FGD: Seeing Stars

Ryan Pike
February 13 2013 01:54PM

For seemingly the zillionth time this hockey season, your Calgary Flames face-off at home with a team that played the night before (usually in a different city). Okay, it's only the third time, but the Flames haven't won one of these games yet. And with the quarter-pole of the season looming on Friday night, the club desperately needs to cash in on some of these opportunities.

Tonight's opportunity pits the 3-4-3 Flames against the 7-5-1 Dallas Stars.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames are still without the services of goalkeeper Miikka Kiprusoff, centre Mikael Backlund and winger Sven Baertschi. Paul Byron (wearing #32) and Joey MacDonald (wearing #35) will make their 2013 Flames debuts, although MacDonald will merely replace Danny Taylor opening the gate. The biggest boost is that Mike Cammalleri will return to the Flames line-up after missing a few games due to a hip flexor injury.

Wednesday's skate was an optional, but on Tuesday Steve Begin was between Glencross and Iginla and Baertschi was between Cammalleri and Stempniak. In reality, we're guessing they'll line up something like this.

  • Hudler – Tanguay – Cervenka
  • Glencross – Stajan – Iginla
  • Cammalleri – Byron – Stempniak
  • Comeau – Jones – Jackman

  • Giordano – Bouwmeester
  • Brodie – Wideman
  • Sarich – Butler

  • Irving

Cammalleri should give Calgary an offensive boost, assuing he returns to the line-up a better player than when he left it. Byron showed some great chemistry with Stempniak when he was up last season, so maybe he can do some damage rather than just be a warm body. That sure is a line of smaller guys though.

Sarich replaces Smith for the second straight game on the back-end while Steve Begin sits out up front. Anton Babchuk is more or less ready to go, but remains in the presssbox.

THE OPPOSITION

The Stars played last night and did a lot to get Flames fans on their side as they beat the Oilers up in Shelbyville by a 4-1 score. Dallas boasts a slew of familiar faces, including one of two active NHLers with more career goals than Jarome Iginla in the ageless Jaromir Jagr. Also contributing in Dallas is former Flames first rounder Eric Nystrom.

From our friends at Defending Big D, a stab at the lines:

  • Morrow-Benn-Jagr
  • Eriksson-Roy-Ryder
  • Smith-Eakin-Vincour
  • Nystrom-Fiddler-Garbutt

  • Dillon-Robidas
  • Rome-Daley
  • Goligoski-Larsen

  • Bachman

One of the fourth liners may cycle out for Wandell or Roussel and Oleksiak might swap in for Larsen.

Jamie Benn has returned the line-up and put together strong counting stats and underlying numbers as well. With him in the fold the Stars top six is pretty strong, alhough there are some useful players (albeit with limited offensive upside) in their bottom six as well.

Things get a bit dodgy on the back end, and its likely that the Flames will be seeing back-up netminder Richard Bachman (career stats: 8-6-1, 2.68 GAA, .913 S% and 1 shutout). He's not quite Kari Lehtonen, but he's got more games under his belt and better numbers than Leland Irving.

SUM IT UP

Dallas has a pretty strong team and they're not missing any big guns (well, besides Ray Whitney). With them having played the night before, there will be no better opportunity for the Flames to get two points. Of course, with the Flames missing their starting goalie, top rookie and their best possession center, they are by no means guaranteed success.

 

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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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#1 ChinookArch
February 13 2013, 08:22PM
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Watching Bouwmeester this year makes me hate Brent Sutter.

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#2 ChinookArch
February 13 2013, 08:01PM
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Are you kidding?

Randy Bachman plays hockey too?

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#3 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 08:16PM
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I love the play of JBo this year. So much like he used to play in Florida.

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#4 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 08:55PM
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is it me or does darren pang remind ya of the brain from pinky n the brain fame and that matt cooke stompin motion looks intentional

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#5 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 08:57PM
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schevvy wrote:

Man the TSN panel is miles better than the SN or HNIC panels

here here totally agree schevvy refreshing not to hear hrudey and that loudmouthed fool healy barkin out their pie hole sensely

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#6 T&A4Flames
February 13 2013, 09:12PM
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yeaaaaa, I'd say Iggy is pissed from Warrener's comments.

