FGD: Howling For A Win - Giordano out tonight

Ryan Pike
October 22 2013 02:31PM

 

 

After a scrappy win in Los Angeles, the Calgary Flames hit the road once again as they engage in the fourth game of their five-game road trip. Tonight, they visit Arizona to play the Phoenix Coyotes.

This is the first of five meetings between the two new divisional rivals. By sheer coincidence, all three of Calgary's visits to Phoenix will be on the back end of back-to-back games on the road. The two teams played three times last year, with Calgary winning two of three and the home team winning every game.

THE LINE-UP

Courtesy of DailyFaceoff:

Cammalleri – Colborne – Stempniak
Glencross – Backlund - Jones
Baertschi – Monahan – Hudler
Bouma – Horak – Galiardi

BREEN – Brodie
Wideman – Russell
O'Brien – Butler

MacDonald
Ramo

UPDATE: Giordano out tonight with unspecified injury. Chris Breen makes his NHL debut tonight.

Okay, here's where things get complicated. David Jones and Matt Stajan are, as per Roger Millions, in Phoenix with the Flames. Yes, that means the team could be entirely healthy. To make room, the Flames have assigned Ben Street to the AHL. Also via Millions, it's undecided if Butler plays tonight, so maybe Chris Breen gets his shot. (Yay!)

But if you look at the four forward lines, they look pretty dandy. The Monahan line got leaned on heavily last night (getting 20 minutes), so expect the onus to shift a bit. Either way, that's a strong top nine and a pretty solid fourth line. No face-punchers here, except for maybe Bouma.

And Joey MacDonald, the pride of Pictou, NS, gets his sixth start of 2013-14. He's 3-1-1 with a 2.99 goals against average and a .891 save percentage in five prior starts.

THE OPPOSITION

Via DailyFaceoff:

Klinkhammer – Vermette – Doan**
Korpikoski – Hanzal – Vrbata
Boedker – Ribeiro – Moss
Chipchura – Halpern – Bissonnette

Ekman-Larsson – Michalek
Morris – Yandle
Schlemko – Klesla

Smith
Greiss

UPDATE: No Doan tonight.

The Coyotes are 5-2-2 on the year and have been off since Saturday, when they were beaten by the Kings, whom the Flames just beat by the way. Doan is reportedly doubtful for tonight, but it's unclear who'd slot in where in that case – presumably Brandon Yip slots in, but not on the first line.

Overall, the Coyotes have been a bit of surprise thus far. They're one of the better teams in the Western Conference despite not boasting a lot star power (sound familiar?). They're arguably propped up by some great goaltending from Mike Smith, but they have a fairly balanced attack and three lines that can perform rather well. In many ways, Dave Tippett's crew is almost a mirror image of the Flames.

After bouncing around the pros for a few years, Lethbridge's Rob Klinkhammer has emerged as a regular player for the Coyotes, putting up 5 points in 9 games and leading the team in plus/minus so far. It's unclear if he can keep his play consistent over an 82-game season, but I'm sure he's happy for the chance to try.

SUM IT UP

After losing their first two games of their road trip, the Flames won last night and have a chance to even up their record on this trip with a win in the desert tonight. But they'll need to continue to bring the proverbial heat, though, as Karri Ramo won't be in net to bail them out tonight.

The puck drops at 8pm MT on Sportsnet, the Fan 960 and, as usual, the FlamesNation crew will be all over this on Twitter and here for the post-game.

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#51 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:40PM
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Some chaos in the Flames zone.

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#52 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 08:40PM
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Nighteyes wrote:

Macbackup is looking brutal. Completely out of position on most shots and flopping around in the crease like a beached whale. Ramo, its time to do a Kipper and play 3000 games this season.

Watching Ramo for two games has spoiled us. We've come to expect marginally competent goaltending, and get annoyed when we don't get it.

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#53 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:40PM
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Nearly every shot on net looks like it might go in.

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#54 Charleston Kingsley
October 22 2013, 08:41PM
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Simmer...being Simmery.

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#55 Charleston Kingsley
October 22 2013, 08:43PM
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Butler...being Butlery.

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#56 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:43PM
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@Kent Wilson

Only six more months of MacDonald, though. So that's good news.

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#57 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:44PM
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Ahh SNET analysis. Kerr notices the line is Cammalleri, Baetschi and Hudler. Says "this is a new look..." then Cammalleri gets off and Monahan comes on. Kerr says it's not a new line after all!

Actually, Hartley was sparing his rookie from the defensive zone start there Rob.

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#58 Willi P
October 22 2013, 08:44PM
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#35 looks like a beached cow out there

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#59 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 08:45PM
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@RexLibris

Hartley all for 6 year extension of Joey macdonald

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#60 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:46PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Hartley all for 6 year extension of Joey macdonald

Or...Feaster and Burke get fired and MacDonald becomes GM 24 hours after retiring a la Garth Snow.

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#61 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:46PM
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Chances were 4-3 PHX in the first. They mostly controlled the play.

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#62 Nighteyes
October 22 2013, 08:48PM
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@Vowswithin

Then replaces Malarchuk as goalie coach after contract is played out. Then #35 is retired in the rafters.

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#63 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 08:48PM
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@Kent Wilson

The good thing is them controlling the play doesn't mean scoring chances for. It just means yawns.

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#64 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Ahh SNET analysis. Kerr notices the line is Cammalleri, Baetschi and Hudler. Says "this is a new look..." then Cammalleri gets off and Monahan comes on. Kerr says it's not a new line after all!

Actually, Hartley was sparing his rookie from the defensive zone start there Rob.

Totally agree. More of a glance than a look.

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#65 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:50PM
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Nighteyes wrote:

Then replaces Malarchuk as goalie coach after contract is played out. Then #35 is retired in the rafters.

