FGD: NEW BEGINNINGS

Byron Bader
December 12 2013 01:29PM

 

 

- stick tap to @Notbaertschi for grabbing this beauty.

The Flames are two days removed from an emotional game against the Bruins on Tuesday, that saw the return of Jarome Iginla to the Saddledome for the first time since he was traded last Spring. After the emotions settled after a raucous ovation to start things off, the Bruins eventually got their game going in the 3rd period, beating the Flames 2-1.

Tonight, hoping to get back into the win column, the Flames (11-15-4) host the Brothers Staal and the Hurricanes (13-13-6).  The game is the first in the post-Jay Feaster era, after he was let go of the Flames GM role this morning.  Brian Burke has taken over as Interim GM for now.  While the impact won’t be felt tonight, player movements will certainly ramp up in the coming months.

As for the match up tonight, the Flames and Hurricanes play in different conferences and have only played each other a handful of times. As a result, the rivalry is essentially non-existent. However, one thing to watch tonight is to see how Elias Lindholm performs for the Hurricanes. At the 2013 draft, Lindholm and Sean Monahan were both considered high-calibre prospects that would go early in the draft. In fact, both prospects were estimated to go between 5th  and 7th overall in the first round of the draft.  The two prospects were so close in their skill sets that the Flames fans were not sure who they would rather the Flames choose come draft day. 

The Hurricanes made the decision easy for the Flames by choosing Lindholm in the 5 spot, leaving Monahan to the Flames at the 6 spot.  As of today, Monahan’s leading the votes for who got the better prospect with strong two-way play and 15 points in 24 games. Lindholm, although looking more comfortable lately, had a slow start with the Canes and hasn’t looked nearly as good.  He has registered only 7 points in 20 games.  Nevertheless, with Monahan out with an injury, many eyes will be on the Hurricane’s prospect tonight to see what the Flames might have missed out on.

THE LINE-UPS

As always, thanks to our dudes at dailyfaceoff.com for the combos.  Here we go...

  • Cammalleri –Stajan –Stempniak

  • Galiardi –Backlund – D. Jones

  • Baertschi Glencross – Colborne – Hudler

  • B. Jones – Byron – McGrattan
  • Smid –Giordano

  • Russell – Brodie

  • Butler – O’Brien
  • Ramo

TJ Galiardi is going to get back in the line-up after being out a couple weeks with back problems.  It looks like he’ll line up with Backs and D.Jones while Lance Bouma will come out of the line-up. Also there’s a chance that Glen-X is going to be back in the line-up tonight as well.  As a result, Blair Jones, Paul Byron or most probably Sven Baertschi (I hope not) will come out and the lines will be completely different.  As such, the above will be irrelevant. We will adjust as we get more news this afternoon.

That D, I don’t hate it. The Russell – Brodie pairing has looked good for the most part.  Gio and Smid as the shutdown duo ain’t too shabby.  Butler and O’Brien rounding out the bottom pairing isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen either.  Once Wideman returns we'll really have a nice looking group.

Ramo appears to be getting the start tonight. 

Note: Alrighty then.  Looks like Sven's heading to Abby.  So there's that. Gonna guess Glencross is back in.

THE OPPONENTS

  • Skinner – E. Staal – Ruutu

  • Gerbe – J. Staal – Lindholm

  • Tlusty – Nash – Dwyer Semin

  • Westgarth – Dwyer  – Malholtra – Dvorak
  • Faulk – Sekera

  • Murphy – Hainsey
  • Gleason – Harrison
  • Ward

The Hurricanes top six, even without the always talented and rarely engaged Semin, who’s out with an injury, looks pretty good. That being said, the Staal brothers don’t appear to be their usual selves this year, offensively speaking. Jordan Staal, who came to Carolina to play with big brother Eric a few years ago, is on pace for 33 points this year.  That would be his worst total since his sophomore year.  Conversely, Eric Staal, usually good for 70-80 points, is on pace for 62 points. That would be his worst total of his entire NHL career. 

Note: I spoke too soon.  Looks like Semin will be in the line-up tonight after missing 12 games.

Carolina’s D looks pretty mediocre. Faulk and Murphy are young with significant upside and Sekera brings some good things.  Other than that it’s pretty rough. The Flames, while not having quite the offensively gifted forwards as the Canes, certainly appear to have them beat on the backend. 

 

SUM IT UP

The Flames are looking to get back on the winning side of things and continue their decent run of late, having won three of their last five games. Based on Burke's comments this morning, to get in his good books, the Flames would be best served to not give up a late lead tonight. The teams are relatively equal. They stand only six points apart. 

The Hurricanes might have more offensive weapons but the Flames have a superior defense core so it should be an even match up. The Flames and the Hurricanes have not met too many times but in the past two games between the two teams, both very close games, there were 23 goals scored in total. Hopefully we’re in for a night of old school river hockey!

