FGD: Opening the Pre-Season with the Oilers & Weekend Open Thread

Ryan Pike
September 14 2013 02:10PM

Flames Vs Oilers

Well, hockey returns to our beloved Scotiabank Saddledome on a Saturday night, in the form of a pre-season battle between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

In this special kick-off to the pre-season calendar for both clubs, there's a 7pm game in Calgary (broadcast via Sportsnet 960 The Fan) and an 8pm game in Edmonton (brought to you by 630 CHED).

It's my understanding that the Oilers site is streaming the Edmonton game and the Flames site is streaming the Calgary game. Both teams are hoping to come away with a pair of wins and a lot of understanding about where their players fit into their NHL line-ups. Here's a look at what's happening in Calgary.

THE LINE-UP

As per Pat Steinberg, the lines for the Flames:

  • Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Cammalleri – Backlund – D. Jones
  • Ferland – Monahan – Poirier
  • B. Jones – Knight – Nemisz
  • Giordano – Brodie
  • Culkin – O'Brien
  • Sieloff – Ramage
  • MacDonald
  • Ortio

It's a mostly NHL line-up (two NHL lines, an NHL D-pairing, the NHL back-up...), along with some interesting prospects. That third line could be killer, as well as the third blueline pairing. Here's the first big test for Ryan Culkin to see if he's pro-ready yet. In a fun bit of trivia, John Ramage's first exhibition game is in the Saddledome, where his dad played – and he'll probably pass the 1989 Stanley Cup photo outside the locker room on the way to the ice. And it's a great test for Monahan, who's been fantastic in camp thus far.

For the curious, the fellas not playing in either pre-season are goalie Laurent Brossoit, blueliners Chad Billins, Mark Cundari, James Martin, Brady Lamb, Eric Roy, Tyler Wotherspoon, Chris Breen and Zach McKelvie, and forwards Max Reinhart, Turner Elson, Coda Gordon, David Eddy, Brett Olson, Steve Begin, Morgan Klimchuk and Carter Bancks. Outside of Elson, Reinhart, Roy, Breen, Gordon and Klimchuk, who are all injured, it's a lot of try-out players and guys on the AHL fringes. And Wotherspoon and Billins, oddly, though they may be victims of the numbers game in terms of able blueliners.

THE OPPOSITION

Via the Oilers Twitter account, their lines in Calgary:

  • Hamilton – Gagner – Eberle
  • Jones – Gordon – Perron
  • Eager – Acton – Pitlick
  • Bilcke – Ewanyk – Chase
  • Smid – Petry
  • N. Schultz – Fedun
  • Larsen – Marincin
  • LaBarbera
  • Bachman

A bit more of a youngster-filled roster for the Oilers. There are a few stars here (Gagner, Eberle, Perron and Schultz), but generally a test for how their newer players can handle a trip into a hostile building against a more veteran-laden club. And Hitmen forward Greg Chase, chosen by the Oilers in the seventh round in the 2013 draft, makes his exhibition debut in the building he always plays in. Nice touch there, too.

SUM IT UP

Two games in two cities between the same two teams is a fun way to kick off the pre-season. The Flames would love to get some winning into their system early-on, particularly against the Oilers. The countdown to the regular season continues.

Check out OilersNation for the dumbed-down preview regarding the game in Shelbyville.

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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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#1 the forgotten man
September 15 2013, 11:22PM
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Valeri Nichushkin, a 2013 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars, is proving to be everything NHL scouts envisioned this weekend at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

The No. 10 selection has scored twice, including a highlight-reel goal in the tournament opener, shown responsibility with the puck and generated quality scoring chances for teammates in 5-on-5 and power-play situations.

Nichushkin oozes confidence. That's evident by the way he carries himself during warmups and team stretches. He has that same strong build, smile and demeanor that Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk had during their time in Traverse City for their respective teams.

Nichushkin is one of six Russian-born players participating in this year's event, along with Dmitrij Jaskin (2011, No. 41) of the St. Louis Blues, Alexei Marchenko (2011, No. 205) of the Detroit Red Wings, Nikita Zadorov (2013, No. 16) of the Buffalo Sabres, free-agent signee Sergey Tolchinsky of the Carolina Hurricanes and tournament invite Rinat Valiev of the Stars.

Valeri Nichushkin has scored twice at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, including a highlight-reel goal in the tournament opener. (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI) In three games, the 6-foot-4, 201-pound Nichushkin has two points and a plus-1 rating, and has generated a team-leading 11 shots on goal.

His contributions have gone far beyond the score sheet, however.

"I think his skill level is obvious, but there have been other things that maybe the casual observer doesn't see," Doug Lidster, a two-time Stanley Cup champion who now works as an assistant coach for the Stars' American Hockey League affiliate in Texas, told NHL.com. "In our power play walkthrough on the first day, a defenseman lost the puck on a drill. Right away he grabbed another one, threw it back to the guy that fumbled the puck and said in broken English, 'Hey, let's do it again.' He took charge right away.

