FGD: Twin City Showdown

Ryan Pike
November 05 2013 12:29PM

 

(photo courtesy Stadium Journey)

 

After opening their road trip with a hard-fought and gutsy win in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Calgary Flames (6-6-2) head north to visit a former divisional rival, the Minnesota Wild (8-4-3) tonight at the Xcel Energy Center. The puck drops at 6pm MT on Sportsnet West, Fan960 and all over the Twitters.

This will be the 75th meeting between the two teams, the first 74 of which took place when both teams were part of the since-disbanded Northwest Division. The Flames have a 41-20-13 edge all-time and went 2-1-2 in five games with the Wild last season.

THE LINE-UP

A bit of tinkering took place with the line-up, as Bob Hartley is parking Derek Smith and Sven Baertschi on the sidelines in favour of the debuting Chad Billins and Lance Bouma. Smith's benching will probably be met with less fanfare, but he's been just fine and Billins' insertion is probably a reward for his hard work and an attempt to gauge where Billins fits in. Roger Millions noted on Twitter that Billins' parents are coming in from Michigan to see his first NHL game, which is pretty special.

From DailyFaceoff, the lines:

Glencross (A) – Stajan (A) – Jones
Cammalleri (A) – Colborne – Galiardi
Bouma – Monahan – Hudler
Jackman – Backlund – McGrattan

Butler – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
Billins – O'Brien

Berra
Ramo

Baertschi was used sparingly in Sunday's win against Chicago, putting up just 13:12 in ice-time and seeing some of his shifts go to Mikael Backlund in the third period, although he still ended up with four more minutes of ice-time than Backlund did. Once again, the question of what Baertschi needs to do to stick in the line-up full-time comes into the forefront. It's probably some version of “play hard in all three zones.” He may not have a lot of offensive upside, but Lance Bouma plays hard.

Calgary's power-play is now officially goal-less in six straight.

THE OPPOSITION

The Wild lack a lot of upper-end star power, but they have a roster that's got a lot of top-end depth. Jason Pominville is having a great year so far with 10 goals, but Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund are also off to strong starts. The Wild last played on Sunday, just like Calgary, when they shut-out the New Jersey Devils.

Via DailyFaceoff, lines:

Coyle – Parise (A) – Koivu (C)
Neiderreiter – Granlund – Pominville
Cooke – Brodziak – Mitchell
McMillan – Konopka – Heatley

Suter (A) – Brodin
Stoner – Ballard
Scandella – Spurgeon

Harding
Backstrom

Per Roger Millions, it appears that Charlie Coyle has recovered from a nagging day-to-day injury and that means Justin Fontaine is headed back to the AHL potentially.

Last year's Masterton winner, Josh Harding, gets the start. He has a 7-2-1 record with an insane 1.10 goals against average and .950 save percentage. A cynic would suggest that he's going to regress (he will), but that's just a great start for a guy that has had a rough couple of years and handled it with great character.

The Wild are one of the better five-on-five teams in hockey right now, with their even-strength scoring differential being roughly twice Calgary's. They also boast the NHL's second-best power-play (behind St. Louis). Their glaring weakness is their PK, which is actually worse than Calgary's.

Either way, the Flames are on an emotional high after beating Chicago in overtime, and they'll need that momentum heading into Minnesota.

ELSEWHERE

While the Flames are in St. Paul taking on the Wild, the Abbotsford Heat return home from a sweep of their three-game road trip and face the San Antonio Rampage tonight. Joey MacDonald joins the Heat, but expect Joni Ortio to start after winning all three weekend games. That game starts at 8pm on TeamRadio.ca, so in theory one could watch the Flames game and then listen to the Heat.

And in the Dub, Brett Kulak and the Vancouver Giants host the Edmonton Oil Kings.

SUM IT UP

The Flames are back at .500 after beating Chicago, and to be honest, probably have more points so far than anybody expected them to get on this road trip. A win tonight could guarantee that they go at least .500 on the trip. And with a back-to-back Thursday and Friday against St. Louis and Colorado, they might not have a better chance to get points than tonight.

