FGD: Back To Basics

Ryan Pike
November 20 2013 01:08PM

After picking up a win at MTS Centre, the Calgary Flames (7-11-3) return home to kick off a three-game homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The puck drops at 8pm MT on Sportsnet West and Fan 960, probably due to wacky TSN rules or something. It's a Wednesday game, so I assumed it was a TSN game, but I was wrong. It's on Sportsnet West, coincidentally after a Subway Super Series game featuring Russia (and Flames prospect Rushan Rafikov) and the QMJHL (featuring Flames prospect Emile Poirier).

After a great October, the Flames kicked off November with a few uneven (and a few plain ugly) games. The club won a track meet on Monday night against another team with at-times wonky defensive zone play. They'll face another tonight in Columbus, who they beat in Ohio in the second game of the regular season. Hopefully the team can play a more consistent 60 minutes.

THE LINE-UP

From our pals at Daily Faceoff...

Cammalleri (A) – Stajan (A) – Stempniak (A)
Baertschi – Monahan – Hudler
Galiardi – Colborne – Jones
Bouma – Backlund – McGrattan

Russell – Brodie
Butler – Wideman
Smid – O'Brien

Berra
Ramo

The Flames return home from Winnipeg with two points, so they hope to continue their moderate success as they embark upon a three game homestand featuring the Jacket, lowly Florida, four days off, and then a visit from the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Outside of bumping Backlund, who struggled in Winnipeg, to the fourth line, not many changes. Jackman and Smith sit again, while Reto Berra makes his eighth start. Fun fact, if he goes the distance tonight, he'll match Karri Ramo's minutes-played so far this season, which may be the point of starting him again. That and he was pretty solid in Winnipeg in the win, particularly in the shootout.

THE OPPOSITION

Daily Faceoff has lines for Columbus...

Foligno – Johansen – Umberger
Jenner – Anisimov – Atkinson
MacKenzie – Letestu – Comeau
Skille – Chaput – Boll

Johnson – Tyutin
Murray – Wisniewski
Nikitin – Savard

Bobrovsky
McElhinney

The Jackets were embarrassed by the lowly Edmonton Oilers last night up in Rexall, setting up the rarest of things this NHL season – a meeting between teams that have lost to Edmonton. Nobody looked particularly good for Columbus last night, so not many changes. Every single player was minus-1 (Savard and Nikitin were minus-2 each) and Bobrovsky got lit up for four goals, so going back with the same line-up (aside from Jack Skille subbing in for Brandon Dubinsky) gives everyone a mulligan.

The Jackets haven't been terrible this season, with a 7-11-3 start that's identical to Calgary's, but the move East hasn't helped them much and the fact that they occupy the basement in the putrid Metropolitan Division probably doesn't sit well with them. The thought is that the one-sided drubbing from the Oilers may serve as a wake-up call, so expect them to come out strong from the get-go.

Columbus is without Nathan Horton, Marian Gaborik and Matt Calvert, who are on the IR, and will be without Brandon Dubinsky. Compared to the group Calgary beat in early October, the Jackets are thinner and more beaten up.

SUM IT UP

The Flames face off against an opponent they've already beaten on the road. This time they'll have last change and have the benefit of being rested, particularly compared to their opponents. There should be no excuses for a flat game for the home side.

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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 RexLibris
November 20 2013, 07:07PM
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Very curious to see how Columbus responds tonight and how the Flames approach them.

I'm guessing one of the Flames' goals will be to crash Bobrovsky early and get his game off on the wrong foot.

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#52 Sincity1976
November 20 2013, 07:23PM
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Not sure how Berra has earned an 8 to 1 start ratio over Ramo. Seems like one goalie is going to be ruined due to a heavy workload and the other for too much time on the bench.

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#53 ChinookArch
November 20 2013, 07:27PM
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@Kurt

Peter Mahr had a this date in Flames history talking about joe Niewendyks 4 goal performance against the Noridiques. 9 - 1 was the final score.

The 80's were full of blowout performances. That ended with the Devils and the large acceptance of the trap.

God I hate the trap.

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#54 wot96
November 20 2013, 07:28PM
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Poirier is looking like a super-pest type.

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#55 Kent Wilson
November 20 2013, 07:48PM
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@TRAV

Lambert was on the fan this morning. He watched Janko this weekend and apparently he did nothing...no points, no shots.

He said the kid is still very up and down. Looks good some games, but does nothing for long stretches as well. He has 7 points in 11 games now.

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#56 Jeff
November 20 2013, 08:01PM
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Jackman on the ice for warm ups. ..

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#57 Kent Wilson
November 20 2013, 08:29PM
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Yeesh. Flat, flat period from the Flames so far. Wideman looks particularly awful.

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#58 mattyc
November 20 2013, 08:43PM
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@Kent Wilson

He's bobbled the puck a bunch of times (as well as the one that resulted in the goal). Can we call it the Butler(fly) Effect?

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#59 TRAV
November 20 2013, 08:44PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Lambert was on the fan this morning. He watched Janko this weekend and apparently he did nothing...no points, no shots.

He said the kid is still very up and down. Looks good some games, but does nothing for long stretches as well. He has 7 points in 11 games now.

As much as I'd like to blame that on Lambert being negative those stats tell a pretty convincing tale. I remember Feaster said at development camp that they wanted him to step his game up and start seeing himself as an elite player on a regular basis.

Thanks for the info.

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#60 jeremywilhelm
November 20 2013, 08:46PM
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Anyone been watching the games for Boston this season? Gaudreau isnt as noticeably small anymore. Wonder if he had a little growth spurt?

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#61 Kent Wilson
November 20 2013, 08:48PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I thought that while watching the highlights tonight too.