"Later on in practice, a defenseman missed a shift and didn't jump out there so Valeri jumped out and took charge. I like that. I like the fact he's not sitting back despite being in a foreign country, working on a second language and being with a new team. He's jumping out there trying to become a better player, trying to help his teammates be better. That's what has impressed me."

Nichushkin excelled in 25 postseason games with Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2012-13, totaling six goals, nine points and a plus-5 rating. That followed a regular season that saw him score four goals in 18 games, be named the KHL Rookie of the Month three times and win the KHL's Alexei Cherepanov Award, presented annually to the league's top rookie. But unless he's playing in the NHL in 2013-14, he'll return to the KHL. The Stars signed Nichushkin to a three-year, entry-level deal July 6, and the intent is for him to remain in Dallas.

Funny, but I recall the Flames brain trust and their lackeys telling us Nischuskin was flaky, unpredictable and not a "team-guy"...but the Flames don't need any goal scorers anyways...just GRIT.

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#2 Alsker
September 14 2013, 04:22PM
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No GDB on ON yet..so hello cgy., should be interesting games, hope you guys stream ur home one, would be great to see both our bubble/junior type guys. Heres hoping, almost forgot SUCK IT CALGARY!!!!LOL, Enjoy the games everyone.

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#3 Avalain
September 14 2013, 10:07PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Stay strong, schev.

;-)

Maybe win the Cup AND get 1st overall. Not sure how, maybe Burke just scowls at the lottery draft until Bettman gives in?

Obviously we get the 1st overall by trading with Edmonton for their 1st. Easy.

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#4 FireOnIce
September 15 2013, 08:26PM
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Just throwing it out there, but Zemgus Girgensons has 2 goals tonight in the BUF-MON game. One of them a shortie.

Where is the Big Jankowski right now?

Nichushkin also had 2 for Dallas.

I'm so damn excited for hockey, I don't even care if the Flames go 0-82. Well... maybe.

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#5 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:13PM
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schevvy wrote:

You kidding me? After that goal by Poirier I'm thinking Stanley Cup. Plan the parade

Stay strong, schev.

;-)

Maybe win the Cup AND get 1st overall. Not sure how, maybe Burke just scowls at the lottery draft until Bettman gives in?

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#6 Clay
September 14 2013, 04:59PM
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Interested in seeing how Ferland stacks up. He is a Burke type player, looked good in prospect camp, and Hartley has been singing his praises. Sounds like he came to camp in pretty good shape.

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#7 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:34PM
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@RexLibris

Brodie = Al McInnis obviously... :)))))

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#8 Baalzamon
September 15 2013, 12:33AM
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I was out drinking all night. What did I miss?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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#9 piscera.infada
September 15 2013, 10:35AM
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@Kmp

Minus the goal where he got caught up ice, I though Kanzig looked really good last night. I assumed he was going to get dominated by NHLers last night, and that didn't happen. I wasn't able to see much from him during the Youngstars, so I was unable to sing his praises as many on here were doing during that tournament. After watching that game last night, I have to agree. He looked far better than I thought he would patrolling the offensive blue line. The guy is calm back there. That patience allowed him to make a great pass to Sven on the play that set up the Jooris tying goal.

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#10 beloch
September 15 2013, 03:13PM
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How doable is it to improve a player like Kanzig's skating? Could the Kinesiology people at the U give him exercises that might help him improve his stride?

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#11 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 02:31PM
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I'd expect the Flames to win in Calgary, and lose in Edmonton. Hall is going to destroy some of our kids.

Man, that was hard to say...

Cammy-Backlund-Jones. I like that line, a lot. Cammy for the scoring, Jones and Backlund to get dirty with the puck.

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#12 beloch
September 14 2013, 04:33PM
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These games are more a test of coaching and practice structure than player quality. It sounds like the Flames may have spent a bit more time in scrimmages than the Oilers, so it will be interesting to see if they come out of the gate strong or, alternatively, have flaws in their system since they spent less time on it.

The rosters appear to be stacked to favor victory at home for both teams, so the real question is whether or not there will be a surprise!

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#13 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:03PM
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@FireOnIce

You kidding me? After that goal by Poirier I'm thinking Stanley Cup. Plan the parade

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#14 beloch
September 14 2013, 09:12PM
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Recommendation for the Fan960 game announcers:

This is a particularly bad season for vacuum jokes. I'd also avoid use of the word "rimming" as much as possible.

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#15 Kharri789
September 14 2013, 09:51PM
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At least Baertschi got a point. :)

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#16 beloch
September 14 2013, 10:25PM
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For anyone who thinks hockey is over tonight, the Flames squad just scored 3 unanswered third period goals to tie up the game in Edmonton at 5-5. Time to tune in!

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#17 Kevin R
September 15 2013, 09:29AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

I find it interesting that the game I expected for the flames to win was the home one and they lost, and somehow they won in Edmonton. I only listened to the first period of the home game so I don't have a real feel for who played well. Reading the news on the Flames it sounds like Poirier grew as the game progressed; good for him. I wonder what the line up will look like for the next one, Hope Ramo gets better.

