserved reputation is bench his arse.

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#159 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 09:49PM
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we need a bounce back game, gee schucks keep smiling iglatowski. we already know the post game comments. kippa was dreadful

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#160 Dave
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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This one is almost all on Kipper. It would have been nice if backlund scored on at least one of his chances. I like his confidence though. the goals will come.

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#161 Willi P
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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The cure for not being able to score? Your Calgary Flames!

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#162 11yomamen
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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.762

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#163 Robert Johnson
January 31 2013, 09:50PM
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Dang - Here I thought the Columbus Blue Jackets would be the worst team in the NHL this season. LMAO at every Flames Fan, especially those morons at the FAN960 who whined and moaned about the lockout....too funny!

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#164 RKD
January 31 2013, 09:52PM
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Robert Johnson tell me any other media outlet who didn't moan and groan about the lockout, oh wait a minute you can't.

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#165 Scary Gary
January 31 2013, 09:52PM
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This is classic flames hockey, play to the level of your opponent, I imagine they'll beat Chicago this weekend just to make things interesting.

The first PP unit couldn't get it going. Sarich and Butler were atrocious and kipper looked like had the 46th best save percentage in the league.

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#166 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:52PM
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We are now officially tied for worst team in the league with Washington. sweet.

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#167 ChinookArch
January 31 2013, 09:53PM
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G'night gents!

Bad loss tonight, not enough effort.

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#168 A
January 31 2013, 09:54PM
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@RKD

Nope. But heard bout it here online. Long short season ahead filled with dreams of lottery picks dancing on our heads. Cammi non existent and oil movn on up! Yikes!

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#169 Gunk
January 31 2013, 09:54PM
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time to watch the oilers i guess. Later guys

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#170 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:54PM
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Tank for Nate!

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#171 Vintage Flame
January 31 2013, 09:55PM
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I don't know what you guys are complaining about... I HAVE TO GO WRITE THE POST-GAME ARTICLE NOW!!

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#172 warp
January 31 2013, 09:57PM
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What a pathetic show by a bunch of rank amateur losers. The flames should have been playing circles around the avs in the third. Instead they shove their sticks up their asses and lose in the last 3 minutes. Iginla should just stay home if he is not going to do anything and kipper was horrible. Good thing hudler an stajan showed up for the game.

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#173 schevvy
January 31 2013, 09:57PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I don't know what you guys are complaining about... I HAVE TO GO WRITE THE POST-GAME ARTICLE NOW!!

And it will probably be as bad as this game... :)

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#174 Robert Johnson
January 31 2013, 09:57PM
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@RKD

ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC...and many others that understand that puck is a niche sport - not the "tragedy" the local yokels made it out to be. Be careful what you wish for. Flames finish 18-30.

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#175 negrilcowboy
January 31 2013, 09:58PM
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in ruin for droiun

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#176 Willi P
January 31 2013, 10:00PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I don't know what you guys are complaining about... I HAVE TO GO WRITE THE POST-GAME ARTICLE NOW!!

Vintage,

You have my pity. What a waste of a good effort. Not used to having the Flames players perform (for the most part)and the goalie not (even close).

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#177 Kurt
January 31 2013, 10:02PM
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Yes! Perfect season continues. We beat the oilers but lose to everyone else, securing a lotto pick and start the rebuild. The only downside is I was hoping we'd get something for kipper in a trade. At this rate he won't be worth a load of brown bananas.

10 more games and we will be pretty much mathematically done and feaster wi finally have to take off his tin hat and realize this team is a sinking ship.

Thanks for the loss boys!

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#178 Willi P
January 31 2013, 10:02PM
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AND the Oil suck. They are going to Shark School as we speak.

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#179 House
January 31 2013, 10:03PM
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@Willi P

Sorry, but I have to agree.

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#180 schevvy
January 31 2013, 10:04PM
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Kipper is 41st in SV% and 39th in GAA, out of 43 goalies. If Kipper continues to stink like this, it's gonna be a top 5 pick (which I guess for some isn't a bad thing, haha)

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#181 HongKongHockeyFan
January 31 2013, 10:06PM
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Well Kipper really laid an egg! I am sure he like to have a couple goals back quite badly....

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#182 schevvy
January 31 2013, 10:06PM
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Maybe Kipper is cutting back on the smokes and Finnish vodka, and that's causing problems in net. I've never really seen him this bad.

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#183 Clyde
January 31 2013, 10:15PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

McKinnon or Jones?

Jones

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#184 seve927
January 31 2013, 10:16PM
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I didn't see the 3rd. First two, the Flames seemed in control. One bad goal for Kipper, Avs capitalized on a couple of chances to stay close. What happened on the last couple goals?

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#185 Scary Gary
January 31 2013, 10:17PM
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Robert Johnson wrote:

ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC...and many others that understand that puck is a niche sport - not the "tragedy" the local yokels made it out to be. Be careful what you wish for. Flames finish 18-30.

