FGD: Duck Sauce

bookofloob
October 16 2013 10:54AM

 

It took me longer to make that image than it really should have. Shut up.

Well friends, brothers, sisters, Citizens, after what seemed like an eternity, but was really only 5 nights, which in a hockey season is an eternity, your Calgary Flames are back at it tonight, in the frozen barren hinterland of Southern California, to take on long time Pacific Division rival, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Ducks of Anaheim. This game kicks off a 5 game swing through the Left Coast, and I'm going to go ahead and unofficially dub this road trip as "Sean Watch". 4 of these 5 games, assuming Sean Monahan plays them all, will ring up the game tally to nine games and ultimately decide if his short term future will be spent donning the silks of the Flaming C, or rocking a Team Canada jersey this holiday season and hopefully getting traded away from the abysmal Ottawa 67's and off to greener, more Memorial Cup-ey pastures in the OHL.

It's quite the test ahead. 3 of these 4 "Monahan" games present significant challenges to the upstart young punk Calgary Flames and their surprising but nonetheless tenuous grasp of 4th place in the Western Conference.

The other one is against Phoenix.

Fight Card

As usual, lineups provided by Daily Faceoff, who rule a lot and we love them and they're terrific.

  • Glencross - Street - Stempniak
  • Galiardi - Backlund - Bouma
  • Sven - Svean - Hudler
  • McGrattan - Colborne - Jackman
  • Jyordano - Brodie
  • Russell - Wideman
  • #ChristButler - O'Brien
  • Ramo 

LANCE BOUMA ON THE SECOND LINE ALERT!

Once again, I'll read that back to you: LANCE BOUM wait Ben Street is still the top line center, which is even more shocking. Come back soon, Stajan/Cammi/Jones. Yikes.

This is the lineup of a 3-0-2 hockey team, just in case you're one of those "hockey experts" out there who like to cry fowl (Duck joke) about advanced stats and don't realize sample size really makes a big difference.

Daily Faceoff has Ramo getting the start in this one, but I'm writing this the night before the game, and fully expect Joey MacDonald to get the nod again, because of course he will. If you read Kent's breakdown of the numbers in the early going so far this year, you'll see that the Flames have been winning more or less in spite of Joey Joe Joe's Fuhrian performances, and at some point this whole experiment is going to come to a head. With any luck, it's not going to be tonight, but if it is, well we can't say we didn't tell you so.

McGrattan still in the lineup. No words. No words.

This is, suffice to say, not an intimidating offensive juggernaut, but through the budding newness of this campaign they've shown signs of success, so let's hope that prevails tonight. There was some less than accurate reporting yesterday from an unnamed local Calgary newspaper scribe who suggested, quite, er, fallaciously, that young Mr. Monahan was going to have his toughest "can he play?" moments on this road trip because of the matchups against the Getzlafs and Thorntons of the West Coast NHL teams, and that is laughable. Sean is not going to see time against any of these teams' top lines, as the numbers clearly show (again, check Kent's piece) that that is just not Bob Hartley's MO.

Quack Quack Quack, Mister Ducksworth

The Ducks just came off a game where they wore their original purple jerseys and threw "Mighty" back into the ol' moniker for a night, so that absolutely gives me license to make as many Mighty Ducks trilogy jokes as I damn well please.

  • Banks - Conway - Moreau
  • Hall - Germaine - Hall
  • Averman - Duncan - Robertson
  • Wu - Mendoza - Selanne (I needed one more forward)
  • Reed - Portman
  • Karp - Tyler
  • Duncan - Mark
  • Gafney - Goldberg

Actual lineups here. If you thought the lineup above was serious, I must ask you, do you know what sarcasm is?

Let's move on.

At first glance, the forward units on the Ducks might look, let's say less thin than Ryan Getzlaf's hairline, and while it is a very good corp, they're not as deep as one would think. Let's go wading into the lines here (Duck joke). First of all, what the hell is a Patrick Maroon, save for a name that's a built in excuse if he ever screws up, which I'm assuming he does. And why is he on a line with Getzlaf and Perry? Looking at his numbers, the thing that really stands out about him is, uh...