Fb039371a1a1b706383cb72243cb4446
Byron has a background in psychology, economics and business and is a business researcher/data analyst by day. His love for hockey is as deep as the ocean is wide. Tell him your questions and let him into your heart. Twitter: @Baderader; Email: byron.bader@gmail.com
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#101 Parallex
December 12 2013, 07:52PM
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Fraking Burke with his size fetish in the intermission interview... does he have a Big and Tall catalog as his spank bank or something?

The dinosaur insisting that his GM, whoever it is, build a "Big" team... I'm sure GM candidates will just be lining up so that they have no freedom to do the job the way they want to do it. Must overjoy them to think that if they get the job they can look forward to having "bend over and let Brian Burke work your mouth like a puppet" as their primary job description.

Frak! Burke should just take the job himself... I don't want him having a fall guy when he screws the pooch on us.

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#102 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:03PM
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beloch wrote:

Most NHL players spend a fair bit of time in the AHL before transitioning to the NHL, but Baertschi came up to the NHL direct from the WHL. To date, he's played just 32 AHL games in his career and is still just 21. The only flame who has played more than 5 games this season and is younger than Baertschi is Monahan. Baertschi's been averaging just 12:50 TOI/60, which simply isn't enough.

It's time to admit the short-cut isn't working out and get back on the main road. Namely, leave him in the AHL for a lengthy stretch until he's developed a taste for the bitter tears of his opponents. Bring him back only once he has some swagger. Fortunately, anyone playing with the Heat this season should develop swagger in a reasonably short period of time!

I apologize to Sven's fan-club, but I do hope he stays down for a solid stretch of 10 or more games, not just one or two. Once he starts chasing goalies in the AHL he's going to be a good call-up.

Exactly, but it really needs to be for the whole season and playoffs developmental wise.

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#103 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 08:17PM
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George Johnson talking about Darcy Regier?

The guy hasn't done much since '99 except whine about players leaving town.

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#104 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:30PM
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Lordmork wrote:

McGratton scores? Burke is right! Grit and size and truculence!

Plus skill.

Big, truculent and skilled is the ticket.

obviously not dancing bears though.

Lucic anyone?

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#105 everton fc
December 12 2013, 09:06PM
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Back to the Baertschi debate. I don't think he was ready out of camp. He struggled to make the team out of camp, in my opinion. He's not NHL ready. A guy like Blair Jones deserves more ice time. He's earned it on the farm, where Baertschi will also have to earn it. Just my opinion.

Fenton or Botterill should be the choices for GM. Troy G. Ward would be great as next year's coach. Again, my opinion.

Good to see McGrattan pot one. Bordeleau in Colorado has 4 already, and gave our hero/dancing bear a beating last time they met. McGrattan's still got some catching up to do.

How do we poach Simmonds from the Flyers? With Cammy and a d-man??

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#106 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Iginla has scored in Edmonton (2-0).

Some fans giving him the Bronx cheer.

Thought you'd all like to know he was keeping up with old habits.

I wonder how many goals Iggy has scored in that building.

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#107 RKD
December 12 2013, 09:17PM
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RAMBO MAKES THE SAVE!

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#108 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:20PM
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RKD wrote:

RAMBO MAKES THE SAVE!

Quote the Ramo Neverscore.

... sorry I like Poe and Ramo`s mask.

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#109 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:24PM
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Parallex wrote:

Because Burke never adds the part about skill... ever. He never says Big and Talented just Big.

Because he gave Colton Orr a huge amount of money for a goon, and Beauchemin and Komisarek far more then they were worth.

Because Burke assigns value to things that he should not, or at least more then is due.

Well if it is Nieuendyk, at least he understands the part about being big... and talented.

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#110 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:47PM
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Parallex wrote:

Blah... anyone who thinks that Adam Pardy is worth the kind of scratch he doled out for him... not the guy I want.

Yeah, but you could say that about any GM. They all make mistakes.

Its the ones who make less that you want.

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#111 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 10:16PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Burke is an upgrade on Feaster. At least when Burke makes a trade it can be a coin toss as to whether the Flames win or lose the trade.

With Feaster sometimes they didn't even get the coin.

You don't need a coin to go wandering in the desert...

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#112 Frank Miron
December 12 2013, 04:23PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

The same Joe Nieuwendyk that traded James Neal for Goligoski. God help us.

Loved him as a player, but as a GM he was no good!

Yeah ... supposedly the Dallas Stars granted the permission to speak to him...we'll see !

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#113 Fan #21
December 12 2013, 04:35PM
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Baertschi assigned to abbotsford and Burke's opinion in the news conference .... lets start gearing up for reliving the Sutter era!!

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#114 Dr. Philosophy
December 12 2013, 04:37PM
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This post could have just consisted of the question "How will the players respond to a paradigm shift?"

Earlier today singlehandedly made tonight relevant: tickets for tonight were 9 bucks on Stubhub a few days ago.

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#115 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 04:58PM
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@suba steve

Yeah, I kind of like the idea of taking a shot with a rookie GM with Burke looking over his shoulder. I was hoping that spot would be for Weisbrod ... but I guess him and Feaster are a package.

