FGD: One Can of RAID

Justin Azevedo
February 07 2013 12:12PM

The Flames followed up a tough loss on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks with a, well, easier win on Tuesday in Detroit. While Calgary didn't dominate the Wings like they did the Hawks, they nevertheless still finished close to even in scoring chances and shots despite the fact Detroit was chasing the majority of the game. Some guy also got hurt, but that's not important...

For as bad of a team the Columbus Blue Jackets are supposed to be, the Calgary Flames somehow always struggle when the two meet. It's not even that the Flames have been bad: I distinctly remember a 5-0 drubbing of the Flames back in January of 2009, when the teams were second (Calgary) and thirteenth (Columbus) in the conference. Indeed, dating back to that season the Flames have a record of 8-6-2 against the Blue Jackets.

None of that matters, though, so the above paragraph was just a waste of your time. No, tonight two very different teams will play in the Buckeye state.

The Line-Up

  • Cammalleri (?) - Tanguay - Iginla
  • Cervenka - Stajan - Hudler
  • Glencross - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Begin - Jones - Comeau

  • Giordano - Bouwmeester
  • Wideman - Brodie
  • Smith - Butler

  • Irving

Obviously the key name missing here is Miikka Kiprusoff. However, for as much as been made regarding his injury, it seems to be relatively minor (I'm hearing MCL strain) since he's listed Day-To-Day and the team didn't trade for a backup, instead signing the Heat's Danny Taylor to a pro contract. There's also the fact that Kiprusoff has been really poor thus far this year: an .897 EVSV% puts him 30th out of 33 in the group of guys I consider "starters". That's obviously not good, especially when you consider threshold level goaltending is about a .914 EVSV% - about 2 goals. Now, that might not sound like a lot but when a guy's cap hit is 5 million plus, he's gotta be providing better than ECHL-level goaltending. If Irving can come in and post a .910 EVSV%, I think the Flames are fine.

Jarome Iginla scored his first of the season (finally) against the Red Wings, and now has 5 points on the season. Once his shooting percentage corrects (adjusted for his career SH%, he'd have 4 goals), we'll see a big burst. We've all been quite impressed with Jarome thus far, as he no longer looks or tallies like a huge liability defensively. Nice to see.

Mike Cammalleri is apparently batling some bumps and may not be in the line-up tonight. He's listed as a "game time decision", so expect Jackman to pull back in and one of Glencross or Stempniak to move up to the top unit in Cammalleri's absence.

TJ Brodie continues to kill it out there, averaging about 19:20 per game since being moved up to the second paring with Dennis Wideman. He's not looking out of place there either, and his scoring chance numbers look pretty solid for a 22 year old facing some stiff comp. 

The Opponent

  • Umberger - Anisimov - Dorsett
  • Brassard - Dubinsky - Foligno
  • Calvert - Letestu - Prospal
  • Gillies - MacKenzie- Boll

  • Jonhson - Erixon
  • Nikitin - Tyutin
  • Holden - Savard

  • Bobrovsky

It's a little hard not to feel bad for Steve Mason, who has had frankly unrealistic expectations placed upon him since the second he walked up the stage to receive the Calder Trophy in 2009. I'm one of the people who doesn't believe Mason was ever really that good - he just had a pretty great run of luck in his rookie season and since then he’s had a ton of pressure on him to be a number one goalie. I don't think there's any question that he can play ~55 games a season, he hasn't really been able to do it effectively on a regular basis. Don't be shocked to see Sergei Bobrovsky take over as the number one permanently around the 15 game mark.

There's obviously no Rick Nash up there, but the package received from the Rangers - albeit a little disappointing in comparison to the rumoured deadline deal - is still quite solid. Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov are both legitimate top-6 players, and Dubinsky is a bit of a lifter: he was one of only 3 New York Rangers forwards to have a positive Corsi rating last year, even though he was hampered with a 41.8% ZS while playing the third-toughest competition among forwards.

