FGD: A Royal Affair

Christian Roatis
October 21 2013 06:49PM

(Stick-tap to Lambert for the updated picture.)

When it comes to these California road trips, history hasn't been kind of the Calgary Flames - especially of late. And unfortunately history has an annoying habit of repeating itself.

The Flames had lost 16 straight at the Honda Center in Disneyland coming into Wednesday night's affair with the Anaheim Ducks, and despite an inspired effort, that horrid losing streak was extended to 17. Calgary then travelled to San Jose, where they've recently come close to stealing a couple wins, but again came close near the end, just to lose it. So tonight, they'll skid into the StaplesCenter in Los Angeles and try and disappoint Matthew Perry (does he even go to regular season games?) by heisting 2 points from Darryl Sutter and his stingy Kings squad.


THE LINE-UP

Via DailyFaceoff:

  • Curtis Glencross - Mikael Backlund - TJ Galiardi
  • Mike Cammalleri** - Joe Colborne - Lee Stempniak
  • Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler
  • Lance Bouma -
    Ben Street
    - Brian McGrattan
  • Mark Giordano-TJ Brodie
  • Kris Russell-Dennis Wideman
  • Chris Butler-Shane O’Brien
  • Karri Ramo


Tonight marks the potential return of goal collector Mike Cammalleri (remember him?) and having him in the line up would obviously be a huge boost to the Flames' offensive arsenal. The power play in particular has struggled a little bit and adding Cammalleri's creativity and one-time howitzer will be a big boost - granted his hand is at 100%. Cammelleri will be a gametime decision, with recent call-up Roman Horak most likely next in line to fill his spot if Cammalleri is a no go come gametime.

The possible return of Cammalleri also presents a big opportunity for Joe Colborne, who just a couple games ago was skating on the goon line and now finds himself between two very capable NHL scorers with Lee Stempniak on his other wing. Lance Bouma moves back down to the fourth unit while TJ Galiardi moves up to the top unit with Backs and GlenX. Glencross needs to be way better than he's been and as I've mentioned before, needs a kick in the butt from someone to piss him off and get him going. The Jiri Svenahan line was excellent by all accounts in San Jose so it's nice to see them remain together.


I'm not even going to waste my time on Chris Butler; it's borderline infuriating that he hasn't been sat yet but Hartley must be seeing something we're not. TJ Brodie was abysmal last game so I'd like to see him bounce back in a big way tonight. Russell and Wideman also remain together.


Karri Ramo get's his second straight start and although he was shelled for five goals last game, but none of them were really his fault. Better defensive coverage and clearing the front of the net should be top priorities tonight for the Flames tonight because - as we saw Saturday - leaving guys alone at the side of the net is a recipe for disaster. Ramo really did play well and I'd say earned the start tonight. It'll be Joey Mac tomorrow in Phoenix regardless of how Ramo plays tonight.

THE ROYAL ADVERSARY

Via DailyFaceoff:

  • Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
  • Daniel Carcillo - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
  • Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
  • Jordan Nolan - Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser
  • Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty
  • Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
  • Jake Muzzin - Matt Greene


  • Jonathan Quick

Looking at the line-up for the Kings, it's obvious shutting down that loaded top unit is a must if the Flames have any prayer of winning this game. I'd expect the Backlund line to be lined up head to head against them as often as possible. The second unit and their Richards-Carter duo is all kinds of dangerous too so much like against San Jose, Ramo better be prepared to see lots of rubber. Also like the Sharks, LA's depth at center compared to the Flames' is near laughable and a rough night in the dot could be imminent - but not guaranteed; Calgary did hold their own against the Sharks on Saturday.

Notice how each pairing has a smooth skating, puck moving defensemen on one side, and a skates-of-brick, hardnosed, shutdown defenseman on the other? Game plan so that all your offensive action happens on one side of the ice and you're golden! In all seriousness, this is a solid group of defensemen and the Flames will take a mighty lot of punishment tonight trying to score some goals.