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#7 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 09:24PM
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Good to see Cammalleri finally show up tonight.

Iggy fired up...

Irv playing well again...

Are the "Stars" aligned tonight?

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#8 RexLibris
February 13 2013, 09:58PM
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schevvy wrote:

So...McDonald on Friday?

I would.

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#9 jeremywilhelm
February 13 2013, 10:07PM
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@Kent Wilson

So did kipper in his 7 games.

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#10 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 10:08PM
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Gonna be an interesting finish I think...

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#11 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 10:14PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Sure, but he had a body of work which suggested he'd improve. Irving is a lifetime .909 goalie in the AHL. There's no reason to think he'll improve.

Haha but still better than Kipper this year!

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#12 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 10:28PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Stupid Cervenka!

Shut your infidel mouth Wilhelm!!

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#13 FlameinATL
February 13 2013, 11:22PM
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Great effort tonight Flames.

Not to play what if, but this team is a little luck, 3 seconds against Chicago and some decent goaltending from having a fine record. We are better on faceoffs,we pass better, move the puck better, shoot better and our PP is becoming a force. On top of that,we are well-coached and resilient.

I see good things on the horizon.

Get behind this team Calgary.

Go Flames!

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#14 vowswithin
February 13 2013, 02:20PM
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Im gonna pretend im on Hockeybuzz

FIRST ;-)

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#15 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 02:24PM
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I like this first line combo: Hudler – Tanguay – Cervenka

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#16 VK63
February 13 2013, 02:31PM
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Well it couldn't possibly be a worse display of hockey than that wild game....... simply not possible.. thus.... onward and upward.

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#17 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 02:55PM
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Glencross - Stajan - Iginla

Well, this should be interesting to see.

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#18 Parallex
February 13 2013, 03:46PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Glencross - Stajan - Iginla

Well, this should be interesting to see.

If we see it. I have no idea what kind of strategy Hartley will employ with lines like that.

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#19 Chris
February 13 2013, 03:58PM
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This is just like the Colorado game a couple of weeks ago. It really is a must-win.

If Dallas (or Colorado, or Minnesota, etc.) makes the playoffs, then Calgary likely won't, since they're all going to be competing for the 7-8 slots.

So if a Calgary team that's rested and at home can't beat a Dallas team that's tired and on the road, then how will the Flames find a way to gain more points than them in the standings? Not likely. Therefore, a must-win.

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#20 Purple Hazze
February 13 2013, 04:11PM
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Nice to see Iggy bumped down to the 2nd line where I think he'll have more success. Curious to see how the new top line does in PVP matchups, I hope they can hold their own.

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#21 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 04:15PM
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@Purple Hazze

I suspect we'll see about 7 different combinations over the course of the evening.

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#22 Parallex
February 13 2013, 04:27PM
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Purple Hazze wrote:

Nice to see Iggy bumped down to the 2nd line where I think he'll have more success. Curious to see how the new top line does in PVP matchups, I hope they can hold their own.

Who says that's the second line? Because Ryan typed them down there? Lines are primarily determined by two things Ice-time and Quality of Competition... Iginla is only on the "second-line" if both those things go down.

I'd actually say that it's almost more likely that this is Stajan being promoted to the first line since Glencross was one the top line early on in the season.

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#23 bookofloob
February 13 2013, 04:36PM
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It distresses me every time we talk about Babchuk being good to go. Doesn't mean he's going to, right? Please?

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#24 schevvy
February 13 2013, 04:43PM
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bookofloob wrote:

It distresses me every time we talk about Babchuk being good to go. Doesn't mean he's going to, right? Please?

Can't wait to see him replace Brodie on the 1st PP unit! (shudder)

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#25 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 06:17PM
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bookofloob wrote:

It distresses me every time we talk about Babchuk being good to go. Doesn't mean he's going to, right? Please?

