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.

 

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#51 vowswithin
February 17 2013, 05:18PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

He needs to get surgery. No time.

Also i believe false teeth have a screw that goes into the bone. Imagine jow much damage a puck into that would do? Way worse then the missing teeth. I would guess hockey players use denture pieces until they retire then get real teeth.

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#52 Vowswithin
February 17 2013, 05:20PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

It's been night and day for Cammalleri. Good to see since it tends to be the reverse when a Flames player comes back from an injury.

Loving the turn around. Will really help if we should make a trade or decide to blow it up.

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#53 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:29PM
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Neither teams goals were scoring chances.

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#54 schevvy
February 17 2013, 05:30PM
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WTH was Babchuk doing?

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#55 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:31PM
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Okay, well the Smith goal was a legit chance.

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#56 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 05:32PM
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schevvy wrote:

WTH was Babchuk doing?

Doing what Babchuck does crap the bed.

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#57 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 05:35PM
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Really Charlie, when your put pucks in the net it works to your advantage. Sage advice.

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#58 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:37PM
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Flames look terrible in this period so far.

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#59 schevvy
February 17 2013, 05:37PM
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@Kent Wilson

They're not moving their feet

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#60 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:38PM
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Flames are lucky Dallas keeps taking stupid penalties.

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#61 Vowswithin
February 17 2013, 05:39PM
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I have always wondered if you loose your stick and a players stick from the other team is on the ice would you get a penalty for grabbing it?

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#62 Q
February 17 2013, 05:39PM
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We suck! Sooooo outmatched! Comeau blows!

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#63 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:41PM
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MacDonald seems to fall all over the ice whenever the puck is shot at him.

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#64 Q
February 17 2013, 05:43PM
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Another men vs boys lesson tnite! We suck suck suck!

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#65 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 05:44PM
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never thought i would say it but i miss olli

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#66 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:44PM
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I don't know if I've seen Iginla at ES this period yet.

Check that. He was out int he first couple of minutes at 5on5. Not much since then though.

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#67 ChinookArch
February 17 2013, 05:45PM
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Proposal for a drinking game at the Tilted Kilt: everytime Comeau falls and everyone finishes their drink?

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#68 Vintage Flame
February 17 2013, 05:45PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

MacDonald seems to fall all over the ice whenever the puck is shot at him.

Yeah, he doesn't exactly look positionally sound does he?

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#69 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:46PM
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Calgary starting to reel things in after that poor first 5 minutes or so.

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#70 Q
February 17 2013, 05:53PM
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Joey macdonald is garage sale bargain basement trash! Lololol! Feasters crying as we speak!

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#71 schevvy
February 17 2013, 05:54PM
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Nice rebound

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#72 Vowswithin
February 17 2013, 05:54PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Calgary starting to reel things in after that poor first 5 minutes or so.

Lol then they score

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#73 Vintage Flame
February 17 2013, 05:55PM
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Good grief

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#74 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 05:56PM
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Spoke too soon.

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#75 Q
February 17 2013, 05:56PM
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Well crazy flames fans. I've seen enough of this high school hockey by iggy! Just give us our lottery pick now! Out!

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#76 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 06:03PM
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kent can you explain why iggy is being handled this way. hartley is doing something, but i dont know what or why. i am confused.

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#77 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 06:05PM
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You know who you never hear about... Jankowski. What's he up to these days?

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#78 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:06PM
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Chances were 8-6 Stars in the second.

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#79 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:08PM
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@Brent G.

12 points in 23 games. Not a lot to talk about.

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#80 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:10PM
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@negrilcowboy

Hartley is scrambling to find something that works. After the first little while it looked like he wanted to give Iggy some shelter and then give guys like Hudler and Stempniak more ice time.

At the end of the second he went back to the classic Cammy-Tanguay-Iggy combo because, well, nothing else is working.

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#81 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 06:12PM
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@Kent Wilson

Way too early to say I know but I feel like that's tremendously underwhelming even given his age. Another wasted 1st rounder?

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#83 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:16PM
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@Brent G.

Nah, can't say that yet. He's really young and his team is lousy.

Still, he was completely oversold to the fanbase by the decision makers. Janko obviously won't be the best player in the 2012 draft.

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#84 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 06:19PM
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@Kent Wilson

No I appreciate that. You would think Feaster would have learned by now to stop making such bold statements publicly because he just ends up looking really silly and embarrasses the Flames (as if they aren't doing that enough by themselves lol).

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#85 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 06:19PM
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I missed about 15 minutes of the 1st after getting home from work, thoroughly expecting Dallas to be up by 2 or 3, it was nice to see Calgary up 1-0. The 2nd period was forgettable, but expected. Calgary was charitable and gave the puck away, could not check Ryder off of the puck and for the second time, Eakin scores from the high slot. Dallas gains the zone again, while they are still announcing Eakin's goal and Macdonald is way out of position at the side of the net, tap in, 3rd goal a la juicy rebound from the afforementioned Joey Macdonald. No crisp passes, lazy coverage and no will or traffic against a backup. Debating whether or not to watch the 3rd (I know that I will though)

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#86 Brent G.
February 17 2013, 06:21PM
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Other thought...

I'm starting to feel like Iggy not having signed an extension yet is likely a much bigger tell of his intentions than many are recognizing. If Iggy wanted to resign in Calgary I have no doubt he has received gigantic over payment offers and yet hasn't.

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#87 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 06:22PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances were 8-6 Stars in the second.

outshot 22-12 in the second

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#88 exsanguinator
February 17 2013, 06:23PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

I have always wondered if you loose your stick and a players stick from the other team is on the ice would you get a penalty for grabbing it?

No. Some one actually scored with an opposing player's stick last season or the season before. I think it was one of the Koivu's that scored. I can't really remember. All I can remember is that the stick was his wrong hand.

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#89 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 06:23PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Nah, can't say that yet. He's really young and his team is lousy.

Still, he was completely oversold to the fanbase by the decision makers. Janko obviously won't be the best player in the 2012 draft.

way to break my heart kent, i thoroughly bought what feaster was selling. i feel like such the fool.

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#90 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:24PM
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@Chris Fairfield

Yeah. In a way the Flames were lucky it was so close chance wise.

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#91 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:26PM
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Well that's a good start.

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#92 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:28PM
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And it's a new ballgame.

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#93 Gunk
February 17 2013, 06:29PM
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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??

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#94 Q
February 17 2013, 06:29PM
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Strange or what?!

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#95 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:30PM
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@Gunk

Possible now.

Stajan was never as bad as he seemed under Sutter. Brent just couldn't stand him.

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#96 loudogYYC
February 17 2013, 06:31PM
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I'm tired of this crap! Flames always find a way to climb out of a hole just to fall into another one.

Dallas win this 5-3.

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#97 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 06:44PM
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The patented Comeau "skate around the perimeter" actually leads to something!

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#98 Gunk
February 17 2013, 06:45PM
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@Kent Wilson

Coast to coast Comeau?!

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#99 mattyc
February 17 2013, 06:46PM
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I thought that was a pretty good play by Comeau.

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#100 schevvy
February 17 2013, 06:47PM
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Begin what?

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