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 seve927
October 03 2013, 05:24PM
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Take that Baalzamon! ;-)

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#52 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:32PM
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Looks like Bouma's hit buggered Hillen's knee.

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#53 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:39PM
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Flames are playing quite well so far. Outchancing the Caps 6-5.

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#54 Avalain
October 03 2013, 05:50PM
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Dave wrote:

Calgary is on pace for 700 goals. Not bad.

And they're still on pace for 700 goals...

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#55 Ryan Pike
October 03 2013, 05:53PM
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Nice team play on all three goals:
-Monahan with a back-check blocking the Caps clear on the Jones goal.
-Nice 4-on-4 cycle on the second goal.
-Nice screen by Backlund on the third goal.

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#56 Burnward
October 03 2013, 06:23PM
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I'm perfectly content to watch this hockey team all year long.

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#57 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 06:28PM
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I really hate when the a rookie scores his first goal against the Flames.

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#58 Burnward
October 03 2013, 06:33PM
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THIS TEAM IS AWESOME!

At the very least, all my Oiler fan family are cringing tonight!

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#59 Craig
October 03 2013, 06:35PM
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@Kent Wilson

I want to see a gordie howe for Bouma

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#60 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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#61 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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#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 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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#64 Ryan Pike
October 03 2013, 07:08PM
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I've got post-game tonight, kids.

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

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#66 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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#67 seve927
October 03 2013, 07:51PM
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First place!

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#68 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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#69 beloch
October 03 2013, 08:09PM
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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.

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#70 piscera.infada
October 03 2013, 08:18PM
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@MichaelD

Agreed. Not to mention, it's his first NHL regular season game in 4 years. There's been quite a few goalies with horrible first games this year - I say we give him at least a handful before we start bashing his skull in.

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#71 Wot96
October 03 2013, 08:22PM
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Two points would have been nice but this should also have been about developing the kids. Not sure why you don't throw them out in OT.

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#72 Baalzamon
October 03 2013, 08:35PM
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Ramo is currently 9th in the league in sv%

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#73 Bottsy777
October 03 2013, 11:42PM
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Question for the group - Have the Flames ever in the last 20 years won a hockey game where they chased the starting goalie out of the game?

I can't recall one...

Enjoyed the effort tonight.

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#74 Avalain
October 03 2013, 03:38PM
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Technically, we were calling the Florida Panthers competition at the end of the season last year. Damned if they didn't beat us on that one, too.

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#75 suba steve
October 03 2013, 04:37PM
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Much as, When a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound (if there's no one there to hear it)?....When I scroll down (or up) past Silky Johnson, is he still doin his twitchy pimpy thing?

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#76 Christian Roatis
October 03 2013, 05:12PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Realistically: if Bouma is a servicable NHL player, he's a dynamite candidate for the Masterton.

Except he's a Flame and everyone hates the Flames.

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#77 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:23PM
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Who had Jones in the poll??

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#78 Jibmeister
October 03 2013, 05:23PM
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Awesome shot.

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#79 beloch
October 03 2013, 05:24PM
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@Kent Wilson

Jones wasn't in the poll! I guess we'll call Monahan the closest option since he assisted.

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#80 Scary Gary
October 03 2013, 05:36PM
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MCL/ACL I'd guess

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#81 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:40PM
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@Scary Gary

Caps are flat. They've had looks at the net and decided to try to get fancy and been loose in their own end.

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#82 maimster
October 03 2013, 05:46PM
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Wow, Alzer, getting a penalty for interfering McGratten is about as embarassing as it gets!

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#83 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:50PM
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Nice shot by Hudler.

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#84 ChinookArch
October 03 2013, 05:56PM
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beloch wrote:

"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!

Boooo!

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#85 Lober
October 03 2013, 05:58PM
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Just ordered some Flames home playoff tickets!

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#86 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 05:59PM
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Really good first period. Chances were 8-8. On the road against the Caps, that's nice work.

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#87 Baalzamon
October 03 2013, 06:05PM
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I just got in because my schedule is moronic. So apparently I missed a goal by Jones. Good for him. I hope he continues to be not-awful.

How does Sven look?

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#88 BurningSensation
October 03 2013, 06:17PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

I just got in because my schedule is moronic. So apparently I missed a goal by Jones. Good for him. I hope he continues to be not-awful.

How does Sven look?

Sven hasn't been terrible, or all that awesome as of yet, but he did show some nice wheels in the 1st.

What you really missed was David Jones doing a Brett Hull 'pick-the-corner-short-side' snipe that has to be seen to be believed.

I saw it, and I still don't beleive it.

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#89 seve927
October 03 2013, 06:21PM
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Don't think we're learning much about the Flames. Caps look horrible.

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#90 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:28PM
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Caps are pushing back hard in the second here. They're dominating.

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#91 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:29PM
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Damn Stemps.

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#92 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 03 2013, 06:32PM
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Ramo seems to always be sliding all over the place... not sure what to make of it.

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#93 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:33PM
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@Craig

haha, nice start for him for sure. Helps when the goalie does that too.

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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 Kent Wilson
October 03 2013, 06:51PM
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Huh. There's stajan. Wonder what was up.

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#100 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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