I'm with you, looking at the schedule I'd say 22-24 wins max, they'll really have to get on a roll to dig themselves out of this,

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#186 Kent Wilson
January 31 2013, 10:50PM
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Well that was disappointing. I thought the Flames played a pretty decent game for most of the night, only for all to go wrong in the end. I'll count chances tomorrow and get them up by the weekend.

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#187 Franko J
January 31 2013, 11:21PM
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Lack of execution once again. The same old story this team has no killer instinct and cave in so easily.

I feel for the fans who pay to watch this team.

I felt bad for Kipper, he is not the same goalie as was last season, and tonight wasn't his best game, but where is the rest of the team to support him. There are more players on this team who tend to disappear more than a rabbit at a magician convention.

The impact players are MIA. The goalie is looking old and out of shape. The future "stud" appears to have injury issues. On the bright side every loss should move Calgary management closer to reality of making changes once and for all.

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#188 SeanCharles
January 31 2013, 11:36PM
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Tonight was in contrast to last years Flames but reminiscinet to two years ago Flames.....

Tonight, like two years ago, the Flames players were good but the goaltending was bad.

Last year Kipper was lights out but the Flames players were no good.

Seems like it can never be in sinc since last time we made playoffs, in which the defence got hurt and we had no depth...

I liked Flames offence tonight, but Kipper let in softies.

The bottom pairing looked shaky also tonight, wondering if 'staying fresh on blue line' will ruin chemistry?

One thing is the Flames are much more exciting this year in the offensive zone...

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#189 Potlicker
January 31 2013, 11:38PM
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Blow the SOB up!

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#190 oilertown
February 01 2013, 12:22AM
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Good game Lames and Lames fans. Don't worry you guys will finish just out of the playoffs again so that you get a good pick but not great. While my Oil are priming themselves for as a perennial playoff team.

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#191 the forgotten man
February 01 2013, 12:23AM
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A few bigger issues are bugging me tonight...

If trends continue, we are getting nothing for Kipper because he looks like he is already in Finland or if he stays he'll be worth no more than a 3rd round pick...he should have been parlayed for assets at the trade deadline last season.

On overtime it was brought up again how hamstrung the Flames are with their contract limits...again as above poor asset management (begin/sarich/badsuck/comeau etc) by carrying around all this dead weight.

Overtime also touched on John Davidson and the powerhouse he built in St Louis and now he has a similar task in Columbus...JD has very strong roots in Calgary and the fact he is in Columbus is a tragedy...stuff like this continues to show me that Edwards and Ksquared are unserious at the end of the day to bring a Cup to Calgary...when you are competing with 29 other teams the room for error is minuscule. All efforts should have been taken to bring in JD as President of Hockey Ops and shoved King to the business side...once again missed opportunity by your Calgary Flames.

One could go on all evening but the three examples above summarize the rot in this organization and with this group in charge I don't see a Cup anytime soon...they suck at asset management plain and simple.

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#192 jeremywilhelm
February 01 2013, 12:26AM
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Kipper, why you can make no saves?

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#193 Oilertown
February 01 2013, 12:28AM
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Your GM isn't smart enough for that. Not only that but Lames fans are too fairweather they start tanking and their won't be any fans left to play for. They already are starting to jump ship like Mr Gunk post on our site that he wants to join the good guys side.

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#194 Oilertown
February 01 2013, 12:33AM
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the forgotten man wrote:

A few bigger issues are bugging me tonight...

If trends continue, we are getting nothing for Kipper because he looks like he is already in Finland or if he stays he'll be worth no more than a 3rd round pick...he should have been parlayed for assets at the trade deadline last season.

On overtime it was brought up again how hamstrung the Flames are with their contract limits...again as above poor asset management (begin/sarich/badsuck/comeau etc) by carrying around all this dead weight.

Overtime also touched on John Davidson and the powerhouse he built in St Louis and now he has a similar task in Columbus...JD has very strong roots in Calgary and the fact he is in Columbus is a tragedy...stuff like this continues to show me that Edwards and Ksquared are unserious at the end of the day to bring a Cup to Calgary...when you are competing with 29 other teams the room for error is minuscule. All efforts should have been taken to bring in JD as President of Hockey Ops and shoved King to the business side...once again missed opportunity by your Calgary Flames.

One could go on all evening but the three examples above summarize the rot in this organization and with this group in charge I don't see a Cup anytime soon...they suck at asset management plain and simple.

I thought they should have traded all of Iggy Bouw and Kipper. But instead they keep them and bring in more mediocre talent in the summer. Priming themselves for another 9th place finish in the west.

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#195 Scary Gary
February 01 2013, 12:59AM
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oilertown wrote:

Good game Lames and Lames fans. Don't worry you guys will finish just out of the playoffs again so that you get a good pick but not great. While my Oil are priming themselves for as a perennial playoff team.

Didn't the oilers lose tonight? Perennial indeed....

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#196 A-Mc
February 01 2013, 04:33PM
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@Oilertown

You're giving us Oiler fans a bad name Oilertown. Go troll Vancouver fans if you have to get your troll on.

@Scary Gary not a real loss. OTL (1pt) vs an undefeated team. It was a great game.

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