Dubinsky is only 26 and Anisimov only 24 - both should be good players for the Jackets for the next half-decade at least. I'm a little more bullish on Tim Erixon than most, especially since I no longer fault him for anything that happened when he was Flames property. All the things I've heard and read about his starting the season in the AHL was due to a lack of strength, not skill - and it makes sense, as the kid is just 21. First round picks are always a good thing to have as well, but I'm not convinced the use of the Rangers' will be optimized in the hands of Scott Howson.

The Jackets have two very interesting young players in Ryan Johansen and Cam Atkinson. While Atkinson is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, he's a pretty exciting, if diminutive (I'd say 5'6, 160 at best) player. Johansen was recently assigned to the Jackets' AHL affiliate in Springfield. He's projected to be a first line center at some point, but the development hasn't been there at the NHL level yet (he's about a PPG player on the farm). However hard it is to believe, though, he's only 20 years old, so he has lots of time. I see a future in Columbus (or Seattle or Quebec City or whatever) that has both of these guys playing on the top line.

Sum It Up

Even given the fact that the Flames are starting a goalie who has had some, ahem, underwhelming results in the pros, this should be a win for the Flames, just like the Colorado game was (supposed to be). Hopefully the Flames can get luck on their side this time.

The Blue Jackets are a team in turmoil, and while they have some nice parts, it won't come together until the development of guys like Johansen, Atkinson and Erixon catches up to that of Callahan et al. The Blue Jackets are one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league, and they play like it.

Go Flames.

A9d138d0e612f28cd46f9b7057ed715d
Justin is a 22-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
Avatar
#101 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
RexLibris wrote:

Getting a reply from you, schevvy, is worth it. =)

I'm flattered Rex :)

Avatar
#102 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 07:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Stajan: still giving the puck away in the neutral zone.

Avatar
#103 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hit the net Iggy!

Avatar
#104 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Kent- Is Washington really as bad as they've been?

Avatar
#105 ChinookArch
February 07 2013, 07:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Why is Dubinsky even in this game?

Avatar
#106 ChinookArch
February 07 2013, 07:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Good penalty.

Avatar
#107 ChinookArch
February 07 2013, 07:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Good penalty.

Avatar
#108 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Not good, not good

Avatar
#109 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ruh-roh.

Avatar
#110 ChinookArch
February 07 2013, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Yeah, now that I've seen the replay, replay.

Avatar
#111 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nikita Nikinen is terrifying

Avatar
#112 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Good kill there

Avatar
#113 negrilcowboy
February 07 2013, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
schevvy wrote:

Nikita Nikinen is terrifying

thought i seen her dancin at tophat schevvy, they are all frightenin there

Avatar
#114 yomamen
February 07 2013, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

OK, one point is ours. Lets grab the other one because EVERY GAME MATTERS, right?

Avatar
#115 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'm interested to see Irving in the shoot out, I've often thought they should sit kipper in the shoot outs, he always goes poke check and gets burnt.

Avatar
#116 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
negrilcowboy wrote:

thought i seen her dancin at tophat schevvy, they are all frightenin there

Hahahahaha well done sir

Avatar
#117 Sc
February 07 2013, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Cmon Irving!

Avatar
#118 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Oye

Avatar
#119 John Deere Green
February 07 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Why the hell do the Flames have so much trouble with the Columbus?

Avatar
#120 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 07:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

CBJ only got one chance on that PP. Chances were 5-2 Flames in the third.

Avatar
#121 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

YES!!!!!

Avatar
#122 schevvy
February 07 2013, 07:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Tanguay!

Avatar
#123 Gunk
February 07 2013, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

lol... Kerr. way to bring the NOOOOISE!

Avatar
#124 yomamen
February 07 2013, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Who says that Tangs gonna score tonight?

Avatar
#125 Baalzamon
February 07 2013, 07:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

well. There is justice after all.

Even so, shameful that they needed OT. BJ's suck.

