FGD: Dome Sweet Dome

Ryan Pike
October 06 2013 02:15PM

 

Saddledome Night
- pic via Brian Woychuk

 

The Calgary Flames return home from a season-opening two-game road trip out trying to dig themselves out of...
 
Wait, they got three points?! Calgary? No kidding? Okay, then...
 
The Calgary Flames return home to the Scotiabank Saddledome after a pretty impressive road trip, surprising the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets and returning to the Stampede City with three of a possible four points. Now they hope to continue last season's home success when they begin their home calendar against the hated Vancouver Canucks, who they got three of a possible 10 points out of last season.
 
The Flames home record was one of a handful of bright spots from last season and, after the season-threatening flood and the Herculean effort undertaken to keep the doors open at the Dome, the club undoubtedly wants to maintain a solid home record – rebuild or no rebuild. The puck drops a bit after 6pm and there's a bunch of stuff happening outside the 'Dome beginning around 4pm, including a tailgate party and Theoren Fleury signing autographs. Sportsnet has the TV broadcast, while the Fan 960 has the game on the old squawk-box.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames are without Mike Cammalleri (hand), Chris Breen (shoulder) and Matt Stajan (leg contusion). However, they're likely coming home with a spring in their collective step, and Flames coach Bob Hartley has to be happy that two games of buy-in from his hockey club resulted in two games where they walked away with points. Especially on the road, where the Flames don't have last change and generally weren't that good last season. (They were awful on the road last year.)
 
From our pals at DailyFaceoff, the projected Flames line-up:
 
Galiardi – Backlund – Hudler
Glencross – Colborne – Jones
Baertschi – Monahan – Stempniak
Bouma – Street – McGrattan
 
Brodie – Giordano
Wideman – Russell
Butler – O'Brien
 
MacDonald
Ramo
 
Jiri Hudler has scored two bullet goals to start the year (see above) and Mikael Backlund has a couple of points as well. Backs has been tentative in the offensive zone so far, but started to look a lot more comfortable in the latter half of the Blue Jackets game. He's by far Calgary'sbest pivot with Stajan out, so they'll need him to continue to improve.

Because Joey MacDonald got the win and Karri Ramo didn't, MacDonald starts the home-opener. As much as people probably wanted to see Ramo at home, it's pretty typical NHL coaches logic to go with the hot hand when there's no clear cut starter on the team.

After two games, there's a lot to like about the Flames line-up, particularly the balance between youth and vets on each line. Dennis Wideman has also been excellent, allowing the coaching staff to lean on the top two pairings and shield the O'Butler pairing a bit, although Wideman and Russell are getting the lions share of offensive zone faceoffs at 5on5, which helps.
 
Sean Monahan makes his home NHL debut tonight, while Colborne and Galiardi play their first game at home for their hometown team.

THE OPPOSITION

The Canucks played last night at home and demolished the Oilers, so they didn't practice this morning. Presuming there's no line-up changes from last night – and there's no reason to expect there will be, given their success – here's probable lines via DailyFaceoff:
 
D.Sedin – H.Sedin – Hansen
Booth – Kesler – Higgins
Weise – Richardson – Santorelli
Sestito – Dalpe – Alberts
 
Hamhuis – Bieksa
Edler – Garrison
Tanev – Stanton
 
Lack
Luongo
 
Eddie Lack gets the start as per Daily Faceoff after Luongo played in the late game on Hockey Night In Canada last night. The Canucks were full value at home, swarming and basically embarrassing an over-matched Oilers club. In other words, after a disappointing effort against the Sharks on the road, the Canucks did what they had to do to regain some much-needed confidence.
 
The Canucks top-six is pretty strong, particularly the insane passing prowess of the Sedins. Ryan Kesler doesn't appear to be hampered by injuries this year, and seems to be playing a lot more like the dominant Selke winner we saw a few yers ago. He had a goal, a fight and nine shots on net against the Oil last night.

Beyond that, though, the Canucks have okay depth, with nobody that's going to be a huge threat to light the lamp, but a lot of guys who work hard every shift. On the back end, the tendency is towards offensively-mobile but occasionally defensive wonky blueliners, which makes the Canucks a tremendously potent offensive team when they're clicking.

SUM IT UP

It's the home-opener! A mere three months after the Saddledome was full of murky water, the Calgary Flames open their home schedule (after a very strong roadie) against arguably their most bitter rival. It should be an emotional night either way down at Stampede Park.
 
What's not to like?

For a view from the other side, check out Canucks Army.

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
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.
Avatar
#51 ChinookArch
October 06 2013, 08:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
ChinookArch wrote:

I'm really impressed with Monahan, he's shown a lot of confidence and is plays really well without the puck.

