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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#52 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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#53 Baalzamon
October 21 2013, 09:13PM
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I like how every time Stempniak touches another player, he gets a penalty.

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#54 Parallex
October 21 2013, 09:13PM
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That`s on Street.

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#55 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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#57 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:18PM
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@Christian Roatis

Calgary's PK has been a hot mess for most of the season. Giant gaps and lost coverage everywhere.

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#58 thymebalm
October 21 2013, 09:19PM
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@Christian Roatis

Gotta feel for Ramo. How many PP goals against for him this year? Over half of his ga?

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#59 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:20PM
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@Parallex

Yeah he lost his guy for sure. But, he shifted down to cover the dude in front because the rest of the team was pulled over to the one side of the ice. Just a cascade of errors.

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#60 loudogYYC
October 21 2013, 09:27PM
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The Sharks basically just traded TJ Galiardi for Mike Brown, that's incredible on Mac T's behalf.

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#61 Kent Wilson
October 21 2013, 09:30PM
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@loudogYYC

Yeah. I have a lot of time for Wilson as a GM, but that's awful.

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#62 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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#64 jeremywilhelm
October 21 2013, 09:39PM
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I'm guessing Cammalleris wrist is OK!!

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#65 Parallex
October 21 2013, 09:39PM
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Glad he got that against L.A. I figure they're high on the list of team that may inquire about him come deadline.

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#67 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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#68 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 09:45PM
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@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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#69 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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#71 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 09:51PM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

Wasn't a fan of him at the draft. Barlow was my favourite prospect and Nurse my least. Should probably update them for the 2014 Draft.

Was he a poor choice in your opinion? I hope the Oilers always suck personally

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#73 RKD
October 21 2013, 09:58PM
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I think the Flames went back to Ramo as a mental test to see how he recovers from a loss. His first time out, he had a loss but never got to come back the next game. Instead he had to wait until this road trip to start again. Part of his evaluation will be seeing how good he bounces back.

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#75 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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#76 Scoring_guru
October 21 2013, 10:00PM
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Monorail!!!

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#77 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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#78 Parallex
October 21 2013, 10:02PM
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@Christian Roatis

Frak, That pisses me off... that's the second time they've done that (taken shots at the net noticeably after the whistle).

Edit: Geez again, what's wrong with me today. Just a general comment.

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#79 negrilcowboy
October 21 2013, 10:03PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Man, Monahan just seems to be there when the puck squirts loose and there's an empty net.

he stays

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#80 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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#81 Brent G.
October 21 2013, 10:07PM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

He was overrated in my eyes. He'll play in the show but I doubt he becomes an impact, franchise type defender as he was advertised to be.

I'm in edmonton these days. oilers fans always assume every prospect will be the second coming of Gretzky, or coffee in this case. My favourite is how they come up with ridiculously arbitrary reasons why a pointless trade/signing is guaranteeing them the cup. I remember when they got a horrifically aged Nedved and everyone was crazy excited saying he will put up 60-70 points because him and Hemsky will develop a Czech connection. Yeah...

It's more sad than anything to witness now these days because it seems even the most die hard fans have reserved themselves of the fact the team is essentially hopeless. Having a strong desire to see them fail feels dirty almost.

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#82 thymebalm
October 21 2013, 10:09PM
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Ouch. Wideman scores on the pp. Wrong way though. Still no ev goal against.

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#84 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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#85 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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#86 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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#88 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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#89 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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#91 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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#92 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:10PM
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The sound guys all seem to love the Black Sabbath in every building.

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#93 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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#94 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:11PM
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Brodieeeeeee

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

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#96 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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#97 ChinookArch
October 21 2013, 11:13PM
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Ramo earned that win.

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

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#99 GermanFlame
October 21 2013, 11:14PM
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#StartKarriRamo

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#100 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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