FGD: The Beginninging

bookofloob
October 03 2013 03:01PM

 

 

The frosty bite of winter beckons.

Like clockwork, a requiem for a dying season, the fall harvest too marks the ceremony of the game of hockey being born anew. And it's a beautiful thing, friends. Hockey is a beautiful thing. Grace, speed, and poise, all in a perfect, simultaneous symmetry, the essence of sport in its fullest display. A virgin sheet of pristine ice serves as a peerless canvas in which teams of artists create art in motion, day after day, until the quest for the game's ultimate prize, itself a timeless piece of art, is earned.

This is more or less what's in store for your Calgary Flames this season.

Or kinda not really.

Today is game 1 of 82, or as I've been calling it "UGHty-two", and while it's been beaten so squarely into the middle of our collective foreheads that this is going to be a season of transition, of tested patience, and of Christ Butler, that doesn't mean that there's no reason to watch the games, to pick new favourite Flames (all you people stuck in your Comeau Comas have to come out of them eventually), and perhaps most importantly, absolutely hating the opposition.

That starts now.

The Recognizable Calgary Hockey Team Lineup

Courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff, of whom WE OWN NOW and can use for our own evil intentioned ruses (but are also just a tremendous resource).

  • Glencross - Stajan - Stempniak
  • Hudler - Backlund - Galiardi
  • Baertschi - Monahan - Jones (!)
  • Bouma - Street - McGrattan
  • Brodie - Giordano
  • Russell - Wideman
  • Butler - O'Brien
  • Ramo

If not for the fact that all the Citizens of the Nations Network are well educated and informed hockey fans (and we love you and you look really nice today), there would be no judgment if the beleaguered cries of "who the hell are these guys?!!?" were uttered by the unwashed masses (you guys should wash).

Indeed, everyone with an interest in the Flames of Calgary probably has his or her own vision of how these lines should look, but hey, most of these guys are more or less interchangeable with each other, so this is about as good as it's going to get, one way or another.

There's going to be some growing pains with this lineup. Hell, even when Mike Cammalleri returns from injury, we'll all be wondering how long it's going to be before he gets shuttled out to another team (REBUILD!!!).

But let's put aside the uncertainty and the overall gloomy outlook at the collection of mostly young men we're looking at here. Line 3, man, Line 3. The Sven and the Svean. That's a thing that's happening. That's the future, sorta. David Jones is going to score 30 goals this year. All break aways and 3on1's. In my head.

Also, it will be interesting to see if the Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman combination continues to look anywhere near as good as they did during prolonged stretches in the preseason, notably on the power play. They done good. If it's something that can continue, perhaps, well...no, nevermind.

Karri Ramo.

Crapitals!

  • Obama - Backstrom - Ovechkin
  • Laich - Grabovski - Obama
  • Chimera - Obama - Ward
  • Obama - Biden - Booker T. Washington
  • Obama - Obama
  • Obama - Obama
  • Hillen - Carrick
  • Holtbama

(Actual lines here, I guess)

The Washington Capitals, apparently, are an essential service, because if you've been paying attention to the news lately, the team are amongst the very few people in DC who will be working tomorrow.

If you think it's hard to hate the Capitals based on the fact that their history with the Calgary Flames is almost nothing, well, think again; you can hate anyone.

Especially when we're talking about a team that drops off after 1.1 lines and used to rolling through a division that used to call the Florida Panthers COMPETITION. Tough break there, hey Oatesy?

Indeed, that top line is bonkers, and Mikhail Grabovski managed to score a hat trick the other night playing on a line with Broos Laich and Troy Brouwer somehow, but after that, this team is laughably bad. Like, so laughable it could sound like virtually any Alex Ovechkin tweet ever.

Admit it, you had no idea John Erskine and Jack Hillen were still in the league. I'm not even entirely sure they know about it.