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#62 ChinookArch
November 20 2013, 08:49PM
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Well hopefully the Flames are ready to play the 2nd and 3rd periods.

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#63 Kent Wilson
November 20 2013, 09:09PM
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Zero scoring chances so far in the second period. For both teams.

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#64 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 20 2013, 09:32PM
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why on earth are the Flames skating to the red line and dumping it in... wow takes me back two years to the pathetic days

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#65 Kent Wilson
November 20 2013, 09:33PM
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Chances 2-2 in the second. Jackets already trapping in earnest and Flames can't move the puck with any kind of efficiency at all.

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#66 SmellOfVictory
November 20 2013, 09:37PM
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This reminds me of Flames-Wild games when the Wild used to suck. Suffocating and boring as all hell.

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#67 SmellOfVictory
November 20 2013, 09:39PM
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Not using it as an excuse per se, but does anyone know how long time change effects normally last on someone? I know teams swapping timezones tend to do worse if it's same day or following day; no idea if it would carry as far as two days later.

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#68 Burnward
November 20 2013, 09:49PM
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@SmellOfVictory

Probably true. Just felt like getting an Oiler dig in.

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#69 Burnward
November 20 2013, 09:55PM
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You kidding me Monahan? I love this kid.

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#70 Brent G.
November 20 2013, 09:55PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Murray is the only appreciable upgrade, I think. Lando is better than RNH currently, but I could see that easily changing in the near future.

RNH has never done anything to impress me. I've never seen him show why he was a first overall pick. I was at the game last night and he looked really small. Definitely not a $6 million player at this point.

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#71 SmellOfVictory
November 20 2013, 09:58PM
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Brent G. wrote:

RNH has never done anything to impress me. I've never seen him show why he was a first overall pick. I was at the game last night and he looked really small. Definitely not a $6 million player at this point.

Definitely not right now. They jumped the gun on that contract. But he's got a lot of potential still.

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#72 MichaelD
November 20 2013, 09:58PM
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@Burnward

I would agree, and not just cause I hate the oilers. I was a fan of sequin over hall even before they were drafted, Landeskog is one of my favourite players for how he plays the game. And realistically Edmonton could probably use Murray more then Yakupov

OH yeah Colbourne! right on

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#73 Burnward
November 20 2013, 09:58PM
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Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhooooooooooo!

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#74 Burnward
November 20 2013, 10:00PM
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@MichaelD

Those would have been the right picks for them, I think. Not for every team...but those are the kids that would have been the way to go for the Oil.

Ah well, hindsight and the such.

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#75 Bean-counting cowboy
November 20 2013, 10:01PM
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I'm really hoping Baertschi can cash in on one of his chances soon.

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#76 Burnward
November 20 2013, 10:02PM
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@MichaelD

This is really the firs time I've seen Murray play as well. That kid is unreal.

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#77 Brent G.
November 20 2013, 10:06PM
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Burnward wrote:

Those would have been the right picks for them, I think. Not for every team...but those are the kids that would have been the way to go for the Oil.

Ah well, hindsight and the such.

Let's just be thankful it would seem they arguably missed on all three picks. At least if they got the first overall it was on years where the players are good but likely no super stars.

With the Oilers fans new found arrogance I legit hope they never rise above 25th in the NHL.

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#78 MichaelD
November 20 2013, 10:06PM
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@Burnward

Yeah well Hall makes sense over sequin, and I think maybe the skill has too good to pass up on the other two, but man Landsokog and Murray would look really good in Edmonton right now

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#79 MichaelD
November 20 2013, 10:11PM
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@MichaelD

This game is starting to actually turn into a game now though

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#80 Brent G.
November 20 2013, 10:14PM
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MichaelD wrote:

Yeah well Hall makes sense over sequin, and I think maybe the skill has too good to pass up on the other two, but man Landsokog and Murray would look really good in Edmonton right now

I don't think I Agree on Seguin vs. hall. Seguin isn't injury prone, has won a cup and is one of the driving forces behind Dallas right now. Hall is really good but I don't see how he'd be better than Seguin. Plus centre vs winger debate...

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#81 Brent G.
November 20 2013, 10:32PM
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Why do the flames suck so f*cking much in OT!? Wtf?

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#82 SmellOfVictory
November 20 2013, 10:34PM
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That goal was 80% Smid's fault. Doesn't take either forward, then proceeds to sit in Berra's crease and prevent any hope of him actually getting back in net to stop another shot.

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#83 Lober
November 20 2013, 10:35PM
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Not saying the last goal was Berra's fault (It wasn't) but he really starts to flop around when there is a scramble.

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#84 Burnward
November 20 2013, 10:44PM
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Ah well. A point is a point is a point.

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#85 exsanguinator
November 20 2013, 10:58PM
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mattyc wrote:

I agree the 2 on 1 was misplayed by Smid - but man, that goalie is out in non man's land so quick.

How the hell did he get out there so fast? I was not expecting that. Perhaps Smid wouldn't have been in the way if Berra was in the bloody net.

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#86 Derzie
November 20 2013, 11:00PM
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We suck again! - Schneider in Waterboy

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#87 Captain Ron
November 20 2013, 11:19PM
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Byron Bader wrote:

3 First Overall selections in a row and five years of scraping the bottom of the pool should eventually turn around quicker than a team just starting a rebuild. Yes. In theory.

The oilers did a fantastic job of getting two beautiful NHL94 glitch goals to take the last game against the flames. They're on their way with esso now.

"How'd they finish. Dead last. Yeah they have good players though" - Shooter McGavin ... talking about the oilers

I'm propping you for the Shooter McGavin reference. Haha well done.

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#88 Captain Ron
November 20 2013, 11:25PM
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thymebalm wrote:

What a central-asian fire drill that was.

Don't you mean Chinese fire drill?

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