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 beloch
December 12 2013, 07:31PM
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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.

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#102 beloch
December 12 2013, 07:56PM
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In the first period intermission interview Burke said the #1 qualification for the new GM will be his commitment to size (no mention of truculence). Later in same interview, he said Gaudreau is very small but very skilled. Ruhroh.

You can't deny that size helps, but skill trumps all. For me, Gaudreau is a litmus test for Burke and the future GM. They will be failures in my eyes if they flip Gaudreau before he's gotten a solid look in the NHL. Gaudreau is a player who could thrive on a line with a couple of bigger, slower players.

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#103 mattyc
December 12 2013, 07:56PM
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Parallex wrote:

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.

If there's one thing Jay Feaster taught me, it's that talk is cheap. Burke can say whatever he wants, but ultimately, I'll judge him on his actions.

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

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#105 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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#106 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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#107 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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#108 mattyc
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Backlund's had a ton of looks tonight.

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#109 maimster
December 12 2013, 08:24PM
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I guess it doesn't matter in the context of today's news, but am I the only one who thinks this has been the most boring game of the year?

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#110 RKD
December 12 2013, 08:25PM
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@EugeneV

I am simply pointing out the differences in philosophy between the two men. I want Calgary to be a powerhouse team. Before getting bigger tougher players, they need to start getting rid of the soft players like Butler.

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#111 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 08:27PM
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McGratton baby! haha, thats awesome

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#112 ChinookArch
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Today of all days and the truculent dancing bear scores.

Pretty nice work - full credit to McGrattan.

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#113 FlamesRule
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Truculance!

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#114 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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MichaelD wrote:

McGratton baby! haha, thats awesome

Go Big Fella.

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#115 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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McGratton scores? Burke is right! Grit and size and truculence!

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#116 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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#117 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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#118 RKD
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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In the words of Superintendent Chalmers: SKINNNNNNNNER!

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#119 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 09:13PM
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@Andy7190

I stopped counting at "lots".

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#120 mattyc
December 12 2013, 09:13PM
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everton fc wrote:

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.

you're saying the Baertschi pick is a negative? Who would you have rather they picked? To me it still seems like they made the right choice.

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#121 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 09:15PM
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RKD wrote:

In the words of Superintendent Chalmers: SKINNNNNNNNER!

Am I the only one who wants to see a player in the league with the last name "Khan".

Just one, single overtime goal would make the whole thing worth it.

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#122 wot96
December 12 2013, 09:17PM
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Good to see the Flames turning it around on that whole closing out teams in the third thing.

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

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#124 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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#125 mattyc
December 12 2013, 09:21PM
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@Parallex

He also went out of his way to praise some skill players (Gaudreau for instance) in his presser. He also was the guy who demoted Orr and Komisarek, and traded Beauchemin for Gardiner (and Lupul!).

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#126 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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#127 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:39PM
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Heh, The Butler did it.

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#128 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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#129 Clyde
December 12 2013, 09:47PM
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Parallex wrote:

But he was the guy that signed Orr, Komisarek, and Beauchemin. I see no indication from his presser that he`s learned anything from those mistakes... heck for a lot of that presser you could have just replayed parts of his Toronto presser when he took the GM job there.

He traded besuchemin for gardiner , lupul and a 4rth. Not a bad return. Can't see Feaster getting that kind of return or even close

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#130 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:53PM
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Parallex wrote:

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

It wasn't terribly impressive, but I'd give it a giant asterix, given the financial constraints of the unstable (to put it mildly) ownership situation.

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#131 Clyde
December 12 2013, 09:53PM
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Parallex wrote:

But he never should have signed Beauchemin to begin with.

What did he give up to sign him?

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#132 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:57PM
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Just a thought on the goaltending battle so far, I can see the potential in both Berra and Ramo, but I think Ramo "fights for the play" a bit better at this point. He never gives up on the puck.

Kind of like a bigger Vernon that way. Whereas Berra commits too soon, I think. He goes to his knees to quickly, and can't adjust.

He has great potential, but so far, I like Ramo better.

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#133 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 10:04PM
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Derzie wrote:

Put simply, we're screwed. Burke is a bully.

I thought Hartley was a bully last week.

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#134 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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#135 BJ
December 13 2013, 09:48AM
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@McRib

Sutter passing over Getzlaf in favour of Phaneuf really robbed us of that top line center that we have always needed. There a few others whom we could have selected instead of Phaneuf.

I don't even want to mention Ramholt when Weber was sitting right there. We could have had a top center and defenseman in that draft if Sutter has followed one of the unwritten rules of never drafting a Dman in the top 10. There always seem to be some good Dmen in the late first to second round.

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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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