FGD: A Trip to Texas

Ryan Pike
February 17 2013 01:19PM

 

 

Two teams missing their awesome goalies collide in the Lone Star State tonight! The Flames (4-5-3) are missing Miikka Kiprusoff (career 2.46 goals against average, .913 save percentage). The Stars (8-6-1) are missing Kari Lehtonen (career 2.69 goals against average, .915 save percentage). Lehtonen's been better than Kiprusoff this year, but both teams wish they had their number-ones.

A win here puts the Flames back at .500, a lofty perch which they've gotten to but have yet to cross over entirely. And it's already a quarter of the way into the season.

Of course, Calgary beat Dallas last Wednesday in a 7-4 game. It was crazy, in that both Leland Irving and Richard Bachman looked shaky. In a shocker, Bachman still has an NHL job while Irving is back in the AHL.

It comes with the territory in the wacky world of the NHL.

THE LINE-UP

After Friday night's set-back against the St. Louis Blues, Flames head coach Bob Hartley hit shuffle on his line-up card. And the Flames waived Blair Jones, demoted Leland Irving and called up Danny Taylor.

Oh, and Blake Comeau is a centre now.

  • Cervenka – Tanguay – Hudler
  • Cammalleri – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Glencross – Comeau – Iginla
  • Horak – Begin – Jackman

  • Giordano – Bouwmeester
  • Wideman – Brodie
  • Butler – Babchuk

  • MacDonald

Overall, the big question mark is Comeau up the middle. Why you put the team's worst possession forward on any line besides your fourth - and your captain to boot - is beyond me, but I'm not the coach. The top two lines look solid, though unspectacular by NHL standards.

MacDonald has the worst numbers of the three Flames goalies, at least in terms of save percentage, but he's only played one game. With Irving looking shaky as a leaf in his last few starts – and nowhere near as poised as he did last season – giving MacDonald a shot is a good idea. If he looks as bad as he did in the St. Louis game, it'll look like a worse idea.

THE OPPOSITION

The Stars are firmly in the middle of the pack in the West. They don't have their starting goalie or the habitually underrated Ray Whitney, but their top six is still very dangerous and their bottom six boasts some very useful players. They beat Vancouver on Friday night.

Via Sportsnet's Roger Millions (@rogmillions), here's Dallas' likely lines.

  • Benn – Morrow – Jagr
  • Smith – Roy – Eriksson
  • Roussel – Eakin – Ryder
  • Nystrom – Fiddler – Garbutt

  • Dillon – Robidas
  • Rome – Daley
  • Goligoski – Larsen

  • Bachman

Bachman (1-2-0) is statistically the worst of Dallas' three goalies used this year and he looked pretty bad in Calgary last week. Then again, it's just one game. As mentioned, he's in because Karri Lehtonen is on the shelf.

SUM IT UP

The Flames beat the Stars and have the ability to do so again. That said, Dallas beat a very game Canucks team on Friday and can't be under-estimated – and it's very unlikely they'll be as lousy as they were in Calgary.
 

The Flames, meanwhile, need to regain their confidence in their goaltending and find the swagger they had against the Stars. They were shaky and uneven against the Blues, and they cannot afford to get in a hole early down in the heart of Texas.

Game-time is 4pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

 

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
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.
Avatar
#1 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 04:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Bizarre take-down by Begin in that fight.

Avatar
#2 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Jibmeister wrote:

Babchuk looks awkward.

That's being kind.

Avatar
#3 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 05:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Really Charlie, when your put pucks in the net it works to your advantage. Sage advice.

Avatar
#4 Gunk
February 17 2013, 06:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

wow. I'm happy for Stajan, He's been looking so much better this year. Is it possible to believe we can get a point out of this??

Avatar
#5 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 07:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Quite the comeback. Chances were 7-1 in the third, so the Flames earned it.

Ironically, the new "first line" including Iginla/Tanguay/Cammy had nothing to do with it. The other kines did all the damage.

Total chances were 19 - 11 Flames. Legit win.

Avatar
#6 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 07:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

YEAAAAAAAAHHH BAAAAAAABBBY!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#7 mattyc
February 17 2013, 07:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

well... that was an impressive 3rd period by the flames... especially the stajan stempniak glencross line.

Avatar
#8 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 02:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

After these questionable moves and mediocre team in general I don't feel like I'm alone in hoping the Flames get absolutely embarrassed today. How in the f*ck is Comeau still on this team, AND playing centre AND on Iggys line?

Avatar
#9 Monaertchi
February 17 2013, 02:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Are the Flames better, more likely to win, with Comeau as 3rd line centre instead of Jones?

Avatar
#10 redricardo
February 17 2013, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

On the bright side, the Flames appear to be a much better road team than home team. So... Fingers crossed?

