FGD: Sweet Second Chances

Ryan Pike
October 04 2013 12:39PM

 

Blue Jackets team
- pic via Avneesh Balyan

 

After a spirited, albeit disappointing, game in the capital of America on Thursday night, the Flames travel to the great state of Ohio for the first of two meetings with the Columbus Blue Jackets. It'll be the second game in as many nights for the Flames – and the first set of 12 back-to-backs this season – while it'll be the first game of this campaign for the Jackets. Calgary will get a second chance to make a first impression, as well as a second chance to spoil a home-opener.
 
Oh, and Columbus is also the site of this piece of history.

Rob Kerr and Charlie Simmer have this one for you on Sportsnet West starting at 5pm MT, while the dynamic radio duo of Pete and Pete (Maher and Loubardias) have it on the Fan 960 at that same time. FN will have this covered on the Twitters and in the comments, as well as the usual post-game shenanigans.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames are playing in the back half of a back-to-back; in 2012-13, they were an identical 3-6-0 in the front and back-halfs of B2B's. If both games were on the road, odds are the Flames lost both of them, as they were just lousy on the road. If nothing else, last night's tremendous effort – while disappointing due to the blown lead and loss – is a good sign that the team will make things difficult for the home squad for once.
 
Expect to see some new faces in the line-up, as both Roger Millions and the Sun's Wes Gilbertson – both travelling with the team – noted on Twitter that there were some injuries, perhaps to Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak. Per DailyFaceoff.com, the projected line-up (pending some scratches and swaps).
 
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
Hudler – Backlund – Galiardi
Baertschi – Monahan – Jones
Bouma – Street/Colborne – McGrattan
 
Brodie – Giordano
Wideman – Russell
Butler – O'Brien
 
MacDonald
Ramo
 
Joey MacDonald starts for the Flames in the back-half of a back-to-back. MacDonald was just fine in the pre-season, and was basically just fine throughout last year, although “fine” was better than whatever Miikka Kiprusoff was. We're hearing via the Twitter that Joe Colborne will likely play (and I'd suspect that means Tim Jackman and/or Derek Smith might cycle in), but I suspect a few guys are banged up and will be warm-up decisions.

THE OPPOSITION

Columbus raises the curtain on a season with rather high expectations. They went 24-17-7 last year, narrowly missing the playoffs (by a point) on the back of a disgustingly great Sergei Bobrovsky. They added Nathan Horton, will get a healthy Marian Gaborik back and add in Ryan Murray, who's great if he's not injured. They begin their first season in the Eastern Conference with a game against one of the Western teams they've had the most success against traditionally.
 
But hey, with Horton injured, it's basically the same Columbus team as last year. Via our pals at DailyFaceoff.com, the projected Jackets lines:
 
Jenner – Dubinsky – Gaborik
Calvert – Johansen – Atkinson
Letestu – Anisimov – Comeau
Umberger – MacKenzie – Foligno
 
Johnson-Tyutin* (Prout)
Murray-Wisniewski
Nikitin-Prout* (Savard/Erixon)
 
Bobrovsky
McElhinney

No Jared Boll. And Fedor Tyutin is doubtful due to an injury and apparently Jackets coach Todd Richards will update his status after morning skate. The Jackets site has Dalton Prout on the first pairing and Tim Erixon (remember him?) as Nikitin's partner, although beat reporter Aaron Portzline suggests that Erixon sits and David Savard plays. Last word (via the Columbus Dispatch) is that Tyutin is a game-time decision.
 
Lots of Flames connections here! Johansen and Baertschi are old Portland Winterhawks teammates! Comeau played here until he was traded at the deadline for a pick that became Eric Roy! Erixon was traded for a bunch of guys in Abbotsford (Roman Horak, Tyler Wotherspoon and Markus Granlund) while becoming a fringe NHLer, albeit a talented one. McElhinney was McBackup in Calgary, not to be confused with Joey “MacBackup” MacDonald.
 
Overall, the Jackets have great goaltending (maybe), an underrated defensive group and an underwhelming group of top nine forwards in Horton's absense. The Jackets should be a strong test for the Flames - because every team will be this year - but they don't boast the sort of game breaking talent the Caps do.

SUM IT UP

With one point in their pockets already, the Flames have – by their recent standards – had a fairly good start to their opening road trip. If they can put together another solid 60 minutes, perhaps they can get another point against Columbus.
 
Then again, it may be a tall order, as the Flames historically are snake-bit in Ohio – they have an 8-15-1 lifetime record at Nationwide Arena – and the Jackets have Sergei Bobrovsky, who's really good. But they managed to beat the Jackets in Columbus last year with Leland Irving of all people in net, so anything can happen if they work hard and keep their sticks on the ice and hockey cliche.