Jonathan Quick is Jonathan Quick. What else can you say? He's an acrobat, a goaltender and sometimes even a magician, all at once. He has historically had bad starts and sports a mediocre (by his standards) 5-3-0 record with a 2.50 goals against average and a 0.913 save percentage so far this year so here's to hoping he has at least one more bad night in him!

SUM IT UP

Make no mistake, this is a really good Kings team - a Stanley Cup contender without a doubt. The Flames, well it's not quite clear what they are just yet but they aren't of the King's calibre, that's to be certain. Can they work their way to another win tonight? I really have no idea. Like I said about the Sharks game and like has been proven, the only thing guaranteed about a Calgary Flames game this year, is it's high entertainment value. Oh, and Sean Monahan scoring points.

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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!
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#1 SeanCharles
October 21 2013, 10:24PM
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I don't get how Glencross gets PP time over Sven....?

Sven has looked progressively better every game but I get the lack of centers and girth of wingers makes it harder to get ice time compared to Monahan. But Glenny has been bad and I think Sven has deserved it

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#2 TRAV
October 21 2013, 11:10PM
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Mon playing first line PP, tons of scoring chances and minutes against a top team. Is there anyone that would really suggest that based on what we have seen he doesn't deserve to be here? Arguably our best player tonite...

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#3 seve927
October 21 2013, 10:00PM
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How many did Selanne get again? 76? Out of reach?

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#4 Scary Gary
October 21 2013, 11:14PM
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I like Ramo; I just like him, solid.

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#5 TheBossman
October 21 2013, 11:21PM
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Hope the "Flames are going to get blown out tonight" crowd really quiets down after this one. They are actually showing on the ice what the organization is talking about off the ice, that they are not going to be outworked and that thats how they will be successful. Even in the Sharks game, where the difference in skill level was more apparent than in any other game so far, the Flames find themselves down a goal halfway through the third. I'm a believer that this team will surprise people this year.

Monahans nose for the net is impressive. And it's not just pure luck that he gets the yawning cage with the puck on his tape. There were at least three other chances he had right in front of the net that Quick was in perfect position for, but thats a high percentage place for a scorer to play from.

Definitely a different team from the last three years (to state the obvious)

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#6 TRAV
October 21 2013, 10:00PM
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Monahan.. Nose for the net...?!!! Love his smarts. So far he has been as advertised a complete all around player. Scoring is a bonus!

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#7 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:55PM
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Ramo looking really good tonight.

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#9 TRAV
October 21 2013, 11:13PM
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YES!!!!

Great feed by HUDLER!

Big Win for the Flames and RAMO

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#10 Lober
October 21 2013, 11:17PM
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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS What a win, Ramo played great. Brodie game winner, Monahan with another goal.. Only thing that could have made that game better is Mcgratten pounding Mitchell or Carcillo

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#11 mattyc
October 21 2013, 07:11PM
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@jeremywilhelm

nah we'll be fine, Butler will shut 'em down.

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#12 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 10:00PM
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Man, Monahan just seems to be there when the puck squirts loose and there's an empty net.

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#14 TRAV
October 21 2013, 10:55PM
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Cammi is better on faceoffs than I remembered.

Hudleris taking a beating out there!

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#15 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:01PM
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What's Kerr talking about Hemsky and Regher never had a rivalry, he was his punching bag.

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#17 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 09:43PM
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Starting to like Colborne a bit more.

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#18 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 09:59PM
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Jesus monahan does not stop. I'm starting to believe he may be a legit Calder trophy candidate. That or play this way until game 10 and fall off a cliff lol ...

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#19 Clyde
October 21 2013, 10:22PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Thankfully none of them can score!

They score enough to be wearing a ring

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#22 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:13PM
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Ramo earned that win.

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#23 prendrefeu
October 21 2013, 11:15PM
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So stoked that the Flames won here in Los Angeles!!! Kinda bummed that I had to miss the game because of a meeting.