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#116 ?
December 12 2013, 05:41PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I know this has been mentioned earlier, but Burke's photo there reminded me of this:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/hollywood/nick-nolte

As for Burke as GM, he's made some good moves in the past, but he is not a panacea for all that ails the Flames.

Baertschi or Backlund for Gardiner? Certainly possible and a heck of a deal if he could manage it. But outside of the 07 Ducks team anchored by Pronger and a collection of talent he inherited from Bryan Murray, he hasn't been able to build a team beyond a certain point.

And Nieuwendyk as GM is a bad idea. Might be a bright guy, but he was spinning his wheels in Dallas and made some bad moves, albeit under some financial duress. Maybe a second chance is all he needs, but there are, in my opinion, better candidates out there.

Like Steve Tambellini? I kid Rex

God help us if Burke/Edwards even consider that

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#117 Captain Ron
December 12 2013, 07:18PM
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Frank Miron wrote:

Just heard here on local TV in Montreal that Joe Nieuwendyk is the no. candidate for the GM position...

Don't trust anything you hear about hockey in Quebec!

No offence to the city or province intended. I rather like the place.

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#118 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 07:45PM
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How did Burke go the whole day without anyone fixing his tie?

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#119 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 07:59PM
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Gonna check out the Abbotsford game on streamhunter.eu

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#120 mattyc
December 12 2013, 08:20PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

New Beginnings?

Aren't beginnings by their very nature, new?

philosoraptor - is that you?

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#121 mattyc
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Backlund's had a ton of looks tonight.

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#122 RKD
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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In the words of Superintendent Chalmers: SKINNNNNNNNER!

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#123 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:39PM
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Heh, The Butler did it.

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#124 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:44PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I don't know that it will be that bad, but I do suspect that Backlund and/or Baertschi could be gone to address some other roster need.

More than anything I would guess that Burke will want to make moves that will improve the Flames quickly, without the more patient developmental process for which some may argue.

I suspect that the Flames will become relevant sooner rather than later. Whether they ever become more than that during his tenure is debatable, but this is just day one, there are so many decisions ahead that worrying too much over this or that possibility is just going to give you a headache - and you've already got Berra to do that for you.

;)

Just wait until after next offseason... I want a shot at McDavid damnit!

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#125 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:51PM
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@Andy7190

Yeah, but that was more a comment on Nieuwendyk`s body of work as a GM as a whole... I was not impressed.

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#126 Dr. Philosophy
December 12 2013, 09:52PM
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Parallex wrote:

But he never should have signed Beauchemin to begin with.

Go back and read Clyde's post again, you're not doing it right.

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#127 the forgotten man
December 12 2013, 02:10PM
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Baertschi to the 'Ford...if nothing else Burke works fast.

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#128 Frank Miron
December 12 2013, 04:13PM
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Just heard here on local TV in Montreal that Joe Nieuwendyk is the no. candidate for the GM position...

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#129 Frank Miron
December 12 2013, 04:14PM
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# 1 candidate

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#130 ?
December 12 2013, 05:29PM
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"Conversely, Eric Staal, usually good for 70-80 points, is on pace for 62 points. That would be his worst total of his entire NHL career. "

Just a small correction Byron. This season is technically his 2nd worst career points pace. His rookie season in 04 (:)) he put up 31 points in 81 games.

Still, you are absolutely right in the guy having slowed down in terms of ppg. Sad thing is, I picked him in the 5th round in my hockey pool :(

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#131 mattyc
December 12 2013, 07:14PM
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#guiltypleasure

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#132 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 07:15PM
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Is it just me, or does it look like the flames are flying in the beginning here

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#133 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:27PM
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I am 6'2" by the way, so I don't have small mans disease and don't take offense to the thought that big is better.

Big doesn't necessarily mean height either

If you aren't a stocky frame then shorter than 5'10" and 200lbs+ then you should be considered small for the purposes of winning a CUP.

But NOT EVERYBODY on a team needs to be NOT SMALL.

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#134 everton fc
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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BJ wrote:

I'm a bit confused here.

Burke stated that the two main reasons for firing Feaster - that came out of his "75 day review" - was Feaster's draft record and his trading record.

Trading record I get. Feaster's hands were kinda tied, but still I get it.

Regarding Feaster's draft record, Burke stated when he took the job here that he thought Calgary "knocked it out of the park" in the summer.

I had kinda thought that Feaster's draft record, and how he turned our prospect pool around was a credit to him, not a blemish... Obviously jankowski is still controversial... but part of that was getting Sieloff.

Can someone explain how Feaster's draft record in Calgary - Jankowski aside - is suddenly now a negative.

Here's my take:

Baertschi.

Jankowski.

Jury's out on Sieloff. And Wotherspoon. Eric Roy may turn out to be one of Feaster's best finds.

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#135 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:49PM
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@Clyde

But he never should have signed Beauchemin to begin with.

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#136 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 13 2013, 04:10PM
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RKD wrote:

Finally Chris Butter does something right!

By my count, Buttler just owes us about 5 more game winning goals and we're even

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