FGD: Touchdown

Justin Azevedo
November 18 2013 02:16PM

282/365: The Winnipeg Jets are ready for takeoff!

Via Salvador Maniquiz

The Flames will play their first game in Winnipeg in .78 Justins when they visit tonight to take on the Jets. It's already been quite the day in the Saddlesphere.

The Line-Up

Via Daily Faceoff:

  • Mike Cammalleri-Matt Stajan-Lee Stempniak
  • TJ Galiardi-Mikael Backlund-David Jones
  • Sven Baertschi-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler
  • Lance Bouma-Joe Colborne-Brian McGrattan
  • Chris Butler-TJ Brodie
  • Kris Russell-Dennis Wideman
  • Ladislav Smid-Shane O’Brien
  • Reto Berra

Bob Hartley's odd infatuation with Reto Berra continues. I'm not totally sure what Berra has to do to lose his "starting" job, but man, if he hasn't done it by now... Berra's .888 EVSV% is just .004 points higher than Joey MacDonald (.884%). I don't think that should mean Berra gets sent down, but he shouldn't be first in the pecking order anymore. The most important thing for the Flames to do this year with respect to the goaltending position is to try and get Rämö and Berra close to 1000 ES shots each so we can get closer to determining their respective talent levels. As of right now, the Flames are -11 in expected ES goal differential (Rämö -2, MacDonald -5, Berra -4), which is essentially 4 standings points.  

Earlier in the day, it looked as though Sven Baertschi might be a healthy scratch - thankfully, someone gave ol' Bob a call and he came to his senses. There is exactly zero wrong with the way Baertschi is playing right now, and I find it confusing how little lenience people give to a guy who just turned 21 years old. If you're concerned about his lack of scoring, right now he's 9th among Flames forwards in PP time per game. Basically, that means he isn't getting PP time, which can make up as much as 40% of a good player's scoring. If you're concerned about his lack of defensive ability, you should be more concerned with the goalies behind him more than anything else. Get over it.

If the point of having guys like Brian McGrattan is to protect players, why was Lee Stempniak allowed to be essentially assaulted by Andrew Ference on Saturday? Shouldn't McGrattan's presence prevent other teams from taking cheap shots on a top-3 forward? He should be sitting and someone in Abbotsford should have that spot. 

Tim Jackman will sit. There was a day when he was a legit NHLer. No longer. Colborne is where he needs to be right now.

The Opposition

Via Daily Faceoff:

  • Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
  • Evander Kane-Olli Jokinen-Devin Setoguchi
  • Michael Frolik-Mark Scheifele-Matt Halischuk
  • Eric Tangradi-James Wright-Chris Thorburn
  • Grant Clitsome-Dustin Byfuglien
  • Tobias Enstrom-Keaton Ellerby
  • Zach Redmond-Adam Pardy
  • Al Montoya

Yeah, that defensive set up is pretty horrible. However, it's not exactly by design: Jacob Trouba (4), Zach Bogosian (2) and Paul Postma (5) are all out long-term, meaning that Grant Clitsome is now playing the toughest the league has to offer. Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien are legit top-pairing guys. They're also basically the polar opposites of each other size-wise. Keaton Ellerby and Adam Pardy are, at best, replacement-level players right now.  

Alex Burmistrov would look mighty good playing C on that third line instead of Mark Scheifele. The latter former first-rounder has looked overwhelmed every time I've seen him this year and the underlying numbers back it up. He may yet be an impact forward at the NHL-level, but right now there's nothing positive at the NHL level for him. Ideally, Scheifele would be playing first line minutes in... well, wherever the Jets' farm team is located and Burmistrov would be helping the Jets have a third line that could actually produce.

Al Montoya will likely get the start tonight. He's looked good this season thus far (.917 EVSV%) but is being buoyed by a perfect 1.000 (12 for 12) when down a man. As a result, look for his overall SV% come down a little. I'm a little sad that Ondrej Pavelec isn't playing in this game, because thus far he's having the best season of his career. Previous to this, he's been toying with replacement level in every season he's played. Hopefully for the sake of the Jets and their fans his start is a legit improvement.

Also, you know, Olli Jokinen.

Via Colin Stuart

Sum It Up

The Jets, even though they're decimated by injuries, are likely a better team right now than the Flames are. That might not be true later in the season (depending on Pavelec) but who knows! Game time is 6PM on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The FAN.

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#51 mattyc
November 18 2013, 09:26PM
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Apparently Jets attempted 92 shots tonight. WOW.

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#52 Captain Ron
November 18 2013, 09:27PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I wonder what it would take to get Ollie for winnepeg???

From Winnipeg?

A sack full of doo doo should be enough.

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#53 SmellOfVictory
November 18 2013, 09:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances in the game were almost even, but Calgary got crushed at ES 19-8.

Not that surprising, considering their play of late. And the Jets have a lot of good possession forwards.

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#54 Kevin R
November 18 2013, 06:22PM
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Kurt wrote:

Well I think the big issue here is expectations. We are heaping 'replace Iggy' expectations on marginal NHL prospects....