I hope they win again on 11.30. I'll be there.

Go Flames!!

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#24 beloch
October 21 2013, 11:24PM
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The Flames' powerplay was nuts tonight. Win or lose, this team plays like they give a damn every night. I love it!

P.S. While the Baertschi cheer-up-buddy is fine and all, perhaps it's time for something new. How about Monahan's head photo-shopped onto a voodoo doll?

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#25 jeremywilhelm
October 21 2013, 09:39PM
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I'm guessing Cammalleris wrist is OK!!

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#26 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:44PM
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I really like the play of Baertschi. He's not on the highlight reel all the time, but it seems fundamentally strong.

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#27 RKD
October 21 2013, 10:03PM
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Sweet, I think Feaster and co. will have way more success drafting guys out of the OHL and QMJHL rather than stockpiling on just college kids. To me Monahan was a top 5 player in the draft not a top 10. Now he's 2 points ahead of MacKinnon.

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#28 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 10:11PM
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Everything Glencross touches tonight turns to junk.

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#29 negrilcowboy
October 21 2013, 10:26PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Thankfully none of them can score!

yep that jeff carter has hands of stone

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#30 TheBossman
October 21 2013, 10:51PM
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Amazing slow motion shot of Backs sliding to break up that Kings chance on the Kings feed!

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#31 Burnward
October 21 2013, 11:17PM
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Hell yeah. Love this team this year.

Ramo was a rock. So good to see.

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#32 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 07:02PM
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Yup, my Flames goals for the year are going to be tested tonight.

1. No blow outs. 2. Win the BoA.

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#33 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:09PM
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Not sure what to say about Glencross right now. Just ineffective everywhere.

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#34 Parallex
October 21 2013, 09:15PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I like how every time Stempniak touches another player, he gets a penalty.

Yeah, I was scratching my head at how Carcillo`s "Shoulder" (which looks a lot like an elbow to me) wasn't interference but Stempniaks marginally late hit was. Also shows how useless McGrattan is... shouldn't he be mauling Carcillo for that or something? Isn't that his "job".

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#35 Parallex
October 21 2013, 09:37PM
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@Kent Wilson

Classic Cammy goal. Gawd, I've missed that.

Edit: Not responding to Kent just had that by accident.

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#37 Clyde
October 21 2013, 10:11PM
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The Kings seem to have an endless supply of big gritty forwards who constantly wear u down physically

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#38 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 10:14PM
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Chances were 7-6 Flames in the second.

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#39 jeremywilhelm
October 21 2013, 10:17PM
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@Clyde

Thankfully none of them can score!

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#40 Clyde
October 21 2013, 10:23PM
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Can't believe the oilers got a 4rth round pick for Brown

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#41 Clyde
October 21 2013, 10:44PM
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So promising to see Sven and Monahan generating consistent offense on this tough road trip

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#42 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:11PM
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Brodieeeeeee

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#43 Scary Gary
October 21 2013, 11:12PM
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Haha amazing!

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#44 Burnward
October 21 2013, 11:26PM
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@beloch

Absolutely. I actually look forward to watching the games now! Ha!

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#45 Ryan Pike
October 21 2013, 06:58PM
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In a pinch, if you can't find a photo you're sure you can use, use the Sven horsie picture. :)

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#46 Baalzamon
October 21 2013, 07:01PM
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All I'm hoping for from this game is a) Ramo holds his own and earns the start against Dallas and b) TJ Brodie rebounds from his worst game ever. Anything else is just gravy for me.

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#47 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 08:47PM
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Baertschi is getting good at fighting off checks along the boards.

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#49 jeremywilhelm
October 21 2013, 09:21PM
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Ben Street is completely useless. He does nothing 5v5 and he is worse 4v5.

Please jettison his AHLer butt already.

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#50 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 09:47PM
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Ramo looks more than replacement level too btw. His stats are poor but look at the team in front of him.

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