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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#101 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 09:45PM
Trash it!
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trashes
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props

@Christian Roatis

Just for curiosity why is Darnell nurse listed as your goat in your profile? Is he not that good?

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#105 thymebalm
October 21 2013, 10:09PM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

Ouch. Wideman scores on the pp. Wrong way though. Still no ev goal against.

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