FGD: Flames Host Roy's Boys

Taylor McKee
December 06 2013 11:52AM

 

 

Yikes, I would not have wanted to be in that Avalanche dressing room last night. 

I am guessing things were not to pleasant after the Avs (19-7-0), the Flames opponent tonight, were embarrassed 8-2 by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night in Edmonton. Consequently, the Avalanche will likely not be in a great mood tonight when they head to Hoth Calgary to play a Flames team that is on a two-game winning streak. 

For the first time this season, the Flames managed to allow fewer than two goals in two consecutive games. The Flames will need to continue this solid defensive play against an Avs team with a lot of weapons up front.

THE ENEMY

The Avs starting the season on an absolutely torrid pace, climbing to the top of the Western Conference for a while. Things are beginning to settle for them of late, as they are 5-5-0 in their last ten.

Here's their roster courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com!

  • Landeskog - Stastny - Parenteau
  • O'Reilly - Duchene - Mackinnon
  • McGinn - Mitchell - Talbot
  • Macleod - Cliche - Bordeleau
  • Hejda - Johnson
  • Benoit - Guenin
  • Barrie - Holden
  • Giguere 

 

As you can see, their roster is fairly top-heavy with a lot (like, a ton) of skill up front and a fairly meh bottom six. The Flames will likely try to force the Avs to play a physical, muddy style of hockey tonight in order to compensate for the speed and offensive prowess of the Avs top six forwards. Fans will not be treated to the return of Alex Tanguay tonight as he is on IR with a knee injury.

On the back end, the Avs are very young. If the Flames are going to win this game, they will have to exploit the inexperience of some of these D men and create turnovers. It also appears as though Flames fans would get to see the return of Cory Sarich either, as he is not listed in their starting roster. So, don't bother wearing his jersey to the Dome tonight.

In net, the Flames get J.S Giguere, as Varlamov was the goaltender of record in last night's 8-2 shelling at Rexall.

THE LOCALS

A few changes from the roster that beat Phoenix on Wednesday but it will largely be the same squad, minus a goon-swap. Here is the roster thanks to our friends at Daily Faceoff:

  • Cammalleri - Stajan - Stempniak
  • Hudler - Backlund - D.Jones
  • Baertschi - *Colborne* - B. Jones
  • Bouma - Byron - MacDermid
  • Russell - Brodie
  • Smid - Giordano
  • Butler - O'Brien
  • Ramo

There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding the Flames roster this morning with Joe Colborne missing the morning skate with flu-like symptoms. He will be a gametime decision. Yesterday, Brian McGrattan left practice early with an apparent knee problem. This led to the recall of newly acquired Tim Jackman body-double Lane MacDermid from Abby (Max Reinhart going the other way). For a brief moment there was some thought, however fleeting, that the Flames might try to play tonight without a facepuncher but alas, that doesn't seem to be in the cards this season. 

Backlund had a very strong game Wednesday against Phoenix, playing 14:02 and scoring the game winning goal in the second period. Obviously, playing with better linemates is going to help his production but what is more important is the fact that he got a chance to play regular minutes last game. Backlund had a chance to get comfortable in a game and start to make plays rather than doing his best to make something happen with his six minutes of ice with the thugs. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue in the upcoming weeks but honestly, with the state of flux this roster has been in so far this season, who knows?

Karri Ramo drew even more praise from the coaching staff after his performance on Wednesday, with one journalist tweeting that the goalie competition is "heating up." Well, this seems like a gross mischaracterization but if you want to call one goalie stopping pucks semi-consistently at an NHL league-average level and the other one...just starting a lot, then sure, things are getting hot!

IN SUMMARY

The Flames are looking to put three solid games together for basically the first time this season. They will have to contend with a pissed-off Avalanche squad who likely got a pretty, um stern, talking to from their coach following their last performance.

Hopefully, the Flames can take advantage of some over-exuberance early and tired legs late and get their third win in a row.

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Taylor splits time between UVIC and Calgary studying history. Taylor likes the Flames, the Cannons, Buckshot, and the Oxford comma. Taylor scored on his own net on dome ice when he was 8. Twitter: @TaylorMcKee_
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#51 mk
December 06 2013, 08:37PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Ramo with another rock solid performance so far tonight.

Sarcasm? Or excellent timing on that give-away?

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#52 ChinookArch
December 06 2013, 08:37PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yup, up until he passed the pick right to Mitchell. Hopefully, that doesn't rattle him.

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#53 Lober
December 06 2013, 08:39PM
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Butler...........................................................

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#54 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 08:40PM
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Annnddd then Ramo gives it away leading to the tying goal. My bad.

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#55 Burnward
December 06 2013, 08:41PM
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I was loving this game. Then the no call on Sven and those two quick stupid goals...and I am angry.

Fahk.

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#56 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 08:43PM
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mk wrote:

Sarcasm? Or excellent timing on that give-away?

The latter.

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#57 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 08:45PM
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Chances end up 11-3 in the second for COL.

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#58 thymebalm
December 06 2013, 08:52PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances end up 11-3 in the second for COL.

Must of been some kind of tongue lashing in the locker room after the 1st.

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#59 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 09:05PM
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Wow did I ever curse Ramo with that comment. Neither of the latter two goals were his fault or anything, but I couldn't have timed that comment any worse.

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#60 ?
December 06 2013, 09:05PM
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thymebalm wrote:

Must of been some kind of tongue lashing in the locker room after the 1st.