Avatar
#11 redricardo
February 17 2013, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Double post. Sorry.

Avatar
#12 Jeff In Lethbridge
February 17 2013, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Brent G. wrote:

After these questionable moves and mediocre team in general I don't feel like I'm alone in hoping the Flames get absolutely embarrassed today. How in the f*ck is Comeau still on this team, AND playing centre AND on Iggys line?

Is HE playing on Iggy's line, or is Iggy playing on his line? I think there is a difference

Avatar
#13 Jeff In Lethbridge
February 17 2013, 02:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

it is what it is, so.... pffffttt.. nothing we can do.

Go Flames!

Avatar
#14 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 02:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I would like to say that I feel "cautiously optimistic", but I can't. There would have to be some earth shattering shake up to even be upgraded to optimistic. I agree that constantly mixing and matching the lines, every other day, sets the team back even further. I would like to believe that Comeau can string together some good shifts and be productive both offensively and responsible defensively, but every shift that I see him out there, he either misses golden scoring opportunities or refuses to skate hard and actually backcheck. Here's hoping for a sound game and if not, the hammer has to fall somewhere.

Avatar
#15 Clay
February 17 2013, 02:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

5-2 Dallas

I want to lose this one... bad

I can't fathom the recklessness of the Blair Jones waiving if it wasn't for trade reasons.

Avatar
#16 exsanguinator
February 17 2013, 03:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I didn't think that MacDonald looked all that bad for a back up in the St Louis game. Of course it must have been easy to look good after whatever the hell it was that Irving was doing.

I'm gonna give him a couple more games before I can decide for myself how he fits into the team. Either way Dallas is probably going to win today.

Avatar
#17 Jano
February 17 2013, 03:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@exsanguinator

Actually, MacDonald IS THAT BAD. As in he didn't look near as good as Irving has in the past week or so.

Avatar
#18 Denscafon
February 17 2013, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

With Backlund not back for at least 2-3 weeks and now Comeau being moved to center, we're quite a joke in the middle now... all our supposed centers via UFA and farm this year (the czechs and horak) all now play wing instead :( Maybe its time for feaster to do a crazy move like get o'reily as has been suggested here at FN awhile back. Though the asking price HNIC said was a "established" forward, puck moving d, and a pick, which is pretty steep, but something the flames could actually do since we have a plethora of wingers and too many d. Would lee and brodie and a 2nd round(2014) be too much depth gone from us for o'reily you think? (we'd have to sign him for 25 mill-5year probably too)

Avatar
#19 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 03:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Denscafon wrote:

With Backlund not back for at least 2-3 weeks and now Comeau being moved to center, we're quite a joke in the middle now... all our supposed centers via UFA and farm this year (the czechs and horak) all now play wing instead :( Maybe its time for feaster to do a crazy move like get o'reily as has been suggested here at FN awhile back. Though the asking price HNIC said was a "established" forward, puck moving d, and a pick, which is pretty steep, but something the flames could actually do since we have a plethora of wingers and too many d. Would lee and brodie and a 2nd round(2014) be too much depth gone from us for o'reily you think? (we'd have to sign him for 25 mill-5year probably too)

I think that Stempniak and TJ and a 2nd for O'Reilly would be reasonable and beneficial for both teams, but, I am afraid that it would not be accepted given the fact that the Avalanche have stated that they would not trade within the division or the conference, plus, Calgary would probably have to offer up more to sweeten the pot and, Feaster is Feaster. I would prefer to not give up Brodie as he seems to be a part of the long term plans, but, Calgary needs a center in the worst possible way and ROR meets all criteria.

Avatar
#20 Kevin R
February 17 2013, 03:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Denscafon wrote:

With Backlund not back for at least 2-3 weeks and now Comeau being moved to center, we're quite a joke in the middle now... all our supposed centers via UFA and farm this year (the czechs and horak) all now play wing instead :( Maybe its time for feaster to do a crazy move like get o'reily as has been suggested here at FN awhile back. Though the asking price HNIC said was a "established" forward, puck moving d, and a pick, which is pretty steep, but something the flames could actually do since we have a plethora of wingers and too many d. Would lee and brodie and a 2nd round(2014) be too much depth gone from us for o'reily you think? (we'd have to sign him for 25 mill-5year probably too)

Theres no way I trade Brodie. He has played his way up to top 4 D & we havent seen his ceiling yet. I'd rather trade JBO straight up but AVs would never do that.

Avatar
#21 Jano
February 17 2013, 03:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Yes, definitely too much for ROR. Brodie has been a huge and pleasant surprise this year, and if he continues to grow his game like he has, he's a first pairing d-man for us for a long time. ROR has only 1 good year under his belt, and is now demanding a 1st liners salary. Good possession ratings or not, 5 mil is also a huge overpayment for a guy who has never scored 20 goals, and only topped 30 points once.

