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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#101 the forgotten man
March 08 2013, 10:32PM
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At least Kipper is padding his save percentage.

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#102 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:32PM
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Chances ended up 6-4 ANA in the second. They took over in the latter half of the period.

Jarome's line is giving up the most chances against so far.

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#103 Q
March 08 2013, 10:34PM
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I get no joy in seeing the oil crap out because they'll get another top 5 pick. Well just miss the playoffs again and another crap pick ! Totally dissapointed tonight!

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#104 mattyc
March 08 2013, 10:35PM
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I can't wait for the cliches by sportsnet 'analyzing' this game...

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#105 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 10:35PM
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All I can say is F---. Giordano is brutal. Two giveaways in 2 consecutive games that have led to 2 goals, fortunately, they scored more than San Jose, but this game, they were already trailing. Kiprusoff was lights out last game, this game, no way he is at 100% The fact that Fasth is un flippin conscious is something else. Shots on goal before the second goal, 22-9 for Calgary, the 2nd period ends 22-15.

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#106 Q
March 08 2013, 10:37PM
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What a waste of the last 2 hrs. Nice effort punks ! On to LA to get worked over like a thanksgiving turkey! Blow this pile of turd up!

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#107 McCullagh
March 08 2013, 10:38PM
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Gio should sit. He has been a liability often this year. He is better that this which is the frustrating part. But does not help when you outshoot /chance and don't finish. Frustrating. Those bad Gio commercials are not helping.

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#108 Kevin R
March 08 2013, 10:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances ended up 6-4 ANA in the second. They took over in the latter half of the period.

Jarome's line is giving up the most chances against so far.

Was reading on the fourth period that it sounded like Jerome hasnt even started negotiations yet, which seems weird to me & that if they are out of the playoffs by the trade deadline he has OK'd a trade. How legit are these guys?

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#109 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 10:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Chances ended up 6-4 ANA in the second. They took over in the latter half of the period.

Jarome's line is giving up the most chances against so far.

Have any of the Flames lines been effective at all?

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#110 A
March 08 2013, 10:39PM
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Giordano is playing pre-Russia . He looks aweful! I think bob thinks comeau and stajan are the greatest thing since sliced bread! Make me sick!

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#111 John Deere Green
March 08 2013, 10:41PM
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I know goaltenders take a lot of heat when they let a lot of goals in, but can you imagine trying to see under/around/over 2-3-4 guys that are at least 6'1" and 200+ pounds, when a guy at the point is teeing up a 95 mph slap shot?

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#112 Q
March 08 2013, 10:42PM
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Poor Sven! They're screwing with his confidence and potential! Begin isn't even nhl worthy!

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#113 the forgotten man
March 08 2013, 10:43PM
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Schadenfreude i/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/ (German: [ˈʃaːdənˌfʁɔʏdə]) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others...see Oilers Nation

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#114 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:43PM
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@Chris Fairfield

Yeah. Top two lines above water for sure.

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#115 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 10:45PM
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I ask myself before each Calgary game, which Flames team will show up.

A. The team that go balls out for the first 20 minutes, scores and then sits back.

B. The team that comes out flat, gets in a deep hole and then almost comes back, but falls short.

C. A team that plays consistent for a full 60 minutes.

Tonight, who knows. If they are going down, go down swinging, not whimpering, with sloppy passes and no trafiic in front of Fasth. Start a fight for god's sake!

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#116 Q
March 08 2013, 10:45PM
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If I'm iggy I'm all over a trade! What does he get out of playing here...empty promises and almost identical signings year after year? Make it happen iggy!

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#117 Q
March 08 2013, 10:47PM
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You guys get pleasure from the oil sucking? I don't! Now if its the nucks, that's as good as two wins! The oil just keep loading up on picks and we get older and older and older!

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#118 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 10:48PM
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This kid is NOT asking Gio the right questions....

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#119 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:49PM
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Hat trick for McGratten coming up..here we go!

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#120 Q
March 08 2013, 10:50PM
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Later kids. Had my fill now! Thought we might have a chance tonight! Gonna get ugly this weekend!

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#121 schevvy
March 08 2013, 10:50PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

This kid is NOT asking Gio the right questions....

Hey Gio, why do you turn the puck over so much? Do you know how to make a pass to a teammate?

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#122 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:51PM
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"Stickhandling in a phone book!"

Oh Kerr.

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#124 RKD
March 08 2013, 10:56PM
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Pens are very interested in Iggy, he and Crosby could do some damage in the playoffs.

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#125 the forgotten man
March 08 2013, 10:57PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

"Stickhandling in a phone book!"

Oh Kerr.

After Tom Swifties, you'll soon find Rob Kerrisms.

"Stickhandling in a phone book!" CALLED Rob Kerr

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#126 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 10:59PM
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Chances are 3-1 in this period for CGY so far, including at least 2 10-bellers. Can't buy one.

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#127 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 11:00PM
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Giordano better be benched next game.

sorry, double post

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#128 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 11:00PM
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Giordano better be benched next game.

Another Giordano giveaway, that's 3.

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#129 the forgotten man
March 08 2013, 11:01PM
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Doesn't show in standings but if Avalanche make playoffs healthy they could do some damage...I wish we could swap our roster for theirs.

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#130 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 11:03PM
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15 blocked shots for Ducks

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#131 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 11:03PM
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Tanguay has been invisiable this game.

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#132 mcculb
March 08 2013, 11:05PM
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I hope Begin is done.

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#133 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 11:06PM
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As bad as the results are, I have to give credit to the Stajan line tonight. They've been really good and have faced the tougher minutes to boot.

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#134 Chris Fairfield
March 08 2013, 11:08PM
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How close is Backlund to being cleared?

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#135 mcculb
March 08 2013, 11:08PM
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Wishful thinking.

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#136 Vintage Flame
March 08 2013, 11:09PM
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Chris Fairfield wrote:

How close is Backlund to being cleared?

Might play tomorrow... MAYBE. According to Roger Millions, he's real close

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#138 John Deere Green
March 08 2013, 11:10PM
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No shots on net on the PP? Shocking. The Flames are making the most of their up tempo play this year.

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#140 Kent Wilson
March 08 2013, 11:12PM
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Wow. What god did Gio piss off in the summer?

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#141 John Deere Green
March 08 2013, 11:13PM
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Is tomorrow's game on CBC?

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#142 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 11:13PM
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The better team loses 4-0. Too bad, and very deflating.

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#144 mcculb
March 08 2013, 11:13PM
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Gio now sits. Thank god we have Sarich. Nice to have depth.

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#145 ChinookArch
March 08 2013, 11:15PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Wow. What god did Gio piss off in the summer?

I don't know but he made the Pope quit too.

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#146 schevvy
March 08 2013, 11:15PM
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In honour of VF going to the Price is Right tomorrow:

The price is wrong b*tch!

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#147 the forgotten man
March 08 2013, 11:15PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Wow. What god did Gio piss off in the summer?

The God of Complacency

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#148 schevvy
March 08 2013, 11:16PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

I don't know but he made the Pope quit too.

Hahahahaha yes.

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#149 Q
March 08 2013, 11:17PM
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Is this really the team feasters settling with? Wow. They looked like little boys out there. Loved the quote by bob that said he wanted his biggest guys out there! Hilarious! Lol city tonight! We blow chunks!

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#150 Gunk
March 08 2013, 11:18PM
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BOO-URNS

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