FGD: The Avengers

Ryan Pike
November 14 2013 12:40PM

Arguably Calgary's most one-sided loss of the year was October 24 in Dallas, featuring three goals against in 61 seconds in a game where the team looked pretty decent, then awful, then couldn't claw back. The Stars (9-7-2) make their first trek to Calgary this season, and the Flames (6-9-3) definitely have nightmarish visions of that awful second-period stretch in Dallas floating in their heads.

The Stars are on a bit of a roll, having won four of their last five and earning points in five of their last six games. The Flames are on the flip-side of that, having just one win and three points in their last seven games, and a 2-7-1 record in 10 games without captain Mark Giordano. The records suggest an outcome, but the Flames are definitely motivated to provide a different one.

The puck drops at 7pm on Sportsnet Flames, Fan 960 and all over the Twitters.

THE LINE-UP

Via DailyFaceoff, suggested Flames lines:

Galiardi – Stajan – Jones
Cammalleri – Colborne – Stempniak
Baertschi – Monahan – Hudler
Jackman – Backlund – McGrattan

Butler – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
O'Brien – Smid

Berra
Ramo

Lance Bouma and Derek Smith cycle out of the line-up in favour of Tim Jackman, playing his 400th career game on his birthday, and Shane O'Brien. Reto Berra, fresh off being perhaps the only Flames player to play three periods against San Jose, gets the start once again. It'll be Berra's fifth start – he's 1-2-1 with a 3.24 goals against average and .900 save percentage.

The Flames slow starts have been the talk of the Saddledome for the last few days, with them following the Flames back from their road trip. Whatever the reason, they desperately need to score first, as they probably don't have too many more miraculous third period comebacks left in the tank.

And yes, this means that Backlund will start the game with Jackman and McGrattan. He'll also take key defensive zone and penalty-kill face-offs and probably be thrown into the top nine rotation in the third period, or if somebody in the top nine under-performs.

THE OPPOSITION

Dallas is riding high, coming into town after laying a 3-0 drubbing on the Edmonton Oilers. Via DailyFaceoff, potential lines.

(Jamie) Benn – Seguin – Nichushkin
Chiasson – Eakin – Cole
Horcoff – Fiddler – Peverley
Roussel – Morin – Garbutt

Dillon – Robidas
Goligoski – Daley
(Jordie) Benn – Gonchar

Lehtonen
Ellis

Dallas didn't have a full skate, so we're all guessing that (a) lines aren't changed from last night and (b) Lehtonen starts because he didn't really have to do much “goaltending” last night. That said, Dan Ellis could slot in based on the back-to-backs and the travel.

After a slowish start out of the gates, the Stars have been cooking. Valeri Nichushkin has been pretty damn good after having some struggles to begin the year, and the Dallas coaching staff has figured out a nice balance of older and younger players throughout their line-up. That said, their bottom-six isn't amazing, but their top six is dynamic enough to make up for it.

SUM IT UP

The Flames want a mulligan for Tuesday's awful first 40 minutes and for the 61-second stretch in Dallas that cost them that game. They'll be motivated and energized right out of the gate. Dallas will be confident after beating the Oilers up north last night, but potentially tired due to the game and the travel.

This is a winnable game for the Flames if they can execute their game-plan. Whether they do or not will be a test of this club's character and resolve.

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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 RKD
November 14 2013, 08:32PM
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Wonder if Hartley is going to yell at the presser, "it's too casual!" wait a sec, Brent already did that. Better yet, "there's going to be some consequences."

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#52 Kent Wilson
November 14 2013, 08:33PM
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@mattyc

Nope. no embedding capabilities in the comments.

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#53 Frank Miron
November 14 2013, 08:35PM
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Well, if this brutal loss is what it takes to blow up the last of the dead-wood veterans, then so be it !!! Now let's gove the chance to the Knight, Hanowski and Reinhart...

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#54 prendrefeu
November 14 2013, 08:35PM
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Nice save, Rambo.

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#55 RKD
November 14 2013, 08:35PM
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@RKD

Seriously guys, can we stop playing like the Oilers?

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#56 RKD
November 14 2013, 08:36PM
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whoops, replied to my own comment. sorry.

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#57 prendrefeu
November 14 2013, 08:39PM
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Is it wrong for me to like Hudler more than Baertschi?

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#58 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 08:42PM
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Just tuning in.

Is it too late to call take back-sies? http://flamesnation.ca/2013/11/6/can-the-flames-hang-on

;)

What is it with this team spotting the Stars a 5-goal lead?

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#59 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 08:43PM
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RKD wrote:

Seriously guys, can we stop playing like the Oilers?

They at least kept the score down to one EV GA, with two EN at the end that inflated a close game.

Having said that, have the Flames spent an entire 5-3 passing the puck around the perimeter?

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#60 ChinookArch
November 14 2013, 08:46PM
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@RexLibris

Hey Rex,

I have a personal moratorium on mocking the Oilers. They have sunk below sad.

