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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#1 MichaelD
October 03 2013, 08:15PM
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beloch wrote:

Ramo is going to have to be better if he expects to finish his contract in Calgary. The Flames would have lost this one in reg if the Caps had started Neuvirth. It's only one game in, so hopefully he was closer to his worst than his best tonight.

Really? After one game you are talking about him not finishing a two year contract. That's just ridiculous.

Besides he played a decent game he just clearly sucks when he gets moving side to side on breakaways (which is a common problem with goalies), and the team played a really great game other then the second period.

Give it a rest.

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#2 Burnward
October 03 2013, 06:12PM
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No matter happens the rest of the year, we'll always have period one.

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#3 Lober
October 03 2013, 08:17PM
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What I saw tonight. Sven needs a bit more ice time, I thought he created multiple chances when he was on the ice. I really like the Brodie Gio pairing. Kris Russel is terrible ( Or at least played a real bad game) Bouma is a perfect 4th line player.

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#4 lionlager
October 03 2013, 04:33PM
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RAMO WINS THE VEZINA. SVEN WINS THE CALDER. MCGRATTEN WINS THE HART.

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

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#6 piscera.infada
October 03 2013, 08:11PM
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This is kind of how I see the entire season going. Loss, with a lot of positives.

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#7 Dave
October 03 2013, 05:25PM
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Calgary is on pace for 700 goals. Not bad.

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#8 Vowswithin
October 03 2013, 05:51PM
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Jesus nice start to the game. I guess they will be a team that won't just give you a win.

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#9 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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#10 Christian Roatis
October 03 2013, 08:30PM
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I know it's a rebuild and we're supposed to lose and what not, but it still stings to lose. Especially like that.

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#11 Christian Roatis
October 03 2013, 08:33PM
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Also, the odds are MacDonald starts tomorrow which sucks cause other than the shootout I really liked Ramo.

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#12 Rockmorton65
October 03 2013, 04:36PM
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Lober wrote:

Why am I so excited!?!?!

I think its because there is room for optimism in a rebuild.

Getting rid of Iggy, Tangs and Kipper was like opening a window that has been closed all winter and a blast of fresh air has filled the room.

To continue the analogy, winter is over and spring is here. Just because we're a ways from summer doesn't mean we can't play outside right now. We just need to remember that its spring, not summer...yet, and dress accordingly.

Cheers!

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#13 RexLibris
October 03 2013, 05:53PM
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The thing I'm trying to figure out while watching this game, is whether there is any way the Flames can get Kiprusoff's name included in the engraving this June.

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#14 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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#15 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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#16 piscera.infada
October 03 2013, 08:13PM
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@Wot96

Per NHL.com: Monahan - 11:40 (not bad for your first NHL game). Baertschi - 11:24.

Would have liked to see them in overtime though.

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#17 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 03:49PM
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@ChinookArch

That's her cheer face.

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#18 beloch
October 03 2013, 04:47PM
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"Every one who wilfully, in the presence of Her Majesty,

(a) does an act with intent to alarm Her Majesty or to break the public peace, or

(b) does an act that is intended or is likely to cause bodily harm to Her Majesty,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years"

Yes, it is illegal in Canada to "alarm" the queen. It's damned fortunate she won't be in attendance tonight or we might lose half the team when she reacts to giveaways and other botched plays!

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#19 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 05:21PM
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Jones!

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#20 Avalain
October 03 2013, 05:27PM
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Lots of cheering "someone else, idiot" people right now I bet.

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#21 beloch
October 03 2013, 06:02PM
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The old malaise that traditionally infects this team is the inability to put together three solid periods. As great as this period was, the game isn't over yet!

Also, I just noticed the caps actually have eagles on their jerseys. W-shaped eagles! Is that new? It's so incredibly lame in the "'merica f'yeah" sense that I'm actually laughing whenever there is a closeup on their jerseys.

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#22 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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#23 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 07:57PM
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@beloch

Baertschi has had a pretty good mostly.

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

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

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

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#27 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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#28 Parallex
October 03 2013, 08:06PM
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Got a point in a entertaining game... I'm calling that a win

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#29 MaimsterNagle
October 03 2013, 08:13PM
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Liked Brodie, Gio, Backs, Stemp, Sven

Didn't care for Glencross, Hudler, Butler.

So, mostly what you'd expect. I hope Hartley liked backlund as much as I did. Still think he's our best player.

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#30 SmellOfVictory
October 03 2013, 08:18PM
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Backlund and Brodie were great as always. Baertschi had a sick, sick little play on one of Monahan's shots, too.

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#31 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 03:40PM
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@BoL "Or kinda not really."

Well done!

Is QE2 a Flames fan? She doesn't look too pleased. Scowl faced old bag anyway.

(Oh man, I hope the Monarchist don't get mad at me).

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#32 Avalain
October 03 2013, 05:31PM
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Think Jones can keep up his 100% shooting percentage? Because that will make the Tanguay trade a hell of a deal.

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#33 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 05:37PM
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Is that Hartley hockey or are the caps that bad/flat? Both?

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#34 Jibmeister
October 03 2013, 05:45PM
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McGrattan draws a penalty, haha

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#35 maimster
October 03 2013, 05:48PM
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May as well start engraving Stanley right now!

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#36 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:15PM
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Hey Kris Russell...how many times are you going to fall for the toe drag in the slot?

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#37 Craig
October 03 2013, 06:31PM
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Bouma!! this guy is awesome.

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#38 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:36PM
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I've liked Baertschi in the second.

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

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#40 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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#41 Parallex
October 03 2013, 07:55PM
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really liked Backs play in the third.

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#42 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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#43 Baalzamon
October 03 2013, 08:06PM
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MacDonald better not start the next game.

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#44 yomamen11
October 03 2013, 08:10PM
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Hey, Flames are right now first in Pacific division :o)

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#45 beloch
October 03 2013, 08:14PM
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@Kent Wilson

I do not believe in explaining away the goals that go in because, for every goal scored that a goalie had no chance on, there's one that had no business staying out. For example, take when Ovechkin put one through Ramo's five-hole and it miraculously dribbled to the side by just a couple centimeters. Long-term, luck balances out and a goalies Sv% is what defines him. Ramo was mediocre tonight.

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#46 piscera.infada
October 03 2013, 08:20PM
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I really dislike that Gio-Brodie pp pairing. They aren't good enough with zone entries, and the puck movement between them seems rushed. I don't know, maybe it was just this game, but I rarely saw the pp do much at all when they were on the back-end.

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#47 Kevin R
October 03 2013, 09:04PM
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Well if this is our rebuild era, I'm ok with this. Wash are a good team & we played pretty darn good. Got the point on the road & we certainly didn't look like a 30th place team tonight. I'd like to see Ramo back in tomorrow. Good or bad we need to know what we have & we need to give this kid a full plate of games & work the snot out of him.

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#48 Lordmork
October 03 2013, 03:18PM
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I'm sad that you beat me to the obvious government shutdown joke.

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#49 Lober
October 03 2013, 04:22PM
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Why am I so excited!?!?!

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#50 Ryan Pike
October 03 2013, 04:47PM
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Realistically: if Bouma is a servicable NHL player, he's a dynamite candidate for the Masterton.

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