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.

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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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#51 MichaelD
October 04 2013, 05:18PM
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@KingQuong

Haha, I know. They don't hire hockey people, just people that like using as many words as possible

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#52 KingQuong
October 04 2013, 05:18PM
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@MichaelD

At least im in the city and can mute the feed and turn on the radio and listen to the play by play that way.

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#53 Mitch P
October 04 2013, 05:20PM
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Monahan!!! Nice drive to the net.

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#54 schevvy
October 04 2013, 05:20PM
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Good for Sean Monahan.

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#55 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:21PM
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Monahan scores off a rebound. haha, nice start for the kid.

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#56 Scary Gary
October 04 2013, 05:22PM
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Haha he's big, he'll be tough to handle.

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#57 Mitch P
October 04 2013, 05:26PM
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Was just about to write how good that PK was looking... 3/4 this year! Wheeeee...

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#58 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:27PM
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That was your man there Glencross.

Curtis is really in off-season form right now.

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#59 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 05:30PM
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Nice to see some speedster on this team. NICE!

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#60 Mitch P
October 04 2013, 05:30PM
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This fox feed is a special kind of horrible. The've spent about 5 minutes of air time talking about how Boone Jenner's nickname is the "Jennerator".

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#61 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:33PM
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Nice read by Galiardi on that one.

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#62 Baalzamon
October 04 2013, 05:34PM
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Nice goal, Galiardi.

It occurs to me suddenly that Street is pretty much the definitive penalty killer. Safe, mostly intelligent play, decent mobility. I may not like him all that much, but I have no problem with him as a fourth line center.

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#63 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 05:36PM
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Galiardi's goal almost makes up for yesterday's dumb penalty.

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#64 schevvy
October 04 2013, 05:37PM
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The Flames are a scoring machine

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#65 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 05:38PM
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Kris Russell just a dumpster fire in a recent shift. He looks good on a few shifts, and then has isolated ones where he just craps all over the place.

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#66 schevvy
October 04 2013, 05:40PM
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@Kent Wilson

I don't think I needed such a horrific visual

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#67 KingQuong
October 04 2013, 05:41PM
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@Mitch P

Theres a sportsnet feed i've found online what site do you use?

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#68 Mitch P
October 04 2013, 05:42PM
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@KingQuong

I'm watching on Centre Ice. It's actually pretty funny.

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#69 Mitch P
October 04 2013, 05:46PM
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Nope... McBackup works just fine. That rebound... aye yie....

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#70 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 05:47PM
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nice rebound control?

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#71 FireOnIce
October 04 2013, 06:00PM
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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.

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#72 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 06:08PM
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Queue up Simmer: "Curtis needs to keep it simple and keep his feet moving."

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#73 Scary Gary
October 04 2013, 06:09PM
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@ChinookArch

"Stay within yourself"

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#74 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 06:41PM
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Colborne is some kind of underwhelming.

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#75 Jibmeister
October 04 2013, 06:42PM
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Nice play McGrattan

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#76 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 06:44PM
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Not a lot to talk about in the second.

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#77 wot96
October 04 2013, 06:47PM
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I will take that second over last night's for the next 80 games.

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#78 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 06:48PM
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Flames got the puck fed to them that period. 2nd periods are the worst for us.

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#79 KingQuong
October 04 2013, 07:06PM
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It's nice to hear that Tim Erixon is scratched and that he didn't have a good camp.

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#80 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:16PM
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@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?

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#81 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:18PM
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Backlund has started to find his legs a bit after a sluggish first half. Needs to get more assertive in the offensive zone still.

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#82 Parallex
October 04 2013, 07:19PM
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@FireOnIce

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

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#83 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:21PM
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Boom. What a shot by Hudler. backcheck by Backlund in the neutral zone turns it around.

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#84 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:23PM
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What a shot of Hudler! He deserves it tonight.

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#85 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:23PM
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And Glenx gets a tap in. Maybe he'll be a bit more engaged now.

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#86 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 07:25PM
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And D. Jones with the assist.

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#87 Parallex
October 04 2013, 07:26PM
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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.

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#88 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:28PM
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@Parallex

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

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#89 ChinookArch
October 04 2013, 07:28PM
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Thank you MacBackup!

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#90 Kent Wilson
October 04 2013, 07:29PM
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Softy on Joey Mac.

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#91 yomamen11
October 04 2013, 07:30PM
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@Kent Wilson

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

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#92 Schmenkley
October 04 2013, 07:30PM
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McBrutal

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#93 HongKongHockeyFan
October 04 2013, 07:34PM
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@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.

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#94 MC Hockey
October 04 2013, 07:38PM
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Win!

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#95 Bezer
October 04 2013, 07:39PM
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Good effort on a back to back .. colour me impressed

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#96 thymebalm
October 04 2013, 07:40PM
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3 out of 4 on back to backs! Bam!

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#97 prendrefeu
October 04 2013, 07:42PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=E5Adx0RXpvg#t=10

/game.

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#98 Baalzamon
October 04 2013, 07:45PM
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@beloch

Actually, that's our home opener.

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#99 beloch
October 04 2013, 07:57PM
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@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.

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#100 TRAV
October 04 2013, 07:58PM
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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!

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