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 fourth 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 and the Wrestling Observer.
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#1 Shredder
October 22 2013, 03:45PM
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Oiler fan here, and sorry for trolling. I will say that the team the Flames are icing, while having less shiny-sparkly and fancy new talented players as the Oilers, are winning my heart right now. That's right, I said it. They're playing with gutsy efforts, straight up effort, within a team system, where no one is above the team. And they're being rewarded with wins because of it. I still think in January or February they may be a bit burnt out from working harder than every other team, and god forbid an injury hits this team, as I'm not inspired by their depth...but they're earning their victories. Wish I could say the same for the Oilers...

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#2 bookofloob
October 22 2013, 03:57PM
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@Shredder

get the hell out of here, oilers spy

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#4 CutterMcAwesome
October 22 2013, 03:22PM
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I actually think this is the best looking lineup the flames have posted all year. (assuming butler sits)

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#5 Lober
October 22 2013, 10:38PM
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I am starting to think Glencross might be sour from not being named captain and if that's the case get his ass out of here

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#6 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 03:59PM
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Automatic win if the Flames come out dressed in that Three-Wolf Moon as a jersey.

In fact, ditch their current 3rd jersey and go with that one. They'd make more money than they ever did off old #12.

And apparently it works on the ladies...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPi6R7HKnfg

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#7 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 04:00PM
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bookofloob wrote:

get the hell out of here, oilers spy

YEAH!

*puts on moustache disguise and trenchcoat*

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#8 kittensandcookies
October 22 2013, 08:27PM
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Fun fact: MacDonald is 78% molasses.

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#9 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:41PM
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Can Joey Mac just go away forever

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#10 Veggie Dog
October 22 2013, 10:41PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Its probably more a product of playing the boring ass Coyotes. They suck the life out of everything.

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#11 vowswithin
October 22 2013, 02:55PM
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Wow this is almost close to a competent 4 lines, if we could keep ramo and dump buts or obrien we could really see something beautiful.

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#12 Stan
October 22 2013, 05:06PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

The dude has only played minimal minutes, so what if this is the second half of back to backs. joey macfivehole isnt even replacement level.

Macdonald is replacement level, and thats it. He has played decently this season, decent enough to get us some wins. Im always in favor of starting a backup on the second half of back to backs. Ramo should be in net for the next game though.

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#13 Lober
October 22 2013, 09:42PM
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Stemper has done nothing but get better over the last 2 seasons. Has become a very useful player, I would definitely be on board with resigning him.

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#14 Veggie Dog
October 22 2013, 10:20PM
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Everything Glencross touches turns to garbage

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#15 Willi P
October 22 2013, 10:41PM
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This one is pretty much on all on MacD

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#16 bookofloob
October 22 2013, 02:46PM
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@Ryan Pike

Colborne doesn't use his size. I would also switch

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#17 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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#18 Willi P
October 22 2013, 10:10PM
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#35 SUCKS

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#19 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 03:08PM
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@bookofloob

Gotta make decisions when you're posting the lines on those sites.

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#20 Avalain
October 22 2013, 04:06PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

why no ramo?

He played yesterday.

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#21 Parallex
October 22 2013, 08:22PM
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Ladies and Gentleman... I give you Joey MacDonald.

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

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#23 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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#24 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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#25 thymebalm
October 22 2013, 09:45PM
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Painful to watch.

It appears as though the rush is our only hope.

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#26 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:20PM
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Remember when Glencross had that 25-ish shooting percentage?

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#27 Tenbrucelees
October 23 2013, 12:49AM
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Willi P wrote:

Similar to a pinball game. Yotes ping the puck around till something goes down the hole. They put the Flames to sleep for the most part BUT MacD in net was like missing one of the flippers. He was so far out of position for two of the goals that it was laughably PeeWee. Could have been many more if his mates had not stopped the puck for him. Feaster was not happy about his conditioning coming in to this year and it is starting to show. Flopping around, out of position cost the team this game. Watching the whole game, outshot for sure but lack of quality shots. "Outplayed" is debatable, the goaltending performance by MacD was not, it was a disaster.

Feaster being unhappy with someone's conditioning is a mildly amusing concept.

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#28 icedawg_42
October 22 2013, 02:41PM
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Im I the only one who would swap those top 2 centers around?

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#29 bookofloob
October 22 2013, 03:12PM
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@Kent Wilson

yeah, no, I get it.

Just interesting to see if it actually happens

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#30 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:24PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Gio hurt in warm up. Breen in as a result.

He obviously wasn't wearing his Three Wolf shirt.

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#31 Charleston Kingsley
October 22 2013, 08:29PM
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What's a rusty klesla?

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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 22 2013, 10:40PM
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that was a bad game... send Monahan back to juniors!!!

;-)

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#38 Don Scott
October 22 2013, 10:54PM
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Even though we lost this one the Flames looked good rolling four lines instead of burning out three while Jackman and McGrunt played their three minutes each!!!

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#39 Parallex
October 22 2013, 10:57PM
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Willi P wrote:

This one is pretty much on all on MacD

Not to downplay how bad he was but I'm sure some of it can be put on it being the 2nd half of a back to back and Giordano being out.

I'm no defender of MacDonald but there was a lot of things that pointed to a Flames loss (MacD starting being one but not the only one).

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#40 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 11:19PM
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Yeah... as much as I'd like to pin this one on MacDonald, the Flames were legitimately outplayed (boringly) for most of the game.

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#41 bookofloob
October 22 2013, 02:45PM
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So Jones is in the lineup according to Daily Faceoff even though he's a game time decision?

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#42 negrilcowboy
October 22 2013, 04:01PM
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why no ramo?

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#43 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 04:06PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

why no ramo?

I blame communist Russia for that, but what do I know...

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#44 Parallex
October 22 2013, 04:18PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Second game of a back to back including travel. He's not Kipper.

And even Kipper wasn't very good at those games. I'm fine with MacDonald getting the start.

I'm envious of the Yotes blueliners. How much better would our team look with a guy like Yandle on the 2nd pairing.

Don't have a good feeling about this game... guys are probably some kinda sore and exhausted after yesterdays tilt.

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#45 negrilcowboy
October 22 2013, 04:19PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Second game of a back to back including travel. He's not Kipper.

The dude has only played minimal minutes, so what if this is the second half of back to backs. joey macfivehole isnt even replacement level.

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#46 prendrefeu
October 22 2013, 05:27PM
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@RexLibris

There's a review for the t-shirt, too. Sounds legit.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XKMDXZHQ26YX/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B002HJ377A&nodeID=1036592&store=apparel

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#47 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 06:04PM
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prendrefeu wrote:

There's a review for the t-shirt, too. Sounds legit.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XKMDXZHQ26YX/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B002HJ377A&nodeID=1036592&store=apparel

Yeah, I've read those. Pretty funny stuff. There's a music video for it as well.

When you think about it, they basically look like some ECHL special jerseys.

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#48 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 06:57PM
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@Fan960Steinberg: David Jones has officially been activated off IR. #Flames

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#49 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:20PM
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First shift, first penalty for SOB.

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#50 Christian Roatis
October 22 2013, 08:23PM
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Oh my god... When does Berra get here?

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