Jakob Silfverberg (come on, how is that possibly the way to spell that name?) has started off the season well, playing on the opposite wing of old balls Teemu Selanne, who is the greatest, but must be made to pay in this one. His bones should pretty much be dust at this point, so maybe if McGrattan is lucky, he can fall over in the right direction by accident and take Teemu out of the play, but man I doubt it.

The Ducks might have the best 4th line in hockey with Palmieri - Bonino - Etem, even though Emerson Etem is going to be a total bust in this league and be a Swiss League star in 2016. Still, that's decent depth on the bottom 6, although the Top units are not all that spectacular outside of Getzlaf and Perry going full ham on the league once again.

The only real notable thing about the Ducks is that Hampus Lindholm is probably the greatest  name in the league this year, and Jonas Hiller no longer has that badass matte black mask anymore, so there is officially no longer any reason to care about Jonas Hiller anymore, who is slated to start this game and probably be awful.

Playoff Race Implications

Like, 9 of them.

Players to watch

Obviously Monahan, because if the team does the right thing you won't be seeing him again for the rest of the year after this road trip. (Troll face)

Bouma might be an interesting Flame to keep tabs on. I suspect that he's not up to the challenge of Top 6 minutes, quite likely facing off against either the Perry line or the Selanne line (The Teemu line would be a better matchup, for sure, but damn it, someone has to be on the ice when Perry and Getzlaf are, and we already know it won't be the third line, and IT HAD BETTER NOT BE THE FOURTH), but he might surprise us and show some adept defensive play skating alongside Backlund (who quite obviously will have to be up to his usual task of taking on the opposition's best players. My God, he's great)

Conclusion

The Ducks are still better than Duck Sauce, who conjured forth that unspeakable chant that haunted the Saddledome for two and a half seasons, but man, there is absolutely no reason to not hate this team. For one, Guy Hebert. didn't everyone hate that guy? Two, Corey Perry is a great player but also a bit of a Cody, and if bad things happened to him (maybe after the Olympic break), you can admit it, you wouldn't feel too bad about it.

This is, I may have mentioned, a HUGE test for our boys in red. The Flames need to see how they stack up against a decent team, and Anaheim fits the bill (Duck joke). If they're not up to the test, well...actually, well I guess nothing, this season is a free pass, but because the Ducks are a collection of noted jerks and the Mighty Ducks movies only fall into maybe #6-8 of the greatest hockey movies ever made, it would be really swell to see the Flames muscle out a victory in this one.

I'll leave you with this, if you need to find yourself suitably angry and motivated to cheer: 

 

(hey, check it out, the coaches of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)

01f20cee6c900dc633fe87a421630f41
The Book of Loob is the Nation's resident expert in flim-flammery and twaddle. An unabashed Flames fan, when BoL is not intellectually bankrupting Flames Nation, he can be seen rooting for Blair Jones, often to excess, at Book of Loob. Follow him on twitter here.
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#51 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 03:05PM
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BTW - a "Sean Monahan Facts" article will be written if the kids gets a point tonight. Like this one: http://flamesnation.ca/2013/6/18/corban-knight-facts

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#52 beloch
October 16 2013, 03:15PM
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Hartley has, so far, gradually increased Monahan's TOI every game, but raising it more would put him into defender territory! If the goal is to see if Monahan is truly ready, the next step is to gradually make his minutes tougher. I'm betting his QoC will ramp up over his last four games by design.

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#53 mk
October 16 2013, 03:35PM
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@BitGeek

Seconded!

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#54 Avalain
October 16 2013, 03:38PM
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So I hear that Brossoit has been brought back to the Heat and Ortio has been moved to Alaska?

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#55 SmellOfVictory
October 16 2013, 03:58PM
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Avalain wrote:

So I hear that Brossoit has been brought back to the Heat and Ortio has been moved to Alaska?

Indeed. The idea is to give Ortio more starts, and get Brossoit some time with the Heat's goalie coach.