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
Now in his fourth 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 and the Wrestling Observer.
Avatar
#51 RexLibris
November 05 2013, 05:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
exsanguinator wrote:

I don't know how I missed the graphs when I was there earlier but can someone explain the percentage thing for me?

I'm not really a statistician but from what I've gathered so far above 50% is good and below is bad so their 48.8% is simply... ok? Does a stat like Fenwick close typically regress to a normal range throughout a season or do the good teams usually maintain a high Fenwick or Corsi close throughout the year?

I'm acquainting myself with a lot of the stats interpretation as well but things like Fenwick don't usually regress to a mean like PDO.

Shooting percentages do somewhat, in that a player with an abnormally high % in the mid to high teens is likely to see a regression towards the low teens high single digits unless they are an historically accurate shooter.

48.8% is a decent number when one considers that the Flames are not a roster that anyone would point too and utter the words "puck possession".

If the Flames can keep that graph close to the middle on most nights and get decent goaltending then they should be able to win a few games through luck and effort.

The range of numbers isn't always terribly diverse from the top to the bottom of the standings, though right now the Sabres are getting their heads bashed in on a nightly basis. They couldn't "play with the puck" if they kept it in their back pockets.

Avatar
#52 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 05:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@exsanguinator

Woops, nevermind. Had my entire comment wiped and Rex got most of it anyway.

Just to add - FW and Corsi %s show you the ratio of a team's shots while a given player is on the ice to all of the shots taken on the ice by both teams when said player is on the ice.

FW% = (FW for) / (FW for + FW opponent).

If > 50%, that means the team is outshooting its competition while the player is on the ice; if it's less than 50%, they're being outshot while he's on the ice.

48.8% for the Flames means that they're being outshot, but not by much (about 1.5 shots for every 10).

Avatar
#53 negrilcowboy
November 05 2013, 06:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

man frontal loumbardis is sure building up berra.

Avatar
#54 Lober
November 05 2013, 06:05PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Props
7
props

I am so F'n done with these BS Sven and Backlund healthy scratches

Avatar
#55 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

GO FLAMES GO!

Avatar
#56 exsanguinator
November 05 2013, 06:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@RexLibris

From what I've seen on extra skater (thank you whoever is up there for making this site for stat dummies like me) last season and this season a team's Fenwick close does not appear to translate directly to better team. The one team I noticed straight away that didn't belong despite a high Fenwick close was New Jersey.

I guess like any other stat this one requires context so maybe look at other stats like Corsi and PDO in addition to Fenwick. I dunno, I'm sure I'll figure some of this stuff out by the end of the season lol.

Thanks for the explanation Rex.

You too @FireOnIce

Avatar
#57 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 06:14PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
4
props

@Charleston Kingsley

"Baer-ing Down"

"Baer With It"

"Baer-ly There"

"Hartley Sucks"

"Hartley Fired"

Avatar
#58 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Avatar
#59 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Bouma. Not too shabby.

Avatar
#60 thymebalm
November 05 2013, 06:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Bouma with the huge assist. Hartley looks smart on that one.

Avatar
#61 Nighteyes
November 05 2013, 06:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Well I guess my saying that Bouma brought nothing to that line was wrong -- pretty sick assist there.

Avatar
#62 prendrefeu
November 05 2013, 06:21PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Props
14
props

One thing is clear, Hartley knows more than many of the people commenting here.

Avatar
#63 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 06:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Bad giveaway by Galiardi, leads to sequence where Koivu scores top-shelf off the backhand on a rebound.

Tied at 1-1.

Avatar
#64 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Not Galiardi's best shift ever...oy.

Avatar
#65 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
prendrefeu wrote:

One thing is clear, Hartley knows more than many of the people commenting here.

Sweet f&cking Jesus, I hope so. He gets paid well for what he does.

Avatar
#66 TRAV
November 05 2013, 06:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props
Burnward wrote:

Not Galiardi's best shift ever...oy.