Avatar
#22 chillout
February 17 2013, 03:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Trading Brodie would be idiotic. I would rather offer sheet if it didn't look like we would be getting an opportunity to get a high pick. Backlund Brodie Baertschi are all untouchable along with anyone FA we signed this year. Trade parts we can offer are Cammy, Iggy, Glenx, Stemps, Butler. That's about the only pieces I'd move. And only 2 of these, 3 if Butler goes. I think we keep JBo because of the way he's been playing. JBo would leave a bigger hole than most realize. In no way shape or form should we be giving up one of our top young assets. Especially not with a bunch of other parts thrown into the deal too. Either way Col wouldn't trade him to us barring a deal that would make us look stupid. Oh and everybody Calm down the range of emotions when we win to when we lose is ridiculous. Awesome team!!!gonna make playoffs to Garbage team everybody sucks the world is over management is stupid. It gets hard to read after awhile.

Avatar
#23 Alsker
February 17 2013, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hate these games where you wish both teams lose...residing in oilcountry i'm torn tween hoping you fail and not wanting Big D to get any further ahead of us...oh well hope its more entertaining than ur game vs Minny..man they are boring..good luck with ROR an offer sheet would cost you what a 1st 2nd 3rd 4th...and you want to trade who???

Avatar
#24 Kurt
February 17 2013, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Denscafon wrote:

With Backlund not back for at least 2-3 weeks and now Comeau being moved to center, we're quite a joke in the middle now... all our supposed centers via UFA and farm this year (the czechs and horak) all now play wing instead :( Maybe its time for feaster to do a crazy move like get o'reily as has been suggested here at FN awhile back. Though the asking price HNIC said was a "established" forward, puck moving d, and a pick, which is pretty steep, but something the flames could actually do since we have a plethora of wingers and too many d. Would lee and brodie and a 2nd round(2014) be too much depth gone from us for o'reily you think? (we'd have to sign him for 25 mill-5year probably too)

We have a plethora of wingers and d?? Haha... Ya we are rolling in good players. So many we should maybe give a few away.

Everytime this team teeters on the brink of a meaningful skid, one that will FORCE some honest analysis, we always pull out a win and buy another week of delusion.

So I predict we win today, causing all sorts of people to get excited about the potential.

I hope we lose terribly tonight, and realize we are the free point game for teams who play their backup goalies against us again and again and we still lose with our old 7 mil 3rd line declining captain.

A win will lead to more crazy delusional trade/offer sheet BS, which is the last thing this team needs.

Avatar
#25 Denscafon
February 17 2013, 03:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I agree that i don't want to see brodie go, but as you can see all our other D has either NTC or just would not be worth Avs time (butler, sarich, babchuck etc) so brodie is the only guy that fits that demand from them.

But alas, if they aren't willing to trade to western conference teams, then no point in discussing unless we offer sheet him which if we were willing to, we'd may have done already and lose our 1st and 3rd this year which i think is not worth it

Avatar
#26 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 04:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Kurt wrote:

We have a plethora of wingers and d?? Haha... Ya we are rolling in good players. So many we should maybe give a few away.

Everytime this team teeters on the brink of a meaningful skid, one that will FORCE some honest analysis, we always pull out a win and buy another week of delusion.

So I predict we win today, causing all sorts of people to get excited about the potential.

I hope we lose terribly tonight, and realize we are the free point game for teams who play their backup goalies against us again and again and we still lose with our old 7 mil 3rd line declining captain.

A win will lead to more crazy delusional trade/offer sheet BS, which is the last thing this team needs.

I agree completely. What makes me sad is knowing the excuses feaster will make at the end of the year that will allow them to resign Iggy, Kipper to an extension and stay the course.

The reason we suck so bad is because Kipper wasn't in the line up, Iggy didn't have a real training camp, and backlund got injured (again) right...?

Avatar
#27 Denscafon
February 17 2013, 04:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Kurt

well when sven, your best prospect since iggy,can't even get 3rd line minutes (and rumors of him being sent back to the farm when he gets back) then yes, I think we have an excess of wingers that are good 2nd/3rd line options, but not so much first liners. Sven would take over whoever we trade (which is not too many to choose from since half of them have NTCs)

I haven't said anything about their record or the current play at this moment so this is not based on their crappy play vs the blues, but more on injuries and lack of a major position while having too many on another. Hence me bringing it up since it seems its quite apparent ROR is on the market.

Avatar
#28 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 04:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Chris Fairfield wrote:

I think that Stempniak and TJ and a 2nd for O'Reilly would be reasonable and beneficial for both teams, but, I am afraid that it would not be accepted given the fact that the Avalanche have stated that they would not trade within the division or the conference, plus, Calgary would probably have to offer up more to sweeten the pot and, Feaster is Feaster. I would prefer to not give up Brodie as he seems to be a part of the long term plans, but, Calgary needs a center in the worst possible way and ROR meets all criteria.