BUT, that issue aside, I guess the discrepancy is just in how best to handle development projects. I don't have a problem with making Sven earn his time. I'd be OK with sending him back to Abby. The last thing I want to see is anointing players who haven't earned it. We can look north to see how that works out.

The Coilers are a case study in how NOT to deal with young skill. They gave their kids 20+ minutes of ice without earning it. Guys who actually ARE elite (or at least potentially). And they suck, and are completely wasting their players.

I tend to think Detroit/Babcock would treat Sven pretty much exactly like Hartley is. I want our team to be more like Detroit and less like Edmonton. But thats just me.

Kurt, most Flame fans are thirsting for elite replacements of JBO, Iggy & Kipper. I guess you don't appreciate things until they no longer work the same or are gone. I think most fans may have a little too high of hope, not expectation. I'm finding this tough love on Sven & Backs a little perplexing. Really, this is the year we should put up with major mistakes from several young players & totally ignore the win/loss record. There definitely is too schools out there as to which environment would be the best way to develop young players. That would be a chase your tail debate, but I agree, I dont mind having Sven earn his ice time, Backlund is just mind boggling in what is happening with him.

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#55 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 06:45PM
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Chances end up 7-3 Jets in the first. Flames escape tied which is the best news from the first.

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#56 Frasis
November 18 2013, 06:49PM
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Me thinkith the coach has 'lost the room'. When you publicly hint to bag (skate) 'em like Hartley did the other day before the Edmomton game, you have lost.

Interrsting to see how the teams work ethic goes once Gio is back. Feel he has more influence than the head coach.

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#57 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 07:17PM
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They made that PP look easy. Nice work by Hudler and Russell.

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#58 Colin.S
November 18 2013, 07:30PM
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Has Backlund even played since his two giveaways?

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#59 Colin.S
November 18 2013, 07:55PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

No and for a change it's a fair reaction from the coach.

I hope he at least gets a chance in the third to redeem himself, he wasn't playing that well before mind you, but between him or Colborne I'm still taking Backlund, at least he is more than 50% on his faceoffs.

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#60 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 08:02PM
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@Colin.S

Yeah it happens. Hell glencross looked like that for 10 games.

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#61 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 18 2013, 08:45PM
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if games mattered that would hurt

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#62 clyde
November 18 2013, 08:45PM
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Jets are deadly in the shootout so we need to end it in ot.

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#63 Subversive
November 18 2013, 08:45PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Berra needs to not be played anymore. Sure that may not have really been his fault but it is becoming really clear he is not doing them any favours either...

That was a pretty bad rebound to give up from that angle.

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#64 Subversive
November 18 2013, 08:53PM
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Everyone tries to be Smid. How can they not?

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#65 clyde
November 18 2013, 09:35PM
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mattyc wrote:

Apparently Jets attempted 92 shots tonight. WOW.

We will see more of that kind of stat over the next couple of years.

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#66 mk
November 18 2013, 05:31PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

And thusly we are firmly in the long dark tea time of the soul.

I feel like that cat holding onto that branch.

But on a positive note, we just acquired the top European player in the league (by Bieska-rating) from the Oilers:

http://canucksarmy.com/2013/11/18/canucks-army-contest-our-winning-entry-the-bieska-rating

:D Solid work over there...

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#67 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 06:27PM
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Pretty much all Jets so far. Flames are lucky it's 2-0 or 3-1.

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#68 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 07:02PM
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Just tuning in. How was the first period?

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#69 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 07:17PM
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They made that PP look easy. Nice work by Hudler and Russell.

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#70 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 07:46PM
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Flames were better in that one, although almost all of their chances came on special teams. Jets win the count 9-7 in the second.

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#71 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 07:47PM
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@Colin.S

No and for a change it's a fair reaction from the coach.

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#72 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 18 2013, 07:59PM
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is big Mac going to teach Bufflin a lesson?

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#73 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 08:02PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

is big Mac going to teach Bufflin a lesson?

I wouldn't count on it, he did see much TOI in the 2nd.

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#74 Parallex
November 18 2013, 08:25PM
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Blah, sometimes I wish I knew where Berra thought the puck was going.

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#75 Brent G.
November 18 2013, 08:48PM
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Subversive wrote:

That was a pretty bad rebound to give up from that angle.

Oh I fully agree but the defenders just watched it happen as well. When you are winning by a goal with less than 1 minute in the game there is no way they should be employing anything but the trap and the whole team was caught out of position.

I'm just trying to be fair to Berra, he really does suck...

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#76 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 09:16PM
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Chances in the game were almost even, but Calgary got crushed at ES 19-8.

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#77 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 19 2013, 03:03PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I wonder what it would take to get Ollie for winnepeg???

hehehe not many enjoyed my humor i see, even on a night when we win.

defense only gave up 47 shots, which gave us a chance to win

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#78 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 19 2013, 03:08PM
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lionlager wrote:

So... how about the Colborne shootout goal. Absolute beauty.

and just look how fast he was able to come in and replace backlund and even stajan

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