Might benefit from a good benching... :)

Avatar
#67 prendrefeu
November 05 2013, 06:36PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

That was a great PP kill.

GO FLAMES!

Avatar
#68 Burnward
November 05 2013, 06:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Man Berra is a big dude, not much there for shooters.

Avatar
#69 Ed Wailin'
November 05 2013, 06:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Berra had the best paint job on a flames goalie mask in a very long time.

Avatar
#70 Justin Azevedo
November 05 2013, 06:47PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

@exsanguinator

context is the key. the reason nj was so bad? brodeur's awful. below-replacement level.

Avatar
#71 Justin Azevedo
November 05 2013, 06:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

4-4 in chances

Avatar
#72 SeanCharles
November 05 2013, 06:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Galiardi had a few giveaways, he struggled out there. But Cammalleri and Colborne look to have chemistry.

When healthy we should have good depth:

Glencross-Stajan-Jones

Cammalleri-Colborne-Stempniak

Baertschi-Monahan-Hudler

Bouma-Backlund-Galiardi

Avatar
#73 piscera.infada
November 05 2013, 06:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props
SeanCharles wrote:

Galiardi had a few giveaways, he struggled out there. But Cammalleri and Colborne look to have chemistry.

When healthy we should have good depth:

Glencross-Stajan-Jones

Cammalleri-Colborne-Stempniak

Baertschi-Monahan-Hudler

Bouma-Backlund-Galiardi

I do like that lineup, especially if you played all those lines fairly evenly. Damn.

Avatar
#74 Veggie Dog
November 05 2013, 07:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props

Damnit Glencross, it was a simple clearance.

Avatar
#75 Burnward
November 05 2013, 07:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

GlenX, Jesus.

Avatar
#76 Jeff Lebowski
November 05 2013, 07:19PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
3
props
SeanCharles wrote:

Galiardi had a few giveaways, he struggled out there. But Cammalleri and Colborne look to have chemistry.

When healthy we should have good depth:

Glencross-Stajan-Jones

Cammalleri-Colborne-Stempniak

Baertschi-Monahan-Hudler

Bouma-Backlund-Galiardi

20-18-22, 13-8-54, 17-23-24, 47-11-39

I'm fine with scratches. 47 can't be like oiler's divas. Get on the same page. I don't care about your talent. Hartley wants work first. Give it to him and he gets opportunities from the work.

11 hasn't reached level he reached at end of last year.

Hartley has said no one has spot in stone. Earn it. The internal comp will improve them all.

Get in line or get outta the way. Has to be that way.

Hartley should win coach of the year just for culture change. The players work hard cause the coaches work hard. No one is special. I freaking love that.

Avatar
#77 Mitch P
November 05 2013, 07:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
16
props

How about that, put Backlund with good players = scoring chance.

Avatar
#78 ChinookArch
November 05 2013, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

Good work om the PP. I'm really liking the Russell/Wideman tandem.

Avatar
#79 Burnward
November 05 2013, 07:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Two stupid mistakes, two Wild goals. Otherwise, their chances have been very limited.

20 clicks to go...go get em!

Avatar
#80 Justin Azevedo
November 05 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

3-2 chances for minnesota in the 2nd

Avatar
#81 ChinookArch
November 05 2013, 07:34PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props
Burnward wrote:

Two stupid mistakes, two Wild goals. Otherwise, their chances have been very limited.

20 clicks to go...go get em!

Standard Wild hockey. Low event and opportunistic hockey.

Avatar
#82 Brent G.
November 05 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
11
props

@FlamesSuckRoosters

HOW DO YOU TYPE WITH KEVIN LOWE'S (censored -ed.) IN YOUR MOUTH?!

Avatar
#83 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 08:03PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

LOL

Flames continue their decade-old tradition as the fat chick of the league. Konopka's slump as a member of the Wild is over with that goal.

Avatar
#84 Burnward
November 05 2013, 08:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
FlamesSuckRoosters wrote:

.

Prop'd for the effort to get that posted.