A goal scorer's goal.

Starting to really like this kid.

Avatar
#52 RKD
October 06 2013, 08:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Canucks = slow, overpaid underachieving veterans, hmmm sounds familiar.

Avatar
#53 Burnward
October 06 2013, 08:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Monahan...soooo smooth. Fahk yeah.

Avatar
#54 Kent Wilson
October 06 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Yeesh Glencross.

Avatar
#55 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Full marks to Monahan on his goal... nice bit of hockey that was.

Avatar
#56 ?
October 06 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Terrible giveaway by GlenX there

Avatar
#57 ChinookArch
October 06 2013, 08:19PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

MacBackup = GOAT!

Edit. That may have been a little harsh, and evidently premature. 2 big saves since the 3rd goal goes in.

Avatar
#58 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:20PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
1
props

Blah... Dancing Bear costs us a goal.

Avatar
#59 Kent Wilson
October 06 2013, 08:21PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
11
props

Why in the hell MacGrattan is on the ice at this point in the game is beyond me.

Avatar
#60 mattyc
October 06 2013, 08:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

wow... yuck..

Avatar
#61 Lober
October 06 2013, 08:26PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
5
props

Annnnnd MacGrattan is a healthy scratch next game

Avatar
#62 Lober
October 06 2013, 08:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Macdonald with back to back huge saves

Avatar
#63 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@Lober

Hope so... Jackman ought to be drawing in anyways.

Avatar
#64 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Sigh... guess it's time to stop the willfull suspension of disbelief. At least Ramo ought to draw back in next game.

Avatar
#65 Kent Wilson
October 06 2013, 08:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Oh well.

Avatar
#66 RKD
October 06 2013, 08:33PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

Blowing leads, argh. McBackup is brutal.

Avatar
#67 Victoria Flames Fan
October 06 2013, 08:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
7
props

why have we got butler and o'brien on the ice at the same time. my patience with butler ended a year ago. why we persist on dressing him is a mystery beyond that of stonehenge or how they get the caramel in the caramilk bars.

Avatar
#68 thymebalm
October 06 2013, 08:36PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
3
props

Hartley... What a silly goose.

Avatar
#69 mattyc
October 06 2013, 08:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

effff. On the bright side, Hartley has Baertschi on the ice with the game on the line with a minute left - that's a positive that they're not going to demote him, right?

Avatar
#70 ChinookArch
October 06 2013, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

D. Jones scores.

I'm giddy with surprise. Woot woot!

Avatar
#71 ?
October 06 2013, 08:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

cmon......

Avatar
#72 ?
October 06 2013, 08:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

NICE!!!!! JONES

Avatar
#73 RKD
October 06 2013, 08:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yes! Take that Tortellini!

Avatar
#74 Brent G.
October 06 2013, 08:44PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

So monahan is putting up points and looking good while doing it... But he is also -2 on this game and I assume not looking great in the scoring chance stats. Does he stick in the nhl?

Avatar
#75 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Ha, how about that... points in three straight. Jones off to a good start to the season boxscore wise.

Avatar
#76 Brent G.
October 06 2013, 08:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Also, win or lose the flames are already a much more entertaining hockey club. I'm enjoying watching so far this season

Avatar
#77 Kent Wilson
October 06 2013, 08:46PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props

Fun game.

Avatar
#78 ChinookArch
October 06 2013, 08:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
RKD wrote:

Yes! Take that Tortellini!

Ha ha, was that autocorrect or was that on purpose?

Avatar
#79 Baalzamon
October 06 2013, 08:49PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
1
props

I dislike Jones a lot, but I'm happy he was able to Henri Richard the puck into the net. He and the team shouldn't be punished for MaxDonald's incompetence.

Avatar
#80 mattyc
October 06 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

welp...

Avatar
#81 Brent G.
October 06 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props
Baalzamon wrote:

I dislike Jones a lot, but I'm happy he was able to Henri Richard the puck into the net. He and the team shouldn't be punished for MaxDonald's incompetence.

Why all of the hate for the guy? He seems good to me

Avatar
#82 Kent Wilson
October 06 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

For the love of god Kris Russell...stop sliding across the ice on your belly when you get in trouble.

A pretty good game from the Flames. Probably deserved better. Three awful mistakes in the final 25 minutes and all three resulted in goals against.

Avatar
#83 Lober
October 06 2013, 08:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

How many times am I going to have to see Russel look like a complete idiot sliding all over the ice!? Sucks to blow the lead in the third but did end up with a point not bad.

Avatar
#84 Parallex
October 06 2013, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@Brent G.

