FGD: Swimming With The Sharks

Christian Roatis
October 19 2013 04:52PM

 

There's good news and there's bad news for tonight's 8 pm MT (CBC, SN960) trek into the Shark Tank for a bout with Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks.

The good news is embattled vet Joey MacDonald and his consistently mediocre game will take a seat tonight in favour of the guy we all thought would be the number one this year, Karri Ramo. Ramo somehow lost the starter role for a couple weeks after a decent 35 save performance in a losing effort against Washington in game 1 and was forced to watch MacDonald flop his way to a few wins in the crease since then. He'll be in tough tonight against the league's highest scoring team but I trust him against this high octane Sharks offensive much more than I do MacDonald.

The bad news is, despite an abysmal game in Anaheim and a strongly worded piece calling for his removal off the roster from our overlord Kent, 2012 World Hockey Championship Bronze Medalist Chris Butler remains in the line up tonight. So prepare for another aneurysm filled night of watching Butler play hockey for your Calgary Flames

Flames Line-Up

Via flames.com, Calgart's new lines tonight will be:

Curtis Glencross - Mikael Backlund- Lee Stempniak
TJ Galiardi - Joe Colborne - Lance Bouma
Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler
Tim Jackman - Ben Street - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Shane O'Brien - Chris Butler>

Karri Ramo

The lineup is the exactly same as the one they iced against Anaheim and other than Chris Butler, that's probably a good decision. Aside from the first half of the first period, this Flames group pushed the Ducks hard, at times completely controlling the play and nearly tied the game at the end as a result (Wideman would've totally scored on that second chance if the whistle hadn't blown). I would contend that the Sharks are a better team and tougher opponent than the Ducks were, but at this point this is probably as good a line-up as Calgary can ice with the personnel available to them.

The Glencross, Backlund, Stempniak trio played a little together last game and looked excellent. I haven't been too impressed with GlenX so far this year, so hopefully someone pisses him off and get's him going. Both Colborne and Bouma saw increased roles last game and that will continue tonight, teaming up with TJ Galiardi - who is facing his former team for the first time this evening. Bouma continues to mirror Brandon Prust and his promotion off the fourth line is well deserved, having been one of the most consistent Flames this year - hitting, blocking shots and playing hard, game in and game out.

Hartley thankfully also keeps together the Jiri Svenahan (so many good nicknames, so little time) line which has shown great chemistry together. If Monahan stays the season, I think it's very likely Hartley will keep him with Baertschi as a duo, rotating the third man on the line. That's just a guess but it makes sense to keep the two young studs together and letting them develop alongside each other. Also, Ben Street's time as a top line center is over as he'll center the goon line tonight, which is probably more in line with his talent level.

For some reason Chris Butler is playing tonight and Derek Smith is not. Other than that, this D group has performed admirably this year - with the exception of the odd gaffe - and I've been particularly impressed with the duo of Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman. They don't spend too much time in their own zone and do a great job moving the puck around and generating offense in the opponents end of the rink.

Joey Mac is out, Karri Ramo is in. Hallelujah. By no stretch of the imagination will this be a cakewalk for Ramo - in fact I think there's a very real possibility he gets torched - but I really dislike the way MacDonald played during his time in the crease for the Flames. Even in the games he won, I didn't think he was very good. Most of the big saves he made were directly due to a positional miscue or big rebound given up earlier that resulted in him being forced to throw whatever he had at the puck to stop it.

The Opponent

Via Fear the Fin.com:

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tyler Kennedy
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Matthew Nieto - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard - Andrew Desjardins - Bracken Kearns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Brad Stuart
Scott Hannan - Jason Demersbr />

Antti Niemi

The Sharks' depth at center in comparison to the Flames' is sickening and I expect San Jose to slaughter Calgary in the faceoff circle tonight. Logan Couture has historically been good against the Flames so shutting him down will likely be top priority. Just keeping Couture off the scoresheet won't be enough however, mainly because Marleau, Thornton, Burns, Hertl and Pavelski. Yeah, the Shark have some pretty good scoring depth. Ramo will see a lot of puck tonight no doubt.