Avatar
#126 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Woo. nice to pull that one out.

Avatar
#127 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 08:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Scary Gary wrote:

You've got think Tanguay will score before this is over.

:)

Avatar
#128 schevvy
February 07 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

well. There is justice after all.

Even so, shameful that they needed OT. BJ's suck.

2 points is 2 points

Avatar
#129 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 08:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Woo. nice to pull that one out.

JBo must be breathing a sigh of relief.

Avatar
#130 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Brodie had a massive game tonight. He is so impressive so far.

Avatar
#131 Sc
February 07 2013, 08:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Great work by Brodie, nice pass by iggy!

Avatar
#132 Captain Ron
February 07 2013, 08:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Yup, but he wanted to say it again before the commercial break. Only got "Again, skating is key" out though.

Also, count how many times he says "again".

Yeah I know and he puts a lot of emphasis on that word at times. LOL

His book is thin that"s for sure.

Avatar
#133 Captain Ron
February 07 2013, 08:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Brodie had a massive game tonight. He is so impressive so far.

He just seems to keep on getting better. Looking more confident with every game. I really think starting the year in Abby made him realize he was too good for that league. Same thing needs to happen to Sven.

Avatar
#134 Parallex
February 07 2013, 08:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Any word on how Backlund is? Had to get baby off to sleep so if word came I missed it?

Avatar
#135 schevvy
February 07 2013, 08:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Parallex wrote:

Any word on how Backlund is? Had to get baby off to sleep so if word came I missed it?

Re-evaluated tomorrow, probably won't play vs Canucks

Avatar
#136 funkyjaman
February 07 2013, 08:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Some dude on Calpuck is trying to convince folks that Irving is better then Kipper. Its sad. poor guy.

Avatar
#137 Kent Wilson
February 07 2013, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Parallex

No word. He never returned.

Avatar
#138 Parallex
February 07 2013, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Really really hope he's okey. He's been way too important to the team to lose for any significant amount of time.

Avatar
#139 Baalzamon
February 07 2013, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So. Does Taylor start on saturday?

Avatar
#140 Subversive
February 07 2013, 08:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

So. Does Taylor start on saturday?

I hope so, would like to see how he looks. Irving was ok, but still doesn't inspire confidence.

I listened to the 1st on the radio, watched the 2nd and 3rd. Seemed to me like the Flames were the better team for 2 of 3 periods tonight, well earned win.

Avatar
#141 Baalzamon
February 07 2013, 08:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If Backlund is out for the next game, do they call up Horak? Maybe move Cervenka to the middle?

Avatar
#142 FlameinATL
February 07 2013, 08:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props

Get behind this team Calgary.

With each outing, this team will gain confidence and poise. Saturday will tell much. Hurt and tired and at the end of a road trip, we will see how they respond. I think well. This team is skilled, well-coached and gritty.

Get behind this team Calgary.

Go Flames!

Avatar
#143 RKD
February 07 2013, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Big win for Calgary to get back to .500, beating CBJ helps the team to get over that mental roadblock.

I don't like the fact that Backs left with an injury, Cammy was out and Kipper is out. This team can ill-afford injuries especially in a compressed schedule but I guess that is the nature of the beast.

Avatar
#144 McRib
February 07 2013, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Subversive

If it was any other team I would totally agree, but Irving played great against the Canucks last season. His history playing them makes me think he gets the start. He looked nervous in this one but pulling out the win is big for confidence. Do want to see Taylor get a start soon though, he deserves it. Something positive about this situation is that if these two young goalies perform well, then Kipper can take his time getting back to 100%.

Avatar
#145 SaskFlames
February 07 2013, 09:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Flames are seventh in the conference in ROW's....first in the northwest.

Avatar
#146 FlamesSask
February 07 2013, 09:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Oooops, was looking at Colorado, that's embarrassing.

Avatar
#147 Franko J
February 07 2013, 10:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
FlameinATL wrote:

Get behind this team Calgary.