This is a beatable team. So are the Flames, but if Ovechkin is contained and cannot keep up his alien scoring pace from the end of last season (which, uh...), then the Flames might even actually have a shot in this one. BRIGHTSIDE.

Probably not, but it's possible the Capitals are going to wish they had a slice of Obamacare. After all, McGrattan is in the lineup.

Playoff Race Implications

Several

Players to Watch

How about all of them, jerk? It's the first game of the season and your eye for analysis and critical thought is still in midseason form. Ease into the season before you correctly explain why Matty Franchise is going to win the Vezina this year.

Still though, watch out for Matt Stajan. I assume he's going to do some things.

And Karri Ramo. Ramo is going to be under the spotlight all season, and hopefully this won't be like that time that douchebag Canucks fan shone a laser in Kipper's eyes. Ramo is, by default, the guy now, based on the fact that Reto Berra is not very good at stopping pucks and most of the other guys in the system are either too young or a loose assembly of of old bricks. Ramo has an opportunity to become NHL GOALIE GUY, but man, the pressure is on.

Probably Sean Monahan too. I'll bet that's going to be interesting.

Conclusion

Well it could be hazy days in Cowtown this season, friends, but at least Steve Begin isn't in the lineup.

The first day of the rest of the Flames' life starts tonight, and the path they take today could very well determine just which way this rebuild goes. Also, I wonder if I tend to overexaggerate about these sorts of things?

Nah. Go Flames Go! Hockey's back!

01f20cee6c900dc633fe87a421630f41
The Book of Loob is the Nation's resident expert in flim-flammery and twaddle. An unabashed Flames fan, when BoL is not intellectually bankrupting Flames Nation, he can be seen rooting for Blair Jones, often to excess, at Book of Loob. Follow him on twitter here.
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#51 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:36PM
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I've liked Baertschi in the second.

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#52 bezer
October 03 2013, 06:37PM
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Little late to the party but I have really been happy with Brodie's play. Very creative pass helped lead to one of the goals.

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#53 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:38PM
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@bezer

He got worked by Backstrom on one play, but that's going to happen from time to time.

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#54 RKD
October 03 2013, 06:38PM
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Ovie and Iggy love that spot, wait for the pass then just crank it. Nice to see the Flames playing so hard. It's very early but Washington is in a lot more trouble than the Caps. They've allowed 10 goals already.

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#55 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:41PM
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Kris Russell looks awful in this game. It hasn't harmed the Flames, but he's been a problem in the defensive zone pretty consistently.

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#56 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:47PM
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Chances are 7-3 WAS. They're definitely full value for the come back.

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#57 Parallex
October 03 2013, 06:49PM
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Bah, hate it when they get scrambly like that after a goal.

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#58 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:49PM
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Looks like Stajan is either benched or hurt. Haven't seen him in awhile.

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#59 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:51PM
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Huh. There's stajan. Wonder what was up.

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#60 Baalzamon
October 03 2013, 06:54PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Huh. There's stajan. Wonder what was up.

Equipment problem, maybe?

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#61 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:55PM
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Chances were 8-3 Capitals in the second. At least the first period was good, right?

One guy who has underwhelmed tonight is Curtis Glencross. He's been a complete non-factor.

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#62 negrilcowboy
October 03 2013, 06:57PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Huh. There's stajan. Wonder what was up.

hartley

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#63 Parallex
October 03 2013, 06:59PM
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Lee Stempniak is so likeable in an oddly nondescript way.

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#64 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 06:59PM
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Quite the high stick by Ovi

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#65 Charleston Kingsley
October 03 2013, 07:01PM
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Yeah, Ovechkin should've been penalized on the follow through high-stick, especially considering Jones was penalized for a follow through just minutes before.

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#66 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:04PM
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@Charleston Kingsley

The rule stipulates that follow through on a shot is not a penalty.

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#67 Luc
October 03 2013, 07:06PM
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I've only heard galiardi's name once! So far Gio has been the best flame for me and I like what Bouma is doing this game

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#68 Ryan Pike
October 03 2013, 07:08PM
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I've got post-game tonight, kids.