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
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.
Avatar
#51 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 05:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

nice rebound control?

Avatar
#52 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 05:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

@prendrefeu

Just got word that Kreiger has his own Facebook page. He reportedly spent the summer creating his own clone army.

Avatar
#53 FireOnIce
October 04 2013, 05:49PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Props
1
props

@prendrefeu

Joey Mac is a horrible pile of sh*t, just like a Big Mac. Maybe work from there.

Seriously though, they should play him as much as possible. Guaranteed loss, no matter how many goals the Flames score.

Avatar
#54 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:50PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

The latter half of the first period was rough.

Flames own zone coverage is a giant mess. There's huge gaps between the Flames wingers and opposition defenders and seems to be a lot of confusion about what all the forwards should be doing when things get a little hairy. Goes for both ES and PK.

Could just be growing pains given all the new bodies, but it's a major achilles heel so far.

Avatar
#55 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:56PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

Some good individual performances here and there, but I gotta say - Curtis Glencross is one of the worst players on the ice so far. He's completely out of it.

Avatar
#56 Baalzamon
October 04 2013, 05:58PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
0
props

Can someone explain to me why people defend Jones? That period was pretty typical of him. A barrage of abyssmal decisions and mishandled pucks interspersed infrequently with baffling strokes of brilliance.

Avatar
#57 FireOnIce
October 04 2013, 05:58PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

I saw here that ol' Matty Franchise was hurt, but upon further research, he's apparently out for quite some time. Deep leg contusion. Week-to-week right now.

*cue Mr Burns*

Exxxxxcellentttt...

Avatar
#58 FireOnIce
October 04 2013, 06:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
Baalzamon wrote:

Can someone explain to me why people defend Jones? That period was pretty typical of him. A barrage of abyssmal decisions and mishandled pucks interspersed infrequently with baffling strokes of brilliance.

What do you mean by typical? Like, typical to what he's done in the pre-season and 1.5 regular games for the Flames? It would appear shortsighted if that's how you view David Jones' career.

I watched him in Denver for several years. Most nights, when no one gave a sh*t, he was out there working hard and making things happen. Also, he scored a bunch of goals on a bullcrap team.

Maybe he is junk now, but he didn't used to be.

Avatar
#59 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 06:04PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Some good individual performances here and there, but I gotta say - Curtis Glencross is one of the worst players on the ice so far. He's completely out of it.

Glencross just looks like he's trying to do too much.

Avatar
#60 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 06:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Queue up Simmer: "Curtis needs to keep it simple and keep his feet moving."

Avatar
#61 Scary Gary
October 04 2013, 06:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@ChinookArch

"Stay within yourself"

Avatar
#62 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 06:20PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Backlund's line can't seem to get anything going in this one.

Avatar
#63 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 06:21PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

So, I'm afraid to say this but Butler's been okay, and not at all terrible.

Avatar
#64 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 06:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Colborne is some kind of underwhelming.

Avatar
#65 Jibmeister
October 04 2013, 06:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Nice play McGrattan

Avatar
#66 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 06:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Not a lot to talk about in the second.

Avatar
#67 wot96
October 04 2013, 06:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I will take that second over last night's for the next 80 games.

Avatar
#68 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 06:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames got the puck fed to them that period. 2nd periods are the worst for us.

Avatar
#69 HongKongHockeyFan
October 04 2013, 06:50PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Props
0
props

Joe Colborne...now I now why he was traded for a fourth round pick...soft and slow...no top 6 potential here from what I can see...

Avatar
#70 Reidja
October 04 2013, 06:56PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
9
props
HongKongHockeyFan wrote:

Joe Colborne...now I now why he was traded for a fourth round pick...soft and slow...no top 6 potential here from what I can see...

After 1 period where you watched him play for how many minutes? Your comment is FOS.

Avatar
#71 Baalzamon
October 04 2013, 06:59PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
1
props

@FireOnIce

Oh I'm fully aware that I'm harder on Jones than I should be. I just find it amusing that any comment I make about him is instantly trashed. One would think I was bad mouthing Iginla or Giordano or something.

For the record, however, I stand by my assertion that terrible decision making is a halmark of Jones' game--and always has been. I've always been puzzled that he ever managed twenty goals--twice!! We're not talking Blake Comeau levels of astonishment here, but Jones does remind me a lot of Ales Kotalik.

Avatar
#72 KingQuong
October 04 2013, 07:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
7
props

It's nice to hear that Tim Erixon is scratched and that he didn't have a good camp.