I don't get it either Jones is fine. Oh well... that was 1 more point then I thought they'd get after the 4th Nucks goal. points in three straight, 4 out of a possible 6 so far, entertaining. Can't realistically ask for more.

Avatar
#85 ChinookArch
October 06 2013, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Well the boys eked out a point, which is more than I expected. It was said before, but at least they work hard and are entertaining to watch. Much like 2003 - 2004 teams.

No, I don't expect they get to the cup, let alone make the play offs, but I'm satisfied that the games are watchable.

Avatar
#86 RKD
October 06 2013, 08:54PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
ChinookArch wrote:

Ha ha, was that autocorrect or was that on purpose?

Purpose, of course! It's frustrating to blow leads and lose. At least we got a point, 4/6 is better than being 0-3. I wish we had all six points. At least the Flames so far appear to be competitive. Anyone know if scoring 4 in the first 3 games of a Flames season a record?

Avatar
#87 thymebalm
October 06 2013, 08:58PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
4
props

Get rid of Joey Macdonald. We know what we've got. And it ain't pretty.

Avatar
#88 beloch
October 06 2013, 08:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

It hurts to lose a game that the Flames played so well in. Excellent effort. Backlund stepped up. Stempniak had 5 shots. Monahan had 13:42 TOI, 5 shots, and a goal! Somehow a team that was supposed to be devoid of offense (especially with Cammalleri and Stajan out) is still finding ways to put the puck in the net! I bet the Canucks will give Luongo the start the next time these two teams play. The one downside to playing like this is that the Flames are likely going to see fewer backup goalies in the future.

Avatar
#89 Burnward
October 06 2013, 09:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props

This team deserves a real NHL goaltender to see what they actually have and can be. Not sure if Ramo can be that guy...but by now it's obvious MacDonald isn't.

Avatar
#90 EddyBeers
October 06 2013, 09:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props

Hate losing to the Cannots, but love the past 3 games. Really entertaining. It's about time.

Avatar
#91 SoCalFlamesFan
October 06 2013, 09:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Macdonald is now a .867 save rate. A few good stops but a soft save rate over all.

Avatar
#92 exsanguinator
October 06 2013, 09:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

So... I thought this team was supposed to suck this year. Looking pretty good so far. Canucks were a huge test and while the Flames didn't get the win I think they passed. I know it's only three games in but the Flames don't look like easy points so far.

Avatar
#93 Kevin R
October 06 2013, 09:45PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
4
props
Burnward wrote:

This team deserves a real NHL goaltender to see what they actually have and can be. Not sure if Ramo can be that guy...but by now it's obvious MacDonald isn't.

I don't get it. Macdonald is a known commodity & a career replacement level goalie. This team is in rebuild, cut the friggin crap & play @#*#@ Ramo. I committed to this rebuild, I sure hope a few points in these first few games aren't giving them visions of playoffs dancing through their heads. This defence is not capable of shutting too many teams down when the game is on the line. Lets play the kids, win or lose are not as important as playing hard & having the young talented players step up and get confidence in the NHL.

Avatar
#94 wot96
October 06 2013, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@beloch

That's not a downside. We get a better idea of how the Flames really measure up. 4 out of 6 points is more than anyone expected and you have to know there are people out there planning the after parties on the Red mile already.

Avatar
#95 Willi P
October 06 2013, 10:22PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props
Kevin R wrote:

I don't get it. Macdonald is a known commodity & a career replacement level goalie. This team is in rebuild, cut the friggin crap & play @#*#@ Ramo. I committed to this rebuild, I sure hope a few points in these first few games aren't giving them visions of playoffs dancing through their heads. This defence is not capable of shutting too many teams down when the game is on the line. Lets play the kids, win or lose are not as important as playing hard & having the young talented players step up and get confidence in the NHL.

Totally agree (see post #1). Having MacD on the team pushes every goalie in the system down a notch. Brossoit doesn't get AHL minutes, he is in the ECHL. Everybody worries about John Gaudreau not signing, what about another college player in Gillies? If the Flames won't play their young goalies, he may consider not signing instead of playing in the ECHL (!). Didn't see the logic in signing MacD before they signed Ramo. Now that Ramo is signed, play him, see what you have. Bring up Berra, send down MacD, nobody's claiming Joey MacDonald on waivers.

Avatar
#96 Willi P
October 06 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props

Well, maybe Edmonton

Avatar
#97 Robert Vollman
October 12 2013, 02:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

Yeah, we need Rob Vollman and Blackbox to come back.

Hey thanks. I'm glad you remember that, and enjoyed it.

Comments are closed for this article.