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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#51 Christian Roatis
October 22 2013, 08:24PM
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Hey Hartley. Pull Ronald before the hole gets the too big.

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#52 Nighteyes
October 22 2013, 08:27PM
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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.

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#53 A rye morning
October 22 2013, 08:32PM
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Charleston Kingsley wrote:

What's a rusty klesla?

If you have to ask, you can't afford one.

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

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

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

Hartley all for 6 year extension of Joey macdonald

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#57 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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#58 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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#59 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 09:44PM
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Chances were 7-6 Coyotes.

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#60 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:17PM
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I can't stand Ribero he ALWAYS kills the Flames

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#61 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:29PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Everything Glencross touches turns to garbage

Oilers.

Flames.

Who's next?

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#62 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:32PM
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Funny thing about the Eller/Eakins thing. Most Oilers fans today more or less agreed with what Eller said, the team does play a little unstructured at times.

Media trying to stir things up, and I'll grant them that Eakins is a heck of a quote most days.

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#63 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 22 2013, 10:37PM
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zero energy and no drive.. is this the price of playing such a high energy game style- running out of gas?

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#64 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:38PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Last season's self-medicating really took a toll on that old grey matter, huh?

I'm still bitter about everything Rex. I haven't recovered from the Iggy trade yet haha

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#65 Southern_Point
October 22 2013, 10:38PM
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Jeez, I mean I'm not sure how much of difference it makes in the end. But why Glencross and Jones and not Sven or Stempniak?

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#66 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:41PM
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@schevvy

It passes. Like a kidney stone, but it passes.

I mean, I'm barely bitter at all anymore about trading Mark Messier for Louie DeBrusk.

Hardly.

At all.

Excuse me, I'm going to go break some concrete walls with my sledgehammer.

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#67 yomamen11
October 22 2013, 11:21PM
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Maybe I will be some kind of devils advocate but the hype around MacD and Ramo seems not fair to me. Flames played back-to-back game against though opponents (3 matches in 4 nights) and thats always difficult. Ramos numbers were great game before but to be honest, he has big portion of luck in that match. I think that iron rings twice that night, and if that "thermometer" shot (or however you call it in Canada) between pads and blocker went in and not hit the post, it will be cheap goal.

Dont get me wrong, I dont like MacD more than rest of you, but I want to be fair. Not every goal that PHO scored is on him tonight.

Underline: Every lost, that you blame MacD for just brings us closer to our goal this season, another high draft pick. So MacD can easily turn to our MVP this season after all :)

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#68 icedawg_42
October 22 2013, 02:47PM
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bookofloob wrote:

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

This.

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#69 MichaelD
October 22 2013, 04:08PM
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@negrilcowboy

Back to Back I would assume.

If Stajan is in, where does he fit? Does he bump Colborne down

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#70 exsanguinator
October 22 2013, 04:10PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

why no ramo?

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

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#71 pPrimo
October 22 2013, 05:59PM
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Shredder wrote:

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...

I think you meant to say...forbid an injury I'm not inspired by the Oilers depth.

The Flames depth is most impressive if you had any knowledge regarding the Flames prospects in Abby!

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#72 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 06:31PM
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@Shredder

the Flames have had injuries lol. They're only now getting guys back (Stajan hasn't played since Washington, Cammalleri played his first game yesterday)

But if an injury hits that blueline, you're right... whoo boy. Gets ugly fast.

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#73 SeanCharles
October 22 2013, 07:54PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

This.

Colborne has amazing reach and utilized it well on a few occasions last night. His size is a factor in more ways than one...

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#74 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 07:56PM
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Gio hurt in warm up. Breen in as a result.

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#75 kittensandcookies
October 22 2013, 07:57PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Colborne has amazing reach and utilized it well on a few occasions last night. His size is a factor in more ways than one...

That's what she said!

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#76 negrilcowboy
October 22 2013, 07:59PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

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

nature of the injury?

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#77 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:03PM
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@negrilcowboy

Not sure yet.

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#78 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:04PM
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It will be interesting to see if Breen can keep up to the pace.

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#79 ChinookArch
October 22 2013, 08:07PM
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Anyone know what Shaw channel the game is on?

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#80 ChinookArch
October 22 2013, 08:09PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Anyone know what Shaw channel the game is on?

Never mind: ch 326

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#81 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:22PM
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Giordano would've stopped that.

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#82 Parallex
October 22 2013, 08:25PM
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Oh geez... can we just play the whole game with the extra attacker? I mean if MacDonald is going to present such juicy targets anyways...

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#83 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 08:25PM
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MacDonald looks totally lost.

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#84 piscera.infada
October 22 2013, 08:25PM
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MacDonald looks worse than normal tonight. 1 more goal, he better get the hook.

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#85 lionlager
October 22 2013, 08:26PM
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Watching MacDonald is terrifying.

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#86 kmp
October 22 2013, 08:28PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

First shift, first penalty for SOB.

Holding Bissonette no less, at least I have Vrbata and Ekman-Larsson on the fantasy team.

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#87 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
October 22 2013, 08:35PM
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Macdonald once heroically stopped a run-away train. True story. Smaller objects? Not so much.

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#88 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 08:40PM
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Some chaos in the Flames zone.

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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 Christian Roatis
October 22 2013, 08:51PM
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John Shannon gets it

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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 09:01PM
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@RexLibris

Myself.

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#100 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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