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 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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#52 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 08:09PM
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Franchise has been really good tonight.

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#53 mattyc
November 18 2013, 08:16PM
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PP has looked good. I like Russell on the point. Have been really impressed with him. Even more so tonight not playing with Wideman.

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#54 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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#55 Subversive
November 18 2013, 08:26PM
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Now *that's* a goal!

Edit: And a nice pick, as I watch the replay

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#56 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 08:26PM
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Really good for Bouma. The guy gets a nice break.

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#57 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 08:33PM
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I'm beginning to like how much other players hate Smid.

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#58 Kent Wilson
November 18 2013, 08:40PM
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Flames storming back in the third. Baertschi has had maybe his best game of the season.

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

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#60 Parallex
November 18 2013, 08:49PM
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Heh, Smid trying to be Ovie.

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#61 RexLibris
November 18 2013, 08:51PM
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Parallex wrote:

Heh, Smid trying to be Ovie.

Ovechkin tries to be Smid.

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#62 Colin.S
November 18 2013, 08:52PM
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Parallex wrote:

Heh, Smid trying to be Ovie.

That was a great rush, and didn't really come back to haunt him either, if we see more like that from him I'm not complaining.

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

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#64 Subversive
November 18 2013, 08:56PM
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These must be the Winnipeg announcer team? Jeez. That was a pretty legit crosschecking call, IMO, on a player in a vulnerable position.

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#65 Brent G.
November 18 2013, 09:07PM
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That was an awesome shot by colborne and why did it take them so long to put Monahan out there? He knew exactly what to do with it

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#66 ChinookArch
November 18 2013, 09:09PM
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Yay a win!!

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#67 RKD
November 18 2013, 09:09PM
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The Colborne move was sick, Monahan was our saviour! We needed this win way worse than the Jets.

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#68 beloch
November 18 2013, 09:12PM
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Quality game for Berra. He faced a lot of shots tonight. Hartley's decision to play him looks slightly less than utterly insane in 20/20 hindsight. Baertschi played like a bad#$%madmother#$%$er tonight. The benching talk had better be stowed for at least a game or two!

P.S. Why did TSN preempt the post-game for a rerun of that awful Oilers infomercial? Can't they let us savour the flavour of the first Flames victory in what seemed like a geological age for at least 30 seconds before pissing on the screen?

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#69 mattyc
November 18 2013, 09:26PM
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Apparently Jets attempted 92 shots tonight. WOW.

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#70 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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#71 John
November 18 2013, 09:33PM
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That was a big shoot-out win for Calgary, especially after so many bad losses. Give credit to Berra, he came up big in the shootout against a much more talented Winnipeg shooters. Sick move by Colbourne and Stempniak. Clutch goal by Monahan. Its good when your draft picks turn out unlike the Sutter era.

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#72 Captain Ron
November 18 2013, 09:33PM
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beloch wrote:

Quality game for Berra. He faced a lot of shots tonight. Hartley's decision to play him looks slightly less than utterly insane in 20/20 hindsight. Baertschi played like a bad#$%madmother#$%$er tonight. The benching talk had better be stowed for at least a game or two!

P.S. Why did TSN preempt the post-game for a rerun of that awful Oilers infomercial? Can't they let us savour the flavour of the first Flames victory in what seemed like a geological age for at least 30 seconds before pissing on the screen?

Was thinking the same thing on the TSN oil change deal. Felt like a kick in the groin after watching that game.

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#73 Burnward
November 18 2013, 09:34PM
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Monahan is such a calm customer. It's becoming more and more evident as the season progresses why they felt he could handle the pro game. So filthy.

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#74 Burnward
November 18 2013, 09:35PM
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We were outchanced and a little lucky...but the hockey gods owed us one after that freaking Oiler game.

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#75 lionlager
November 18 2013, 09:42PM
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So... how about the Colborne shootout goal. Absolute beauty.

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#76 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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#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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