Avatar
#85 Burnward
November 05 2013, 08:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@FlamesSuckRoosters

F'd by a cow eh? Sounds like some sweet scissor action!

Avatar
#86 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Seeing Matt Cooke anywhere near Sean Monahan, especially in a mix-up in front of Minnesota's bench, makes me absolutely cringe. I know he's supposedly "reformed", but it worries me that he'll make one stupid decision and Monahan gets Cooke'd like Marc Savard.

Avatar
#87 O REALLY NOW
November 05 2013, 08:14PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
7
props

Baertschi sure is learning a lot from this game by being up in the rafters. Silly decision.

Avatar
#88 McRib
November 05 2013, 08:14PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
5
props

@FireOnIce

It's insane if an opposing player is in a major slump all he needs to do is play the Flames and for Rob Kerr to say "so and so hasn't scored in however long" and boom goal. How Rob Kerr hasn't realized by now how good he is at Jinxing the Flames is baffling.

Avatar
#89 McRib
November 05 2013, 08:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
9
props

5-1 this is starting to look like our worst loss of the season.... At least since the Dallas game... You know the other time Sven Baertschi was a healthy scratch. Flames are a -8 goal differential during the two losses when they have benched Sven....

Avatar
#90 Burnward
November 05 2013, 08:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Ah well, one of those games.

Avatar
#91 Parallex
November 05 2013, 08:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

This is all kinds of ugly now. C'mon Feaster... Just let Jackman's 17PIM episode be an excuse to waive his ass off the team.

Avatar
#92 FireOnIce
November 05 2013, 08:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

GlenX is apparently done for the night. Looks like he hurt his leg.

Avatar
#93 Flaming Mad Fred
November 05 2013, 08:21PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Props
2
props
Brent G. wrote:

HOW DO YOU TYPE WITH KEVIN LOWE'S (censored -ed.) IN YOUR MOUTH?!

For a rude stupid irreverent comment like that you should be forever banned from this site!

Avatar
#94 Tony
November 05 2013, 08:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
8
props
prendrefeu wrote:

One thing is clear, Hartley knows more than many of the people commenting here.

Is this still true?

Avatar
#95 yomamen11
November 05 2013, 08:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Oh crap. Definitely not worthy to wake up at 02:00am for this one.

Avatar
#96 prendrefeu
November 05 2013, 08:26PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Props
2
props
Tony wrote:

Is this still true?

I wouldn't say that it isn't true, but I also don't believe the breakdowns tonight would have been solved with Sven in the lineup.

Avatar
#97 RexLibris
November 05 2013, 08:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Wow.

I didn't see that game coming. Mathematically the Flames have been strong in games (relative to their perceived outcome by observers and analysts at the start of the year) more often than not.

This game, 5-1 Stars loss and the 6-3 Sharks loss look like minor aberrations in the season thus far. However, a few more of these and I suspect the Flames may yet play down to last year's result.

Avatar
#98 Walter White
November 05 2013, 08:28PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
2
props

Hartley really showed Baertschi.......!!! WW

Avatar
#99 Tony
November 05 2013, 08:29PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
7
props
prendrefeu wrote:

I wouldn't say that it isn't true, but I also don't believe the breakdowns tonight would have been solved with Sven in the lineup.

Well, now Hartley has no choice to play Sven if GlenX is out for any length of time.

Avatar
#100 Jeff Lebowski
November 05 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
5
props
O REALLY NOW wrote:

Baertschi sure is learning a lot from this game by being up in the rafters. Silly decision.

I agree but I'm also ok with his benching. Hartley mentioned the MTL was Sven's best game at time. If you recall, he was buzzing the entire game.

He hasn't played poorly but I haven't seen him have a game close to that one for a while.

I think the message is: The MTL is your new minimum standard level. Improve on it as all great players do by working harder. The only thing missing is consistent hard work. They aren't asking him to do something he hasn't already done.

He needs to figure out how to push HIMSELF if he wants to be the player he probably dreams of being.

Comments are closed for this article.