As it stands, Berra is guaranteed to get the vast majority of the Heat's starts, so whichever guy is with the Heat between Brossoit and Ortio is warming the bench for the most part.

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#56 schevvy
October 16 2013, 04:27PM
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I can't believe Joey Mac is starting tonight. 5 games in a row. He must have something on Hartley

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#57 Lober
October 16 2013, 04:33PM
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I hate when the flames play in Anaheim

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#58 BitGeek
October 16 2013, 04:38PM
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schevvy wrote:

I can't believe Joey Mac is starting tonight. 5 games in a row. He must have something on Hartley

Lets start several rumours and see which one sticks and gets passed around...

I think it has something to do with Hartley's gambling penchant...

Or maybe it is linked to the fact that Joe Mac is somehow related to Hartley...

or possibly to do with the "missing photos" out of Hartley's desk...

If asked, I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about....

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#59 negrilcowboy
October 16 2013, 04:50PM
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schevvy wrote:

I can't believe Joey Mac is starting tonight. 5 games in a row. He must have something on Hartley

Must be photos involving ........ or animals

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#60 beloch
October 16 2013, 04:50PM
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http://www.anaheimcalling.com/2013/10/16/4843910/preview-anaheim-ducks-calgary-flames-getzlaf-perry-monahan-hudler#comments

Wow. Read the article and the comments. This hasn't happened to the Flames in a while.

[Sally Field] They think we're a challenge! They really think we're a challenge! [/Sally Field]

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl_NpdAy3WY

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#61 coachedpotatoe
October 16 2013, 05:22PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Indeed. The idea is to give Ortio more starts, and get Brossoit some time with the Heat's goalie coach.

As it stands, Berra is guaranteed to get the vast majority of the Heat's starts, so whichever guy is with the Heat between Brossoit and Ortio is warming the bench for the most part.

This absolutely makes sense at the AHL and ECHL level. I still am puzzled by Joey the Goalie though. Here's hoping they play well in front of him.

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#62 beloch
October 16 2013, 06:04PM
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@coachedpotatoe

I've previously said there are two possible reasons for not giving Ramo the chance to improve upon MacBackups sterling-polished-turd standard in net:

1. There's something wrong with Ramo. Either he's injured or a huge locker-room problem.
2. Deliberate tanking.

I would now like to propose a third possibility:

3. The new team identity involves slogans like "EXTREME!!!" or "DO THE DEW!!!" and playing without a safety net, such as a competent net-minder, is somehow bringing out the best two-way play in the kids.

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#63 Captain Ron
October 16 2013, 06:18PM
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Nice video on the Flames / Ducks brawl.........

Recorded with a brownie camera

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#64 mk
October 16 2013, 06:31PM
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Why does everyone (other hockey blogs) still refer to Wideman and Hudler as this summer's FA signings? Am I just imagining that they played here last year?

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#65 wot96
October 16 2013, 08:08PM
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@beloch

Maybe they have been working on his lateral movement, or looking for signs it's getting better. He didn't look great (even considering the talent he faced) in the shootout in Washington as a result.

Having said that, I agree that we need to see more of him because one game is not much of a sample size. And because McDonald sucks.

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#66 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:09PM
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have I missed an abby update? ferland or granlund doing anything?

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#67 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:10PM
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How's it going everybody?

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#68 beloch
October 16 2013, 08:11PM
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everton fc wrote:

Do you really project Etem to be a bust in this league? I don't. I see Colborne as a bust. I'd take Etem, over Colborne. Etem will never put up big #'s, but I think he'll do more than Colborne.

Bouma on the ice against Perry. I see that being a battle. Perhaps pone where the mitts may be discarded.

Our 4th line. Not even expansion-level. Colborne needs to get more minutes where he can be adequately and properly assessed. What a waste.

Colborne is in limbo until the decision is made on Monahan. If Monahan goes down, Colborne will get a lot more TOI with far better line-mates. If Monahan stays, he's pretty much going to have to switch to the wing.