Avatar
#73 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@HongKongHockeyFan

I see him for a first time and my first impression is, that he is a good and pretty fast skater, not slow at all. If he is slow than what Hanowski is?

Avatar
#74 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Backlund has started to find his legs a bit after a sluggish first half. Needs to get more assertive in the offensive zone still.

Avatar
#75 Parallex
October 04 2013, 07:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@FireOnIce

Or you know whatever the opposite of excellent is because a long-term injury isn't going to help his trade value.

Avatar
#76 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Boom. What a shot by Hudler. backcheck by Backlund in the neutral zone turns it around.

Avatar
#77 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

What a shot of Hudler! He deserves it tonight.

Avatar
#78 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

And Glenx gets a tap in. Maybe he'll be a bit more engaged now.

Avatar
#79 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 07:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props

And D. Jones with the assist.

Avatar
#80 Parallex
October 04 2013, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Boom. What a shot by Hudler. backcheck by Backlund in the neutral zone turns it around.

That kind of stuff is why I love Backs so much. I was hoping he'd get rewarded with something for the boxscore for his great work in the 2nd half.

Avatar
#81 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

@Parallex

Yeah, no one pursues the puck or puts himself in better position up front than Backlund.

Avatar
#82 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Thank you MacBackup!

Avatar
#83 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Softy on Joey Mac.

Avatar
#84 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Boom What a goal of Anisimov. Turnover by Backlund in the neutral zone ...

Avatar
#85 Schmenkley
October 04 2013, 07:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

McBrutal

Avatar
#86 HongKongHockeyFan
October 04 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Reidja and yomamen11

Well I'll be very happy to proven wrong! I admit I am FOS, I'm not and never will be a professional hockey scout.

That said, it will be awesome if he does turn into legitimate top two centre but I certainly don't see the same potential you folks are seeing then.

And yes Ben Hanowski is pretty slow, too slow from I can see.

Back to game folks.

Avatar
#87 MC Hockey
October 04 2013, 07:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Win!

Avatar
#88 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 07:38PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

Flames earned that one!

Avatar
#89 Bezer
October 04 2013, 07:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Good effort on a back to back .. colour me impressed

Avatar
#90 RKD
October 04 2013, 07:39PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
3
props

McBackup is now 6-1-1 against CBJ.

Avatar
#91 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 07:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

3 out of 4 on back to backs! Bam!

Avatar
#92 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:40PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props

Decent effort. Sloppy and scrambly at times, but they pulled it out in the end.

Colbrone didn't really make an impression. I like having Street on the 4th line...he's a guy with good utility who can move up and down the depth chart.

Sven had a pretty complete game I thought.

Avatar
#93 prendrefeu
October 04 2013, 07:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=E5Adx0RXpvg#t=10

/game.

Avatar
#94 beloch
October 04 2013, 07:42PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props

I know it won't happen, but imagine spoiling the 'nucks home opener next! That might even cause a riot!

Avatar
#95 Baalzamon
October 04 2013, 07:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

@beloch

Actually, that's our home opener.

Avatar
#96 FireOnIce
October 04 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
1
props

@Parallex

Meh. You really think anyone would pay much for Stajan at this point in his career? With rumors that he just doesn't give a crap about hockey anymore and oft-poor conditioning, I'm pretty sure it would take a 50 goal season to make him worth anything.

His injury hurts the Flames' chance of winning a lot of games. That IS excellent. They don't have to try to lose. Better draft positioning.

Would you rather a low first from a Cup conference finalist (which are usually the teams looking to go deep + willing to overpay for garbage), or would you rather place low in the league standings and get a shot at a top 3 pick? Cammalleri is who you want to get healed. He'll be worth something.

Avatar
#97 kittensandcookies
October 04 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

Team plays two games and actually shows up for both. They deserved this win. Hell McBackup stunk and thy still won. I think it just goes to show just how disinterested previous players were.

Avatar
#98 beloch
October 04 2013, 07:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Baalzamon

Oops. The announcer at the end of this game plus the 6pm start-time threw me. The Flames had just 3 6pm home starts last season, but this season they have 3 in October alone! After that there isn't a single one for the rest of the season. Bizarre.

Avatar
#99 TRAV
October 04 2013, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Another fun one to watch. Liked Street. Won some draws and plays hard And quick on forecheck. Honestly was thrilled to see Monaghan and Baertchi get some late game action. That is how you learn and get better.

Who comes up to replace stajan? Horak or Knight?

Joey was good enough tonite. Agree that games are way more interesting this year than last!

Avatar
#100 Jibmeister
October 04 2013, 07:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

A lot of hate for MacDonald.. Was just average, but not ridiculously bad or anything..

Comments are closed for this article.