FGD: A Visit from Nashville

Ryan Pike
March 15 2013 04:46PM

It'll be Western Night at the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight as the Flames host the Nashville Predators. Expect cowboy hats, Taylor Swift and a very tight-checking defensive game. Game-time is 7pm and you can tune in on Sportsnet West or Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames (10-11-4) are attempting to extend their home winning streak to six games and to return to the .500 mark. The Predators (11-10-6) sit just four points up on Calgary and the Flames have two games in hand, so this is a huge opportunity for the Flames to become relevant again in the playoff picture. The Preds got stomped last night in Vancouver, losing 7-4...so, yes it's another opponent on the 2nd night of a B2B.

THE LINE-UP

As per usual, the Flames had an optional skate prior to tonight's game. Many players didn't suit up, although Sportsnet's Roger Millions tweeted that no line-up changes were expected from the group that beat Detroit on Wednesday night.

  • Tanguay – Cammalleri – Iginla
  • Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Comeau – Backlund – Hudler
  • McGrattan – Begin – Jackman

  • Brodie – Bouwmeester
  • Giordano – Wideman
  • Smith – Butler

  • Kiprusoff

There's no guarantee that Roman Cervenka doesn't slot back in, but there doesn't seem to be anybody that obviously drops out of the line-up.

The Flames will be trying to play a complete game. Most of the wins on their home streak have come via strong third period efforts, but the team has to find a way to put their mark on a game prior to the third period. The lucked out against Detroit after being handily outshot for the first two frames.

Calgary's second line continues to drive the bus offensively, contributing three even-strength goals against Detroit. Stajan and Stempniak have been the team's most consistent players this season, with Glencross (and Bouwmeester) slightly behind.

THE OPPOSITION

Nashville didn't skate this morning after their game in Vancouver, so all we can do is guess what their line-up will be. Here's roughly what their lines were at the end of last night's contest.

  • Halischuk – Legwand – Boychuk
  • Yip – Smith – Erat
  • Spaling – Fisher - Clune
  • Kostitsyn – Butler - Bourque

  • Weber – Josi
  • Ellis – Hannan
  • Klein – Bartley

  • Rinne

Rinne will start for the Preds. Scratches against Vancouver were Jonathan Blum and Chris Mueller. Paul Gaustad is out with an upper body injury. Colin Wilson and Patrich Hornqvist are also hurt.

The Preds are not an offensively-oriented team, as evidenced by them scoring seven fewer goals than Calgary in two more games (and that rather unappealing depth chart above). Heck, their leading scorer – Colin Wilson – has 19 points, comparable with four Flames (Tanguay, Iginla, Cammalleri and Stempniak) that have roughly that many points in fewer games.

That said, the Preds are much better defensively than Calgary, mostly because they have enjoy consistently good goaltending from Pekka Rinne and can turn the neutral zone into a quagmire.

SUM IT UP

The Flames have a winnable game in front of them and the chance to get back to .500, but they desperately need to be better in the first two periods than they were against Detroit. Nashville is a very hard team to catch up to once they get a lead and they play a strong, stifling defensive game.

Calgary was good enough to beat Detroit on Wednesday, but they'll need to play a better, more complete 60-minute game to repeat that result tonight against the Predators.

PS - Kent has 4 tickets to the HItmen gamr tomorrow night whic he can't use as well as a parking pass to get in. Section 119, row 12. First person to emal him (kent.wilson@gmail.com) gets them.

 

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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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#51 Vintage Flame
March 15 2013, 09:23PM
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It's so obvious that with Lee Stempniak's offensive re-emergence, that he reads Flames Nation

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#52 Vowswithin
March 15 2013, 09:24PM
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I know i am talking a lot but damn ita quiet in here.

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#53 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:24PM
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Someone at sportsnet is a little trigger happy on the 'going to commercials' music.

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#54 RKD
March 15 2013, 09:26PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

I know i am talking a lot but damn ita quiet in here.