Calgary catches a bit of break tonight as San Jose will be without top defensemen Dan Boyle who's still recovering from that vicious hit from behind he took from Blues forward Max Lappiere. In fact, the Sharks blueline is looking a little thin tonight outside of Brad Stuart and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. If the Flames can apply consistent pressure on them, they should be able to generate a few quality scoring chances.

Those chances better be buried because Antti Niemi will stop pretty much everything else. He's been excellent against Calgary and I don't see why that won't continue tonight.

Sum it up

The Flames will no doubt be in tough against a true Stanley Cup contender in the Sharks, but they have played great hockey in San Jose recently and a near flawless game is what they'll need to have tonight to escape with the 2 points. Other than on defence, the Sharks have the clear advantage and on paper, this should be an easy win for San Jose.

Calgary has proved so far this season that you can scrap the paper because their relentless work ethic and commitment to the systems has the ability to even the playing surface - at times even tilt it in their favour. There'll be no promise of a win or even a point tonight, but you can sure bank on another entertaining night of Calgary Flames hockey.

20eba9f84d9905f9b859288e29c3e0a8
Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
Avatar
#1 MichaelD
October 19 2013, 11:20PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
2
props

Ramo is bad, that's why he is not playing. Does anybody else not see how much slides, how controlled he is, or how sloppy his positioning is. It is really bad

Avatar
#2 oka12
October 19 2013, 10:33PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
+1
1
props

Brodie should be benched the rest of the game.

Avatar
#3 RKD
October 19 2013, 07:42PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
1
props

It's Sharknado, or for us Ramonado or Flamesnado.

Avatar
#4 teapotstout
October 19 2013, 09:07PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
0
props

@Kent Wilson

They need a Mike Leclerc on that team. Some solid veteran experience.

Avatar
#5 teapotstout
October 19 2013, 09:58PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props

@Baalzamon

Does Bob Hartley have any common sense? Or does he actually think Ramo didn't do a good job so he'll go with Joey?

I don't understand his reasoning sometimes.

Avatar
#6 RKD
October 19 2013, 07:43PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props

In the words of the Rock: Finally, Kari Ramo has come back to San Jose or more appropriately, Finally, Kari Ramo gets a start in net!

Avatar
#7 Walter white
October 19 2013, 08:14PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
0
props

Nice one russell....! WW

Avatar
#8 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:15PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
0
props

Rough sequence for Russell and Wideman there.

Avatar
#9 killa334
October 19 2013, 08:45PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props

Baertchi needs to learn how to shoot the puck. Settle the muffin down, and take your bloody time.

Avatar
#10 Scoring_guru
October 19 2013, 09:12PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
2
props

Does anyone know who is wearing #20 tonight? He is awful.

Avatar
#11 Baalzamon
October 19 2013, 09:44PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props

Well, that's it. We'll never see Ramo again.

Avatar
#12 killa334
October 19 2013, 09:47PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
3
props

@Baalzamon

Ramo had no chance on any of the goals. It's unfortunate. MacBackup wouldn't have stood a chance either.

Avatar
#13 RKD
October 19 2013, 10:38PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
4
props

This sucks for Ramo's confidence, he was beaten for 5 goals against Washington and so far 5 again tonight.

Avatar
#14 Gussey
October 19 2013, 10:54PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props

I think glenX is the one player that has not bought in to Hartley and the work ethic id. I can see them looking to ship his poor attitude out. Maybe those philly rumours were true. I think sutter made glenX a better player than he is. San Jose is a good team. No shame in this loss.

Avatar
#15 Monaertchi
October 19 2013, 11:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
6
props

GlenX now reminds me of Iggy, but not as good.

Avatar
#16 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 19 2013, 11:19PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
3
props

when will this rebuild be over... I'm tired of losing!

(tongue in cheek)

:-)

Avatar
#17 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 19 2013, 04:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

up until the "they will need a near flawless game" I was actually thinking a win was possible.

OK, isnt the Monahan line our 2nd line???

Avatar
#18 beloch
October 19 2013, 05:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
11
props

The Butler and O'Brian BOB line makes me want to drink, so I will be referring to them as the BYOB line from now on.