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#61 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 08:58PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Hey Rex,

I have a personal moratorium on mocking the Oilers. They have sunk below sad.

Very classy of you.

No sense kicking them when they are down.

On another note, what is your take on the Flames gradual unraveling of late? Other teams catching up to the pace? Regression of play/systems? Is it all McGrattan's fault for reasons yet to be determined?

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#62 mattyc
November 14 2013, 09:01PM
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@RexLibris

'unraveling' = regression

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#63 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 09:01PM
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Stars shooting at a 22.7% clip at evens so far.

That has to regress...right?

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#64 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 09:02PM
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double post

Seguin scores again. Ouch.

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#65 yomamen11
November 14 2013, 09:04PM
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I call this a really bad way of losing

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#66 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 09:04PM
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extraskater says Smid has 50% Ozone starts. Does that sound right?

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#67 Kent Wilson
November 14 2013, 09:11PM
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@RexLibris

Better opposition, SH% falling, goaltending still below average, loss of Glencross and Giordano, sub-optimal line-ups from the coach.

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#68 Lober
November 14 2013, 09:12PM
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And Stemper just got one punched, don't really know what he was thinking Dillon is huge.

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#69 Lordmork
November 14 2013, 09:21PM
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Somewhere, Feaster is steepling his fingers and muttering "Just as planned." Connor McDavid 2015, here we come!

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#70 ChinookArch
November 14 2013, 09:24PM
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@RexLibris

Given the Flames are in the western conference, the Flames are a bottom 5 team. The Flames cannot afford to take a shift let alone a period off, within Hartley's system. The effort has trailed off more and more sice the Giordano injury. The results are essentially a fair representation of who this team is.

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#71 ChinookArch
November 14 2013, 09:28PM
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@Lordmork

"Steepling".

That's what it's called.

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#72 TRAV
November 14 2013, 09:28PM
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I think that this is sort of that other team quitting pushback that Kent was referring to. On second thought maybe Lambert was right... Losing 3-0 or 6-3. Not sure one is better than the other :)

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#73 Lober
November 14 2013, 09:30PM
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Mmmmmmm late goals that don't mean anything at least a couple guys got some points! Sven finally got rewarded for his slick passing, He should probably have about 3 more assists

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#74 Lordmork
November 14 2013, 09:31PM
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@ChinookArch

I think if there's one thing Feaster can be confident about, it's the Flames being worse next year, presumably after we trade our pending UFA's. Can't see how guys like Stemp and Cammi would want to come back to a team like this.

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#75 ChinookArch
November 14 2013, 09:32PM
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@TRAV

Getting shutout sucks. I'll take 6-3.

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#76 ChinookArch
November 14 2013, 09:32PM
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@TRAV

Getting shutout sucks. I'll take 6-4. For once the double post worked.

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#77 RexLibris
November 14 2013, 09:35PM
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@Kent Wilson

Giordano certainly. That is a big hit.

What are your impressions of Smid so far?

I've always considered him as a #4 shutdown type at peak, but a solid 3rd pairing on a good team.

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#78 RKD
November 14 2013, 09:38PM
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Benn and Seguin have been beasts tonight. 6 points for Benn, and 4 goals for Seguin already combined for 11 points.

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#79 SmellOfVictory
November 14 2013, 09:40PM
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Primo wrote:

Jones tears it up in the AHL but in the NHL he is a 4th liner at best. In fact as a 4th liner he was on pace for a 7 goal season. He is not an NHL caliber player.

So much for your sound business decision.

Jones is a good 4th liner. I don't know where you get "not an NHL calibre player" from. He's certainly better than Jackman and McGrattan.

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#80 the forgotten man
November 14 2013, 09:42PM
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RKD wrote:

Benn and Seguin have been beasts tonight. 6 points for Benn, and 4 goals for Seguin already combined for 11 points.

Did Calgary make a play for Seguin this summer?

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#81 beloch
November 14 2013, 09:46PM
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Reto: 0.765
Ramo: 0.800

Time to call up Ortio?

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#82 ?
November 14 2013, 09:49PM
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Well, that was depressing.

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#83 SeanCharles
November 14 2013, 09:56PM
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I really liked Smid tonight.

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#84 Bean-counting cowboy
November 14 2013, 09:58PM
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Worst two games of the year - the last two.... since we traded for an oiler. coincidence? Rex... you still here?

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#85 Bean-counting cowboy
November 14 2013, 09:59PM
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Double post

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#86 John
November 14 2013, 10:07PM
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Well the Flames just got kidney-punched. Wonder how many more of these losses the kids can take before they start losing their confidence. By the way, Reto they always shoot high to your stick side and score there too. You might want to work on that.

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#87 John
November 14 2013, 10:07PM
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Well the Flames just got kidney-punched. Wonder how many more of these losses the kids can take before they start losing their confidence. By the way, Reto they always shoot high to your stick side and score there too. You might want to work on that.

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#88 RKD
November 14 2013, 10:51PM
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@the forgotten man

Not that I know of, I don't if or how close the Flames were in the mix for Seguin.

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