Probably b/c they are winning the game, just like people don't call in to local sports talk radio shows when the team is doing well. One loss here and everyone wants blood, trade everyone, fire the GM, coach, etc.

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#55 Vintage Flame
March 15 2013, 09:28PM
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Very quiet for an FGD

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#56 Vintage Flame
March 15 2013, 09:29PM
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Can't believe I'm about to say this but I have really liked Stajan's play

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#57 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:29PM
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@Vintage Flame

I'm annoying you folks since I'm pretty much talking to myself over at Matchsticks and Gasoline.

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#58 RKD
March 15 2013, 09:31PM
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Glencross!!

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#59 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:31PM
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GLEN. CROSS.

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#60 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:32PM
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Haha fan left hanging on the hi5. Glencross can do no wrong.

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#61 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:33PM
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hah wow. Even Mcgrattan contributing.

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#62 Vintage Flame
March 15 2013, 09:34PM
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Colin S wrote:

I'm annoying you folks since I'm pretty much talking to myself over at Matchsticks and Gasoline.

ALL the cool kids hang out here, don't ya know...

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#63 schevvy
March 15 2013, 09:34PM
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McGratten drew a penalty...

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#64 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:36PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

ALL the cool kids hang out here, don't ya know...

So it seems. A couple years ago those gamethreads would get to 300+ a night for regular season games and 3x gamethreads for playoff (ha ha Ha hahaha.....) games. The functionality is so much better for live updates.

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#65 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:37PM
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8 RFAs, 4 UFAs for the preds next year with 19 mil to spend. I hope the boys weren't expecting too much of a raise.

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#66 schevvy
March 15 2013, 09:38PM
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So hey guys. Let's comment this up

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#67 schevvy
March 15 2013, 09:41PM
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Why is Cervenka sitting and McGratten playing?

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#68 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:43PM
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schevvy wrote:

Why is Cervenka sitting and McGratten playing?

Because the stone-cold saluter is a penalty drawing machine! But seriously no idea. I think the way Nashville are playing he'd have two assists.

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#69 schevvy
March 15 2013, 09:45PM
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@Scary Gary

Agreed. I don't understand some of Hartley's moves

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#70 RKD
March 15 2013, 09:45PM
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schevvy wrote:

Why is Cervenka sitting and McGratten playing?

Roman has been in Hartley's doghouse for a while, in fact Comeau had been getting equal if not more ice time than him. 8 points in 20 games just ain't going to cut it, plus being a -7 doesn't help the cause.

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#71 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:47PM
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RKD wrote:

Roman has been in Hartley's doghouse for a while, in fact Comeau had been getting equal if not more ice time than him. 8 points in 20 games just ain't going to cut it, plus being a -7 doesn't help the cause.

Tanguay is -8 but I'd play him every night.

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#72 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:49PM
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Nice block, Mickis.

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#73 RKD
March 15 2013, 09:50PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

Tanguay is -8 but I'd play him every night.

True, but Cervenka is no Tanguay. It's his first crack in the NHL plus he's not playing with Jagr. He definitely seems more suited for a winger role instead of being a center. However, he can still be a whole lot better when he is engaged and shooting.

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#74 mattyc
March 15 2013, 09:50PM
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This isn't necessarily an indictment of McGrattan, because I think he's been about replacement level... But how many fights has he had? I can only remember one...

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#75 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:51PM
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Thoughts on Weber? I think they should have let Phili sign him for that inordinate contract.

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#76 Kent Wilson
March 15 2013, 09:51PM
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@Vintage Flame

Friday night.

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#77 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:53PM
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RKD wrote:

True, but Cervenka is no Tanguay. It's his first crack in the NHL plus he's not playing with Jagr. He definitely seems more suited for a winger role instead of being a center. However, he can still be a whole lot better when he is engaged and shooting.

Yes sir, I hope he can get his legs under him before the end of the year so we can make a true assessment.

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#78 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 09:55PM
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No Hortichuck, no Tootoo, no fight tonight?