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#69 Lober
October 03 2013, 07:18PM
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WHY IS STREET PLAYING ON THE PP OVER SVEN!?!?!?

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#70 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:30PM
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Third is a bit lower event, so Flames might be able to hang on here.

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#71 Parallex
October 03 2013, 07:33PM
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Man, that is such a cheap call.

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#72 Burnward
October 03 2013, 07:35PM
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@Parallex

Hate that one.

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#73 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 07:36PM
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Caps have a potent PP.

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#74 Parallex
October 03 2013, 07:40PM
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Fraking Galiardi. Slops to infinity for him.

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#75 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 07:40PM
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The Flames can't keep given that PP opportunities.

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#76 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 07:40PM
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The Flames can't keep given that PP opportunities.

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#77 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:41PM
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Well, we'll always have the first period.

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#78 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 07:41PM
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Well we'll always have those first 28 minutes.

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#79 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 07:41PM
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@Kent Wilson

Beat me to it!

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#80 Burnward
October 03 2013, 07:44PM
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Win or lose, this game has been so much fun to watch.

That being said, GET EM'!!!!

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#81 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:44PM
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Flames pushing back now. At least they're giving WAS all they can handle.

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#82 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 07:47PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah, my personal hope for the Flames Ian's that there are no blow outs.

And we win the BoA.

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#83 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 07:49PM
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Nice D wideman

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#84 Parallex
October 03 2013, 07:50PM
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Whew... that was quite a final 30 sec.

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#85 BurningSensation
October 03 2013, 07:50PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Yeah, my personal hope for the Flames Ian's that there are no blow outs.

And we win the BoA.

I'm completely happy with finishing last so long as we win the BOA.

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#86 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:51PM
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Chances were 8-6 Flames in the third. If they didn't lose the plot in the second, they win this game outright.

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#87 seve927
October 03 2013, 07:51PM
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First place!

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#88 beloch
October 03 2013, 07:54PM
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Baertschi made an impressive play off a faceoff late in the third. Danced around practically the entire opposing team with the puck! Too bad he blew through them so fast he had no help in the offensive zone. Still, I'd call that a flash of brilliance!

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#89 Parallex
October 03 2013, 07:55PM
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really liked Backs play in the third.

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#90 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:57PM
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@beloch

Baertschi has had a pretty good mostly.

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#91 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:58PM
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Flames are kicking butt in the OT. 3-0 chances.

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#92 Vowswithin
October 03 2013, 07:59PM
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What the F is street doing on in OT grrr

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#93 Jibmeister
October 03 2013, 07:59PM
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Brodie is so good.. Amazes me very game.

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#94 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 07:59PM
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Great OT fr the Flames.

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#95 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 08:00PM
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Well, how's Ramo in shootouts? Can't be worse than the kipper poke-check.

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#96 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 08:03PM
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Decent game. Calgary fell off the pace in the 2nd, but otherwise they were in it.

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#97 beloch
October 03 2013, 08:04PM
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Time to flip the coin for the extra point. As far as I'm concerned though, this was a great performance from the Flames. They didn't show up in the second, but showing up for 2/3 periods plus overtime (WOW!) is more than this team has done for most of the last few years.

Ramo went 0.897 on the night, which is eerily similar to last years goalie squad performance, and not at all like league average goal-tending. Still, facing Ovechkin on your first night back in the big league isn't exactly, "easing in". Still, at the very least he's interchangeable with MacBackup.

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#98 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 08:06PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

Well, how's Ramo in shootouts? Can't be worse than the kipper poke-check.

Or maybe the poke-check wasn't that bad afterall.

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#99 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 08:06PM
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@beloch

Can't blame Ramo tonight. All legit chances + two tips off his own players sticks.

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#100 Baalzamon
October 03 2013, 08:06PM
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MacDonald better not start the next game.

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