No BoL.. They mean he's good to go to another team! #WishfulThinking

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#26 FlameinATL
February 13 2013, 06:33PM
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Big game and a big win tonight.

Go Flames!

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#27 clyde
February 13 2013, 07:32PM
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Back to the ROR trade talk, what the Avalanche need right now is a top 2 defenseman especially considering Johnson is hurt. Personally I think J-Bo is worth more than just O'Reilly. Any other thoughts? Should Gio be in the discussion?

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#28 Kent Wilson
February 13 2013, 07:48PM
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@clyde

The Avs aren't going to take on much in the way of dollars coming back. They're literally the cheapest team in the league.

They might be interested in Gio, but JayBo's $ won't interest them.

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#29 schevvy
February 13 2013, 07:51PM
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Odds on Ottawa coming back, forcing OT and making the Flames game on TSN2? Probably high

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#30 clyde
February 13 2013, 07:53PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The Avs aren't going to take on much in the way of dollars coming back. They're literally the cheapest team in the league.

They might be interested in Gio, but JayBo's $ won't interest them.

So, we can now take on some salary correct? If it's JayBo, we take some salary and they give us a 2nd. As I said, a top 2 def is worth a great deal imo.

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#31 schevvy
February 13 2013, 07:56PM
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Man, that is a HUGE injury for the Sens. Karlsson out indefinitely

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#32 ChinookArch
February 13 2013, 08:07PM
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@schevvy

I worked with a guy that severed his achilles, it took him 6 months to walk and 6 more to run without pain.

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#33 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 08:07PM
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schevvy wrote:

Man, that is a HUGE injury for the Sens. Karlsson out indefinitely

indeed it is, matt cooke gotta wonder if he got the leg up on purpose

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#34 schevvy
February 13 2013, 08:10PM
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@ChinookArch

I think there is absolutely no chance he plays this year

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#35 clyde
February 13 2013, 08:11PM
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schevvy wrote:

I think there is absolutely no chance he plays this year

A shame. Such a great young player.

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#36 Scary Gary
February 13 2013, 08:12PM
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Nice draw Cervenka!

a faceoff win is something new.

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#37 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 08:12PM
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schevvy wrote:

I think there is absolutely no chance he plays this year

or possibly more, depends on the severity could be a very long rehab

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#38 schevvy
February 13 2013, 08:13PM
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Jay-Bo!

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#39 Brent G.
February 13 2013, 08:13PM
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Would u guys take the trade of ROR for Gio? I honestly might ...

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#40 schevvy
February 13 2013, 08:14PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Would u guys take the trade of ROR for Gio? I honestly might ...

Absolutely

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#41 Gunk
February 13 2013, 08:14PM
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nice. way to go J Bo! 5 last year and 3 already this year! on pace for a good year...

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#42 Brent G.
February 13 2013, 08:15PM
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Honestly I might even go so high as Gio and a 2nd. ROR is a Kesler type who makes things happen

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#43 negrilcowboy
February 13 2013, 08:15PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Would u guys take the trade of ROR for Gio? I honestly might ...

i would

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#44 Vintage Flame
February 13 2013, 08:15PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Would u guys take the trade of ROR for Gio? I honestly might ...

I would accept that trade faster than you could say ROR.

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#45 Brent G.
February 13 2013, 08:19PM
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Whoa! Irving is playing pretty good since being up

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#46 Gunk
February 13 2013, 08:19PM
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Oh BABY! tic tac toe! very nice boys

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#47 schevvy
February 13 2013, 08:20PM
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Hudler! What a signing!

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#48 ChinookArch
February 13 2013, 08:20PM
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@Vintage Flame

Hudler again. Love it.

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#49 T&A4Flames
February 13 2013, 08:20PM
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Holy crap that was just sick!!!

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#50 Mitch P
February 13 2013, 08:21PM
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God damn I hate Ferraro so much...

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