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#69 thymebalm
October 16 2013, 08:12PM
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@mk

It's because we didn't sign any free agents this off season..

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#70 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:14PM
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O'Brien and Butler are just a train wreck some times.

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#71 McRib
October 16 2013, 08:15PM
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That video not only brings back great memories having been at the game, but also makes me laugh thinking of Craig Berube again as a player...

Dear Philadelphia how are you liking him as your head coach?!?!?! Nothing can clean up Paul Holmgren's mess, especially not a career fourth line fighter.

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#72 Vowswithin
October 16 2013, 08:15PM
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I know it early and they spent lots of time in the d zone but Baer was flying at everyone, yes!

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#73 beloch
October 16 2013, 08:15PM
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Speaking of Colborne... Nice job breaking through and getting a good chance!

P.S. @#$% Penner.

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#74 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:19PM
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Puck seems to be bouncing on the Flames.

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#75 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:24PM
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Backlund/Galiardi/Bouma are going to get killed tonight I think. Even Backs can't float that sort of trio with d-zone starts in a foreign rink.

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#76 Skuehler
October 16 2013, 08:25PM
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Maybe they perceive a backlog in net and want to be able to get something in return for Joey in a future trade?

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#77 Mitch P
October 16 2013, 08:26PM
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Butler... Jesus... what a horrible give away...

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#78 Schmenkley
October 16 2013, 08:29PM
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Butler and o'brien should not be allowed in the same arena together, let alone as a pairing

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#79 Vowswithin
October 16 2013, 08:30PM
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Obrien sucks bad man...

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#80 Schmenkley
October 16 2013, 08:34PM
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Only thing I've seen worse than Butler/O'brien pairing involved a foam finger and an uncontrollable tongue

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#81 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:36PM
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babchuck still available ?

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#82 Brent G.
October 16 2013, 08:38PM
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Backlund has looked pretty good to me so far. Unfortunately the wheels are really going to fall off this game.

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#83 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:39PM
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Oh Chris Butler...

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#84 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:40PM
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Horrendous clearing/outlet pass attempt by Butler on that goal.

Too many men call as well. Ducks PP coming up.

Courage.

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#85 Kmp
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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That third pairing needs to be changed.

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#86 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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oh man.how far away is breen ?

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#87 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:41PM
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@@TACOcurt

Derek Smith is also available. Im kinda surprised he hasn't had a look.

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#88 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:42PM
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Wait, WHAT? Jackman with a moronic penalty. Absolutely idiotic.

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#89 Veggie Dog
October 16 2013, 08:43PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Wait, WHAT? Jackman with a moronic penalty. Absolutely idiotic.

Back to the pressbox with him. I hope he enjoyed his 1 minutes of ice time.

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#90 Jibmeister
October 16 2013, 08:43PM
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Stupid Jackman..

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#91 wot96
October 16 2013, 08:45PM
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Right, that's what we needed...a shortie.

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#92 ChinookArch
October 16 2013, 08:45PM
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It's so nice to have some team speed again.

Thank you Lee Stempniak!

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#93 beloch
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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We just dodged a bullet there when MacBackup decided to use the wrong side of his glove to grab the puck. Yikes!

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#94 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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Flames are lucky that's being waved off.

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#95 Ryan Pike
October 16 2013, 08:50PM
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That first period took a year off my life.

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#96 thymebalm
October 16 2013, 08:52PM
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Yeesh.

What a bad first period. Oby and Buts were brutal. McD is shaky as hell.. Hartley should put Ramo in now, while we have a chance.

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#97 Kent Wilson
October 16 2013, 08:54PM
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Chances were 7-3 Ducks in the first.

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#98 RexLibris
October 16 2013, 08:56PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

That first period took a year off my life.

If being a Flames fan is anything like being an Oilers fan, it might be for the best. ;)

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#99 ChinookArch
October 16 2013, 08:56PM
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@Kent Wilson

Calgary had more then 2 chances?

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#100 Kmp
October 16 2013, 08:57PM
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@Kent Wilson

Flames had 10 blocks could have been worse.

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