FGD: On Frozen Pond

Ryan Pike
March 08 2013 11:26AM

 

 

Unlike most people, your Calgary Flames really hate going to Disneyland.

While other people go to Disneyland, ride Space Mountain and fill themselves up with cotton candy and childhood whimsy, all the Flames do in Anaheim is lose. The last time the Calgary Flames won a hockey game in Anaheim was January 19, 2004. That was before the last two NHL lockouts.

The Flames roster included Roman Turek, Jamie McLennan, Denis Gauthier, Jordan Leopold, Chuck Kobasew, Shean Donovan, Chris Clark, Matthew Lombardi, Oleg Saprykin, Lynn Loyns, Andrew Ference, Craig Conroy, Martin Gelinas, Josh Green, Steven Reinprecht, Robyn Regehr, Toni Lydman, Krzysztof Oliwa, Dean McAmmond and Rhett Warrener. Conroy had a four-point night and Gelinas had the game-winning goal in a 5-1 rout. Both are currently part of the Flames hockey operations department and both, oddly, will be in the building for the Flames' return to the house of horrors. The only Flames still around from that era are Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla, who by sheer coincidence both missed that game due to injury.

Since January 2004, the Flames have lost 15 straight regular season visits to Anaheim's Honda Center, going 0-10-5 in the process. In a more encouraging note, the Flames have gone 0-3-5 over the last four seasons in Anaheim, so at least they're getting points. But they'd much rather get two points, particularly in a season where they're trying to stay above that pesky .500 mark.

Can the Flames change the House of Mouse from a house of horrors into a house of victory? Find out tonight at 8:30pm MT on Sportsnet 960 The Fan and Sportsnet West.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames have quietly been on a bit of a tear of late, going 4-1-1 in their last six and picking up wins over Minnesota, Phoenix, Vancouver and San Jose. That's got to give them some confidence. More encouragingly, the Flames have scored four or more goals in four of their last five games – the lone exception being their 2-1 overtime loss against Minnesota. Now that Miikka Kiprusoff is back in the saddle, the message is likely “if you can score four, you should always win.”

Jarome Iginla has six goals in his last five games. The Flames' PK has only allowed two goals in the last nine games (or two in the last 30 kills), while the PP has produced four goals in the same time-span. If that continues, the team will be in good shape.

Given Calgary's success last game it's not likely that they'll change up their line substantially. Here's how things ended last game.

  • Glencross – Stajan - Stempniak
  • Hudler – Cervenka – Iginla
  • Tanguay – Cammalleri - Comeau
  • Baertschi – Jackman - McGrattan

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

  • Kiprusoff

The obvious change may come on the fourth line, as Comeau may stay on the third line but that leaves the fourth without an actual centre. So expect somebody to rotate out so that Steve Begin can slot back in. The top two lines both performed rather well against San Jose, while Chris Butler ate up a ton of minutes.

THE OPPOSITION

The Ducks are rolling, with just three regulation losses all season and a 3-0-2 record in their last five games. Oddly, their last three games have been against the Phoenix Coyotes. The club is second only to those pesky Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings.

Here's how their lines were last game.

  • Getzlaf – Perry - Ryan
  • Winnik – Koivu – Cogliano
  • Beleskey – Bonino – Selanne
  • McMillan – Holland - Etem

  • Fowler – Lydman
  • Beauchemin - Souray
  • Sbisa - Lovejoy

  • Fasth

I'd expect Victor Fasth to start, but that's merely a guess as he's their number-one nowadays. That Ducks top line is quite good (combining for 66 points so far), while their second line is also pretty solid. Their fourth line has potential, which is a polite way of saying they're not great yet but might be at some point down the road. Also, Ryan Getzlaf was re-signed for 8 years today, so expect him to be their first line center until the next lock-out.

The last time the Flames faced the Ducks, Ben Lovejoy was with the Penguins. His addition fills out their defense corps a bit and makes them a bit harder to play against. Of course, the thing that makes them tough to play against is the fact that the team has bought into Bruce Boudreau's systems and are playing a strong team game.

SUM IT UP

The Ducks are quite good and have already beaten Calgary this year. But with the Flames full of piss and vinegar with a handful of recent wins and the return of Miikka Kiprusoff, there may be no better time than the present for Calgary to exorcise some Disneyland demons.

After all, the losing streak in the O.C. has to end eventually, right? Right?

 

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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 Bean-counting cowboy
March 08 2013, 09:37PM
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Things gotta turn around for the flames in the 2nd.

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#52 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 09:38PM
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Amazing the Ducks are still in the lead right now.

Calgary's best line has been...Comeau's. HARTLEY KNOWS ALL.

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#53 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 09:39PM
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Chances were 8-2 Flames in the first.

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#54 schevvy
March 08 2013, 09:40PM
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Well, looks like the Flames still have the Honda Center in their heads haha. Can't bury the biscuit

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#55 Parallex
March 08 2013, 09:41PM
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I hate games like this... I'd rather see them losing a game that they deserve to lose not one where by all rights they ought to be winning.

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#56 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 09:42PM
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Flames edged the Ducks 12-11 in the face-off circle. That's encouraging considering it's an area the Ana usually punishes them in.