I was actually thinking about the Flames retiring #35 after MacDonald leaves, but more in a "nobody is allowed remind us of this number again!" kind of way.

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#66 Nighteyes
October 22 2013, 08:50PM
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@Kent Wilson

Kent, I remember you being quite on the fence/negative about Kris Russell during the pre-season and for the Flames' first few games. It seems that he's been doing good enough lately at least to be unnoticeable. Has your opinion changed or improved regarding him lately?

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#67 kittensandcookies
October 22 2013, 08:50PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Or...Feaster and Burke get fired and MacDonald becomes GM 24 hours after retiring a la Garth Snow.

Still better than Kevin Lowe.

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#68 Christian Roatis
October 22 2013, 08:51PM
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John Shannon gets it

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#69 Willi P
October 22 2013, 08:55PM
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Christian Roatis wrote:

John Shannon gets it

Yup. If they don't go with Ramo in the second, they should put in Cammi. He has made better saves so far

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#70 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:55PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances were 4-3 PHX in the first. They mostly controlled the play.

Are you calculating those numbers yourself or are you using another source?

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#71 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:56PM
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@Nighteyes

he looks better during the season so far. Also, the drop off from him to Butler and SOB is quite drastic, so it makes him look good.

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#72 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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Willi P wrote:

#35 looks like a beached cow out there

I was thinking more like a mattress from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He brings a whole new meaning to the word "flolloped"

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#73 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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Willi P wrote:

#35 looks like a beached cow out there

I was thinking more like a mattress from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He brings a whole new meaning to the word "flolloped"

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#74 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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@RexLibris

Myself.

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#75 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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Willi P wrote:

#35 looks like a beached cow out there

I was thinking more like a mattress from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He brings a whole new meaning to the word "flolloped"

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#76 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 09:03PM
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@Baalzamon

Holy crum!!! Sorry about the triple post, everyone.

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#77 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 09:10PM
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I've liked Sven's game the last few, but he has to speed up the release of his slapshot.

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#78 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 09:12PM
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@Kent Wilson

The coyotes players have their stick on every puck... its frustrating.

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#79 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 09:14PM
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Glencross is just plain bad right now.

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#80 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 09:14PM
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thymebalm wrote:

The coyotes players have their stick on every puck... its frustrating.

Isn't there only one puck on the ice at once?

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#81 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 09:17PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Isn't there only one puck on the ice at once?

but each "once" only last an instant. A hockey game lasts many.

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#82 piscera.infada
October 22 2013, 09:17PM
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Thank god we're in the "sandwich stanza" - Kerrisms

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#83 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:19PM
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@Kent Wilson

Wasn't sure if you were using extraskater as well or perhaps some NHL.com data.

ES has the Corsi at 24-18 Phx, and Fenwick at 20-12 Phx. Seems like tilted ice, but watching it doesn't look like a bad road period.

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#84 Willi P
October 22 2013, 09:19PM
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zzzzzzz wake me when it's over

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#85 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:21PM
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Well, in a Tippett system, this game is as good as over.

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#86 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 09:23PM
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Well... i guess you can't blame him for that one.

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#87 mk
October 22 2013, 09:23PM
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Does Calgary seriously only have 5 shots so far? Insufficient.

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#88 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:26PM
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mk wrote:

Does Calgary seriously only have 5 shots so far? Insufficient.

Looks that way, but looks like around 20 blocked or missed shots as well.

Credit the Coyotes.

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#89 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 09:26PM
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thymebalm wrote:

but each "once" only last an instant. A hockey game lasts many.

Just trolling ya, this game has me bored... 5 shots yeashhhhh

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#90 mk
October 22 2013, 09:27PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Looks that way, but looks like around 20 blocked or missed shots as well.

Credit the Coyotes.

Is it weird that I miss Moss? I'm glad he doesn't play for the Oilers - he's exactly the type they need for 3rd line role players.

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#91 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:29PM
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@mk

Yeah, I'd have liked Moss for the Oilers over Ryan Jones.

Of course, had he signed with them he'd be awaiting shoulder surgery by now. It's an Oilers thing - like hazing. ;)

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#92 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:30PM
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Sometimes things go your way and sometimes things just don't go your way.

Thank you swami Kerr.

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#93 mk
October 22 2013, 09:30PM
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Gotta love MacStarter...knowing the Flames recent skill at killing penalties, he thought he'd give them some more work.

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#94 ChinookArch
October 22 2013, 09:30PM
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The flames need to put MacBackup on waivers.

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#95 Reidja
October 22 2013, 09:30PM
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This team is bagged from being pounded by the Kings last night and Hartley is running 3 forward lines and 2 defense pairs. What the hell Hartley?

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#96 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 09:31PM
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Wow Joey Mac, are you a secret agent for the coyotes?

Might as well get blown out so we can see ramo again

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#97 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:32PM
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@Reidja

He's going to rope-a-dope the Coyotes with his 4th line in the 3rd period.

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#98 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:36PM
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Coyotes Flames 2 Goals 0

36 Corsi 27

29 Fenwick 15

19 Shots 6

From ES

That is a lot of blocked/missed shots for the Flames.

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#99 mk
October 22 2013, 09:38PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Coyotes Flames 2 Goals 0

36 Corsi 27

29 Fenwick 15

19 Shots 6

From ES

That is a lot of blocked/missed shots for the Flames.

Is it possible they've tried a lot of re-directions and tips, or bounces off boards? I haven't seen many that seem on purpose though...

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#100 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 09:40PM
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@mk

I can't see that many bounces in an opposition rink. You generally don't know the boards well enough to try that this early in the season.

I suspect it is largely shot quality.

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