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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#101 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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#102 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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#103 ChinookArch
October 22 2013, 09:30PM
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The flames need to put MacBackup on waivers.

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#104 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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#105 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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#106 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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#107 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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#108 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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#109 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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#110 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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#111 Kent Wilson
October 22 2013, 09:44PM
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Chances were 7-6 Coyotes.

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#112 Baalzamon
October 22 2013, 10:12PM
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All in favour of calling Jiri Hudler "Magic Stick"?

Sigh. Could it be someone other than Ribiero for once?

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

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

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

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#116 mk
October 22 2013, 10:27PM
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I love how the Fox Sports announcers keep saying the Flames have elite forwards - that the line of Monahan-Cammalleri-Hudler is one of the best in the league. I guess so eh, in their whole 1.8 games so far...

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#117 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:27PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Remember when Glencross had that 25-ish shooting percentage?

I try to

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#118 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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#119 Veggie Dog
October 22 2013, 10:29PM
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schevvy wrote:

I try to

Remember when Glencross actually HAD a SOG from time to time?

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#120 Veggie Dog
October 22 2013, 10:30PM
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@mk

1.8??

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#121 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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#122 Vowswithin
October 22 2013, 10:33PM
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@RexLibris

Philly!!! Lol

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#123 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:34PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Remember when Glencross actually HAD a SOG from time to time?

I also try to remember that

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#124 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 22 2013, 10:34PM
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wow boys skating in sand tonight.. turnovers galore

e

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#125 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:34PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Philly!!! Lol

They're already there.

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#126 RexLibris
October 22 2013, 10:35PM
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schevvy wrote:

I also try to remember that

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

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#127 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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#128 mk
October 22 2013, 10:37PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

1.8??

I'm assuming that's the sample they're referring to - Cammy's only been back since last game and this one isn't finished.

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#129 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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#130 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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#131 schevvy
October 22 2013, 10:40PM
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Well Monahan has played 9 games guess he's getting sent down haha just kidding

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#132 RKD
October 22 2013, 10:40PM
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GlenX can be pouty and whiny and can play a whole lot better, he's got to bring that edge back. He's also got a NMC.

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#133 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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#134 Willi P
October 22 2013, 10:41PM
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This one is pretty much on all on MacD

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#135 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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#136 Veggie Dog
October 22 2013, 10:43PM
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@mk

I see. For some reason I read it as Hudler- Monahan- Baertschi.

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#137 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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#138 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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#139 negrilcowboy
October 22 2013, 10:59PM
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macsewage

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#140 yomamen11
October 22 2013, 11:02PM
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Lober wrote:

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

I was thinking about the same thing yesterday

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#141 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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#142 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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