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#79 Colin S
March 15 2013, 09:55PM
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Better for Edmonton to win tonight? They are closed to us in the standings, but Detroit is in a more threatening position in the standings.

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#80 Kent Wilson
March 15 2013, 09:57PM
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Kipper with another mediocre night.

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#81 RKD
March 15 2013, 09:59PM
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Glencross again! What a guy!

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#82 Big Ell
March 15 2013, 10:01PM
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"The Predators ain't goin anywhere," said Kerr. God I hate Rob Kerr. They replaced a toilet full of Peter Loubardias with a steaming pile of Rob Kerr. And Charlie Dimmer jesus. I never use the Calgary feed on Game Center. Terry Crisp eats Simmer's lunch, Terry the lisp Crisp.

Nice hat trick Glenncross!

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#83 Kent Wilson
March 15 2013, 10:02PM
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Chances were 4-2 Flames in the third. Legit win.

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#84 Colin S
March 15 2013, 10:03PM
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Should be noted that it was a natural third period hat trick for Glenny.

EDIT: If you don't consider the alternating Preds goals to interfere with 'Natural'.

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#85 schevvy
March 15 2013, 10:05PM
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Good win. They should have won. Now let's see how they do on the road trip. 3 winnable games (Dallas, Nashville, Columbus)

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#86 Vowswithin
March 15 2013, 10:08PM
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Nashville was prettty bad tonight, what happened to the nashville of a year or two ago?

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#87 Colin S
March 15 2013, 10:11PM
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@Vowswithin

They lost the Suter-Weber combo, but they aren't as bad as they looked tonight. Bad road trip magnified with back to back nights. After getting destroyed by Van.

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#88 Kent Wilson
March 15 2013, 10:12PM
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@Vowswithin

Second night of a B2B and more than a few good players injured. Also, Nashville wasn't even that good last year. A high SH% at ES and on the PP floated their boat.

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#89 Colin S
March 15 2013, 10:13PM
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I've noticed that Calgary has been really lucky with getting several games at home with teams playing on their second night of a back to back. Does anyone have numbers on the home games played by a team facing a road team on the second of a back to back?

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#90 Scary Gary
March 15 2013, 10:22PM
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Colin S wrote:

I've noticed that Calgary has been really lucky with getting several games at home with teams playing on their second night of a back to back. Does anyone have numbers on the home games played by a team facing a road team on the second of a back to back?

I thought I'd heard Dimmer say eight.

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#91 HeyPatty!
March 15 2013, 11:06PM
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So looks like we are due for a nice little win streak here. For a minute I had this delusional idea that we could still trade Iggy & see if we could get Dallas to give us a 2nd for Cerevenka & let Rajan Stajan lead us to the playoffs. Kinda rebuild & be competitive at the same time. My God, Feaster was right!!

Then I woke up.

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#92 Colin S
March 15 2013, 11:42PM
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@HeyPatty!

Someone just watched No Country For old Men

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#93 Q
March 17 2013, 11:43PM
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To be honest I'm not sure what to think this year regarding trade speculation. On one hand I believe management will keep Iggy as he's made them a boat load of money. On the other hand where there have been so many scouts visiting from all the teams in speculation, I'd like to think something is up. My other thought is that maybe, just maybe iggy and management have a mutual agreement to not say a word and a decision has already been made. If he goes anywhere I am leaning on the Sutter- iggy thing. We better be getting more than Bernier though! What if management has a deal in place worked out with iggy so he is a rental and comes back because of trade upgrades ? Too many scenarios! We could have a solid future with the likes of kipper iggy and jaybo traded. Remember Darryl loves jaybo too! I'm more inclined to think kipper goes nowhere but if he went anywhere it would be Toronto. Good fit. GlennX is our next captain if all three are gone. Just make a decision already Flames. We're out in 4 either way if we get into the dance so none of these decisions have a bearing on anything! As a fan I'd love to watch a young , more competitive team with a future! This draft is deep and we should make hey now. All about the future as the present is more of the same!

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