Here's hoping Hartley did the same

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#61 ?
December 06 2013, 09:06PM
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? wrote:

Here's hoping Hartley did the same

And just as I write that, Mackinnon scores. Good going Bob

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#62 ChinookArch
December 06 2013, 09:15PM
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Flames are getting dominated in the 3rd.

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#63 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 09:19PM
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@ChinookArch

Actually they reeled off 5 straight chances in the third here.

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#64 ChinookArch
December 06 2013, 09:28PM
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@Kent Wilson

I know, my timing may be worse than yours tonight.

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#65 prendrefeu
December 06 2013, 09:30PM
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There is hope!

However slim.

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#66 ?
December 06 2013, 09:31PM
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So close...

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#67 ?
December 06 2013, 09:32PM
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Watch Sven tie this game up and score the OT winner, and then get healthy scratched next game.

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#68 prendrefeu
December 06 2013, 09:33PM
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Nevermind.

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#69 ?
December 06 2013, 09:33PM
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? wrote:

Watch Sven tie this game up and score the OT winner, and then get healthy scratched next game.

Aw well, so much for that

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#70 Kent Wilson
December 06 2013, 09:35PM
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Chances 8-2 Flames in the third. Good push back, but came up a bit short.

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#71 Burnward
December 06 2013, 09:37PM
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The Oilers better be ready tomorrow. Because if the boys are half as frustrated as I am right now...someone's getting smashed!

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#72 Kurt
December 06 2013, 09:47PM
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Burnward wrote:

The Oilers better be ready tomorrow. Because if the boys are half as frustrated as I am right now...someone's getting smashed!

Why frustrated? Wasn't this about perfect. Solid pushback. Close game. Sven/Backs get on the board. Stajan scores (helps his trade value). No win, or even a loser point. Perfect!

These loses are going to be critical in April when we are battling to secure our top 2 pick.

Or do you still want to make the playoffs? I do get that some people have a deep desire for wins when they do nothing but harm the future of the team because you think the 3 players that'll still be on the team in 3-4 years will be damaged in some way.

But realistically I'd say games like this are basically ideal. Close, battle, good pushback. Still lose.

Now tomorrow, I don't care about the draft standings. Coilers & Canucks are the only games I really hope we win for the rest of the year.

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#73 Burnward
December 06 2013, 09:51PM
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@Kurt

That wasn't a frustrating game?

You can go ahead and cheer for losses, I'm not that guy.

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#74 Kurt
December 06 2013, 10:01PM
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It was frustrating, but in the big picture it was ideal. Nobody would remember this game in 1 month, but come April when we are picking in the 6-8 range again instead of 1-2 we'll wish we had a few less points.

This win hurts the Canucks playoffs. Helps our draft pick. Was close.

The pointless wins are why we are 10 years removed from the playoff run and suck worse than ever. Embrace the losing. Being THAT GUY is how this team can stop sucking forever, and ever and ever and ever.

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#75 Burnward
December 06 2013, 10:04PM
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@Kurt

Derp.

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#76 Burnward
December 06 2013, 10:11PM
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Burnward wrote:

Derp.

That was more intelligent than "Derp." Sorry dude. I just can't bring myself to think that way.

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#77 Kurt
December 06 2013, 10:21PM
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Burnward wrote:

That was more intelligent than "Derp." Sorry dude. I just can't bring myself to think that way.

Ya I hear you... It is hard, and I place I realize some can never go. But I'm there. 20 years (minus the 04 run) of watching this team ALL CAPS SUCK and I'm ready to cheer for losses. If I have to grit my teeth and suck it up for 1-2 years so this ship can be turned around for 15 years I'm in.

Does anyone remember the couple of wins last year that cost us Seth Jones? I mean Monny looks pretty good so far, small sample size yadda yadda. But he is not Seth Jones. And we were maybe 2-3 wins away from 4th.

The dropoff this year is apparently dramatic after the top 2.

I just want to not suck. I'm so tired of suck. I just want to be a good team that easily makes the playoffs and worries about home ice/playoff matchups and having a 4th line capable of winning a cup. Oh how I long for that.... I'd cheer for 80 losses in a row if I could have that.

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#78 coachedpotatoe
December 07 2013, 08:26AM
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The discussion on whether or not tonights loss was a good one or not is always an interesting debate. As a coach you never like to lose but as a coach you always know there is a chance you can lose. But when you do lose you have to decide what you learned from the loss, I'm not going to speculate here what Hartley should learning from the loss.

As fans we approach the game from a different perspective, we love our team and we want them to win; but if you have really embraced the reality of the rebuild and that we are not going to be in the playoffs then in many ways this game was a good as it gets. We played hard and never gave up. We had some of our prospects play and play well. Our journey to find a goalie continues and for the most part Ramo demonstrated that he is more positionaly sound than Berra (that does not mean he is the one). The loss also will help towards drafting higher and that should speed up the rebuild. Now there will some games that we never want to lose and we really want our team to stick it to the the other team. Tonight is probably one of those nights.

So in my heart of hearts I hate to loss, but more importantly I hate to see our team play poorly (like much of the second and third period) as it hurts the rebuild and hinders the development of our new identity.

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#79 Kevin R
December 07 2013, 11:12AM
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I just want to see this team play will & grow confidence in the skills that got them drafted to the big show in the first place. Win/lose, who cares. The last Flames/Oiler game we so deserved to win that one, yeah I hated the loss but I loved how we outplayed then for 50 minutes of that game. My Oiler buddies tried to give it to me after but even they realized, their team has big issues despite the win. Let them hover on the bubble while we build with good picks.

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