With each outing, this team will gain confidence and poise. Saturday will tell much. Hurt and tired and at the end of a road trip, we will see how they respond. I think well. This team is skilled, well-coached and gritty.

Get behind this team Calgary.

Go Flames!

@ FlamesinATL

100% in agreement!!!

The passion for the majority of Flames fans in this city runs pretty deep. While the team has missed the playoffs for the past 3 seasons has made the most ardent fan skeptical like myself, I am quite impressed how this team has been far and above more entertaining to watch then the past 3 seasons. For the past three seasons I would watch the Flames games with little interest and switch off the games sporadically, now I am more interested in watching this team.

I was most curious to see how Hartley was going to handle the current core of players on this team, win or lose there seems to be more chemistry with the team. Although the the start to this season hasn't been that great for the Flames, I'm under the impression the players right now are buying into Hartley's message and system. Keep the push going Flames.

While this statement has no relevance to this blog, but if the Flames had a song as a mantra or message when they step on the ice listen to a new song from Fall out Boy called:

"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light em Up)" - the chorus rocks and while this is about inspiration and positives I think this song would pump any Flames' fan.

Just sayin'

Avatar
#148 FlameinATL
February 07 2013, 10:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Franco J,

Gotcha. Not ripping the fans or the city. Following my team from 2500 miles away, I have actually grown quite fond of Calgary and hope to visit and see a game or two. I grew accustomed to the, ahem, sights of the Red Mile during the 04 run and consider Calgary my favorite city in our neighbors to the north. I have only been to your great country once; as a child I rode The Canadian across country with my folks, from Vancouver (I was a child...my only excuse!) to Montreal.

I understand the frustration of the last few years with BS, some of the contracts and some of the play. Disheartening at times. But, my god, we would have killed for a 90 point season during the 70s...only had one.

I sometimes detect a note of defeatism amongst Flames fans on the blogs and don't really get it. Getting your heart broken is part of the bargain of being a sports fan; makes the uplifting moments that much sweeter. Over-analyzing, corsi ratings, cynical swipes at every mistake made...just seems sometimes that some do not enjoy their team or the game as much as they could. I am all for constructive criticism and I understand disgruntled fandom, but I will love this team until the day I die, win or lose.

And we have a good team this year...can just feel it in my bones.

Blah, blah, blah...sorry...Go Flames!

Avatar
#149 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
FlameinATL wrote:

Franco J,

Gotcha. Not ripping the fans or the city. Following my team from 2500 miles away, I have actually grown quite fond of Calgary and hope to visit and see a game or two. I grew accustomed to the, ahem, sights of the Red Mile during the 04 run and consider Calgary my favorite city in our neighbors to the north. I have only been to your great country once; as a child I rode The Canadian across country with my folks, from Vancouver (I was a child...my only excuse!) to Montreal.

I understand the frustration of the last few years with BS, some of the contracts and some of the play. Disheartening at times. But, my god, we would have killed for a 90 point season during the 70s...only had one.

I sometimes detect a note of defeatism amongst Flames fans on the blogs and don't really get it. Getting your heart broken is part of the bargain of being a sports fan; makes the uplifting moments that much sweeter. Over-analyzing, corsi ratings, cynical swipes at every mistake made...just seems sometimes that some do not enjoy their team or the game as much as they could. I am all for constructive criticism and I understand disgruntled fandom, but I will love this team until the day I die, win or lose.

And we have a good team this year...can just feel it in my bones.

Blah, blah, blah...sorry...Go Flames!

I love it! Keep the messages coming ATL.

Avatar
#150 Scary Gary
February 07 2013, 11:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

“Everyone has the green light,” said Hartley. “It’s all about common sense. We don’t want to play on our heels. We promised the fans that we could give them an uptempo team. We’re far from perfect . . . but we’re certainly exciting.”

What a breath of fresh air! Sutter hockey aged me, especially in the third periods...

Comments are closed for this article.