What you are suggesting is too much for O'Reilly. I would even have to think about Brodie straight up for him when looking at our defence situation right now.

Stemp or Cammy and Butler and a second is my max offer. They won't take Cammy because of his contract so that leaves Stemp or one of our prospects in that spot. I would consider Johnny G in his place but without the second in the deal.

Otherwise they can go pound sand and I go the offer sheet route.

Avatar
#29 Kevin R
February 17 2013, 04:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Captain Ron wrote:

What you are suggesting is too much for O'Reilly. I would even have to think about Brodie straight up for him when looking at our defence situation right now.

Stemp or Cammy and Butler and a second is my max offer. They won't take Cammy because of his contract so that leaves Stemp or one of our prospects in that spot. I would consider Johnny G in his place but without the second in the deal.

Otherwise they can go pound sand and I go the offer sheet route.

So Cappy, you not sold on Johnny hockey yet? Awful risky trading that boy to a division competitor. Keep in mind Oreilly was a 2nd rounder pick & Avs are sure trying to milk a breakout year.

Avatar
#30 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 04:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

hows about our 3rd line centre comeau, our starting goalie macdonald and our defense tandem of smith and badchuk to the avs. i know that leaves the flames with some big holes but you need a frontline centre to play with iggy. the avs should bite on that. unfortunately any flame currently worth trading has the ntc thanks to derrel sputter.

Avatar
#31 Kurt
February 17 2013, 04:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Denscafon wrote:

well when sven, your best prospect since iggy,can't even get 3rd line minutes (and rumors of him being sent back to the farm when he gets back) then yes, I think we have an excess of wingers that are good 2nd/3rd line options, but not so much first liners. Sven would take over whoever we trade (which is not too many to choose from since half of them have NTCs)

I haven't said anything about their record or the current play at this moment so this is not based on their crappy play vs the blues, but more on injuries and lack of a major position while having too many on another. Hence me bringing it up since it seems its quite apparent ROR is on the market.

Sven isn't playing because he is a good prospect who needs development (not an elite prospect to replace Iggy as you suggest). The fact Sven can't crack this middling lineup speaks more to his need to develop than the awesome depth of our awesome wingers.

I'm all for trading players to give Sven ice to develop. That's exactly what we need. The difference is I hope we get draft picks and no roster help from these trades. Think about next year and quit trying to plug the holes on this sinking ship while pushing our prospects to the sideline so garbage middling filler players can eat up ice in Feasters pathetic attempt to make 8th place at all costs.

Avatar
#32 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 04:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

joey macbackup has 102 career starts,49 came in one year with the isles. 33 year old backup

Avatar
#33 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 04:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Chances are 3-3 so far. Neither team has outplayed the other.

Avatar
#34 schevvy
February 17 2013, 04:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So Comeau still sucks.

Avatar
#35 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
schevvy wrote:

So Comeau still sucks.

oh ya comeau still sucks, except he now sucks a both a winger and a centre. multi positional

Avatar
#36 Jibmeister
February 17 2013, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Babchuk looks awkward.

Avatar
#37 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nice shot by Cammalleri...but, yeah that's a goal that should never go on.

Avatar
#38 schevvy
February 17 2013, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Cammy!

Avatar
#39 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

What happened to squids teeth?

Avatar
#40 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Brent G.

Got knocked out in Europe I believe.

Avatar
#41 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 04:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Kent Wilson

You'd think with all the money players have they would have their teeth fixed after something like that.

Avatar
#42 Vintage Flame
February 17 2013, 04:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Nice shot by Cammalleri...but, yeah that's a goal that should never go on.

Was Cammy's goal even a scoring chance Kent?

Avatar
#43 Vintage Flame
February 17 2013, 04:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Brent G. wrote:

What happened to squids teeth?

Took a shot in the chicklets from JBo in practice.

Avatar
#44 jeremywilhelm
February 17 2013, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Stajan. Why you so good this year??

Avatar
#45 jeremywilhelm
February 17 2013, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Brent G.

He needs to get surgery. No time.

Avatar
#46 schevvy
February 17 2013, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Why does Begin kill penalties? Anyone?

Avatar
#47 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 04:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

That was a very dangerous play. Dirtbag!

Avatar
#48 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 04:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Vintage Flame

Nope.

Avatar
#49 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 04:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
schevvy wrote:

Why does Begin kill penalties? Anyone?

would rather have menachem begin than steve "peameal" begin

Avatar
#50 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Babchuck is a terrible skater. He is terrifying for a Flames fan to watch.

Comments are closed for this article.