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#57 seve927
March 08 2013, 09:44PM
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Comeau still has trouble with some of the basic skills. Like standing up. He is looking waaaay better last few games though.

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#58 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 09:47PM
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I can't imagine the Ducks will be that bad in the second. Their depth is dubious, but the top-end can dominate.

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#59 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 09:53PM
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@Kent Wilson

If Perry and Ryan are a little banged up, it's possible... no?

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#60 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 09:56PM
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Don't think anyone ever wore 61.

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#61 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 09:57PM
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YIKES

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#62 loudogYYC
March 08 2013, 09:58PM
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I can't help but laugh at Comeau sometimes...

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#63 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:02PM
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Wow. The Ducks look even worse than the first so far.

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#64 seve927
March 08 2013, 10:04PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Don't think anyone ever wore 61.

What was Nazarov? 62?

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#65 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:06PM
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@seve927

Yup

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#66 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 10:06PM
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This is just the kind of game GlenX would score in. That said, first Flames goal goes to Giordano.

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#67 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:09PM
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This is the kind of game we could really use Oleg Saprykin

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#68 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 10:10PM
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@Vintage Flame

Scoring from an impossible angle - yes.

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#69 seve927
March 08 2013, 10:10PM
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Cervenka's really starting to come around it looks like.

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#70 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:11PM
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Really good game from the team all around so far.

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#71 Baalzamon
March 08 2013, 10:11PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Don't think anyone ever wore 61.

For the Flames? John Negrin.

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#72 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:12PM
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@Baalzamon

Not in a regular season game

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#73 funkyjaman
March 08 2013, 10:13PM
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This is a great game.

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#74 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:15PM
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@Vintage Flame

Didn't Negrin play a game at the end of the 08-09 season?

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#75 seve927
March 08 2013, 10:16PM
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I didn't like Brodie down on the third pairing, but I've got to admit, suddenly all 3 pairings are looking pretty solid.

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#76 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:16PM
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I can't believe I'm missing the game tomorrow, Kelly Hrudey appreciation night... because I have to go to the Price is Right...

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#77 Gunk
March 08 2013, 10:16PM
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man do the ducks look sloppy tonight. If the flames keep up this pressure surely we'll pop one in soon.

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#78 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:17PM
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@seve927

Well, even Comeau looks like a superstar tonight.

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#79 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:18PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I can't believe I'm missing the game tomorrow, Kelly Hrudey appreciation night... because I have to go to the Price is Right...

COME ON DOWN!

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#80 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:19PM
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Unreal

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#81 RKD
March 08 2013, 10:19PM
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Brutal, isn't that the second straight game a Gio giveaway has led to a direct goal?

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#82 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:20PM
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Gio has had a less than fantastic year

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#83 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:20PM
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And of course the Ducks score on just their third chance of the period.

Horseshoes.

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#84 Q
March 08 2013, 10:21PM
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Who ordered the pooh pooh platter? Where the he77 is Iginla? Ovaa!

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#85 ClYDE
March 08 2013, 10:22PM
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Game over. I hope we win the lottery and can take Jones. Are the Oilers allowed to pick first again or was there a rule against that. Man, are they brutal.

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#87 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:24PM
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Ugh

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#88 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 10:24PM
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Unbelievable.

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#89 Gunk
March 08 2013, 10:24PM
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bugger me. how deflating is this...

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#90 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:24PM
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Sigh. Flames dominate the whole game and they're down 3-0.

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#91 Kevin
March 08 2013, 10:25PM
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UGHHHHHHHH... what a waste of a great effort

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#92 RKD
March 08 2013, 10:25PM
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And the streak continues

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#93 Q
March 08 2013, 10:25PM
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I don't like the choice to have begin tonight! Wasting svens opportunity! Freakn pisses me off that comeau is like bobs messiah now! Couldn't give a rats about comeau. Get iggy out there for he77 sake bob! Freakn route now! We won't get a point on this trip! Later . Seen enough of this crap!

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#94 Baalzamon
March 08 2013, 10:26PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Not in a regular season game

Quite true, not in one regular season game. In three regular season games.

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#95 Kevin R
March 08 2013, 10:26PM
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ClYDE wrote:

Game over. I hope we win the lottery and can take Jones. Are the Oilers allowed to pick first again or was there a rule against that. Man, are they brutal.

They are bad, so much for the SI predictions. Where's Rex, I think he needs to do a piece on how to blow up & rebuild twice in four years. There must be startedgy. Probably starts with having Steve Tambellini as GM.

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#96 Q
March 08 2013, 10:29PM
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Nice finish ladies! Seriously if I see stajan and comeau out there one more time I'm gonna puke!

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#97 RKD
March 08 2013, 10:29PM
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The only solace I can take is knowing the Oilers got slaughtered 6-0 by Nashville, thank you Preds!

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#98 Q
March 08 2013, 10:30PM
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I thought bob was supposed to be a pro at handling the star players. Yeah he's inspiring em tonight !

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#99 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:31PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Quite true, not in one regular season game. In three regular season games.

Hmmm I stand corrected.

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#100 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 10:31PM
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This is deflating for me, the players must want to put heads in the fetal position.

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