Avatar
#20 beloch
October 19 2013, 05:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props

This might be a night where Colborne could surprise, thanks to being on a line with real hockey players for a change. He's worth keeping an eye on tonight.

Avatar
#21 xfile
October 19 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Anyone know whats with Steinberg not being on the pregame?

Avatar
#22 ChinookArch
October 19 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Oh boy, could be a long night.

Avatar
#23 wot96
October 19 2013, 08:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I don't understand why they keep playing McGratten ahead of B Jones. Jones must have run over Hartley's dog or something.

Avatar
#24 ChinookArch
October 19 2013, 08:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@xfile

Day off for some reason.

Avatar
#25 wot96
October 19 2013, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

I wonder the same thing about Butler and Smith though.

Avatar
#26 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Decent shift from the kid line.

Avatar
#27 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Flames 4th line is deadly. The bad kind of deadly.

Avatar
#28 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nice save by Ramo there.

Avatar
#29 ChinookArch
October 19 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Crappy Flames PP they almost lost the puck 3 times before giordano finally coughed it up.

Avatar
#30 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@ChinookArch

Yeah, not very poised. Sharks put good players out on their PK and they pressure you hard the whole time.

Avatar
#31 wot96
October 19 2013, 08:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props

I wish Galiardi would dangle like that a bit more often.

Avatar
#32 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Yeah quite the moves by Galiardi.

Avatar
#33 stads
October 19 2013, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

@wot96

would have been filthy

Avatar
#34 killa334
October 19 2013, 08:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

Brodie is having an awful game. Worst I've seen him play.

Avatar
#35 Baalzamon
October 19 2013, 08:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Not even out of the first period yet, and Street has already replaced Colborne on the third line.

Avatar
#36 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 08:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Chances were 7-5 Sharks in the first.

Avatar
#37 Control Structures and Data Files
October 19 2013, 08:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Monahan needs to work on his lower body. It would help with the acceleration of his shot. It doesn't quite reach top speed and he has a wierd motion of stopping prematurely before his release. He needs to follow through more, it would provide a faster take-off.

Avatar
#38 beloch
October 19 2013, 09:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@Baalzamon

Colborne was out with Monahan for at least one shift, probably on the wing. Looks like Hartley has dusted off the line blender.

Avatar
#39 beloch
October 19 2013, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Kent Wilson

That's probably not as bad as it looked. It's looking grim, but the Flames aren't ready for the fork test just yet.

Avatar
#40 teapotstout
October 19 2013, 09:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Kent, what happend to Cale Hulse and Bryan Marchment?

Avatar
#41 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

@teapotstout

Uh, they retired?

Avatar
#42 RKD
October 19 2013, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The song back to life, back to reality will be very apropos after this road trip. A loss in Anaheim was all but guaranteed, history repeated itself. The Flames can compete hard but are nowhere near the Sharks level right now. Things will even out. They are having their 'playing bad in front of their other goalie' syndrome.

Avatar
#43 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Fantastic play by Baertschi on the Monahan goal.

Avatar
#44 Clyde
October 19 2013, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
5
props

The Monahan debate has ended

Avatar
#45 ChinookArch
October 19 2013, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

How the hell are they suppose to send Monahan back? He keeps scoring!

Avatar
#46 schevvy
October 19 2013, 09:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props

Monahan just keeps scoring. Sven is awesome as well, that duo is a thing

Avatar
#47 exsanguinator
October 19 2013, 09:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

As I've said before, with Monahan's shot rate even when his SH% falls back to earth (8% or so) he's still good for 17 goals. Let him stay. When his second contract comes up he will be worth it.

Avatar
#48 killa334
October 19 2013, 09:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

BRODIE IS HAVING A TERRIBLE GAME. WOW.

Avatar
#49 Kent Wilson
October 19 2013, 09:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Brodie's worst game in recent memory. Happens when you play a lot of minutes against a good team.

Avatar
#50 mattyc
October 19 2013, 09:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Flames are painfully overmatched. Sharks have at least 5 fwds who are better than any forward on the Flames (Couture, Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, Burns).

Comments are closed for this article.