Maybe Burke is on to something? :-}

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#18 Kmp
September 15 2013, 11:22AM
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@piscera.infada

Agree on Kanzig, he really only made 1 mistake that I saw. Another 2 years in Juniors won't hurt him. Not a big fan of Russell, Kulak will go back to junior and improve. Always liked Smith one of the few left D that play the offside well, figure he will see a lot of time 3rd pair right side.

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#19 Jeff Lebowski
September 15 2013, 04:30PM
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Just checked out the 6-5 highlights.

Is Josh Jooris one of the young guys making this team out of camp? Who else has been playing better in all the scrimmages and games? I'd rank the prospect centres as:

1. Monahan 2. Jooris 3. Granlund 4. Horak 5. Knight 6. Reinhart (only because of missed time).

Horak is on the ice for a lot of highlights. He's been getting better and better.

Granlund has to show he can assert his game when NHL level opponents are trying to level him ie handle the speed of the physicality.

Knight has yet to create scoring chances consistently (even against prospects). He either has to start doing that or show he can win draws and be a heavy player.

Jooris makes thing happen. He really asserts his game and he's got good quickness physically and in his decision making. Good size, right handed shot and physically (training as a pro will improve this), mentally mature.

-If you check out the highlights, note how badly Horak beats the goalie in shootout.

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#20 Bezer
September 15 2013, 09:11PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Just throwing it out there, but Zemgus Girgensons has 2 goals tonight in the BUF-MON game. One of them a shortie.

Where is the Big Jankowski right now?

Nichushkin also had 2 for Dallas.

I'm so damn excited for hockey, I don't even care if the Flames go 0-82. Well... maybe.

Or Teuvo Teravainen apparently he has been outstanding.

I know it is easy to go 20/20 hindsight but he was my choice for the Flames to pick. He sure would add some much needed depth to the RW.

Although I am a huge fan of Seiloff which you can't discount when talking about trading down for Jankowski

Anyway I have been pleasantly surprised by Granlund. Also Horak, I hope he takes a big step forward this year.

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#21 beloch
September 16 2013, 03:49AM
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@Baalzamon

The last year or so I've thought that, all other things being equal, avoiding Russian players makes sense because they might well choose to play in the KHL. We keep hearing a lot of noise about how the KHL is on the rise and is starting to lure Russian players home. Cervenka was a player who looked like he had the raw talent to hack it in the NHL, but went home after a pretty dismal season in Calgary. He basically said "$#!@ you guys, I'm going home", Russian Cartman style.

Is the KHL going to steal the NHL's Russian players? Let's look at some stats on the KHL:

Games per Season: 52
Average attendance per game: 6,106*
Average ticket price: $30**
Estimated Gross Ticket Sales per team: $9.5 million
Hard Salary Cap (2013-2014): $36.5 million

* This number doesn't mean nobody is interested in KHL games and these teams are playing in half empty arenas the way AHL clubs do. It's a reflection of the fact that a lot of KHL arenas have a max capacity of just 6,000-8,000. On the bright side, these are soviet era arenas so KHL clubs probably don't have to make any mortgage payments!

** It's Hard to find good data on this, but every report says it's substantially lower than the NHL. This isn't surprising since disposable income is significantly lower in countries the KHL plays in. From what I've read, an estimate of $30 is being *very* generous.

------

A KHL club spending to the cap might be able to offer a marginal to mediocre NHL caliber player a competitive salary. However, the economics of the league mean that very few teams are likely able to spend to the cap. Perhaps a couple of the very richest can, but they are the exception to the rule.

Let's have a look at the AHL now.

Games per Season: 76
Average attendance per game: 5,711
Average ticket price: $25****
Estimated Gross Ticket Sales per team: $10.9 million

**** Based on: http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/11/1/2518919/2011-12-ahl-ticket-prices. Note, this isn't the best estimate because it's from 2011 and it assumes all ticket prices are equally likely. It probably low-balls things a tad.

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Thanks to a longer season, the average AHL club pulls in a little bit more than the average KHL club. According to http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/10/20/ahl-salaries-2012-13-opening-night-rosters , the most any AHL club spent on player salaries (for the entire team) last season was $2.7 million. AHL clubs probably spend more on arenas than KHL teams do thanks to not inheriting soviet era rinks and, also, the fact that they don't come close to filling arenas most nights. However, even with a top payroll that's one tenth of the KHL's salary cap, most reports indicate AHL clubs bleed money and are propped up by the NHL clubs that use them for player development.

So while a very small number of KHL clubs are wealthier and might even have a rich oil baron subsidizing them, the league has little more chance of stealing the NHL's talent than the AHL does. The one thing the KHL has going for it is that it's *home* (or close to it for European players), and some hockey players (e.g. Cervenka) suck hard at learning English. It cannot be overstated how isolating it is to be stuck working in a nation where you can't communicate with anyone.

Conclusion: Even replacement level players who burn their bridges with the NHL and go back to the KHL are going to take a big pay-cut. To some, it might be worth doing this to be home where they know the language and are hot stuff with the locals. However, the flight-risk of a quality NHL player is *very* low.

Should the Flames have passed on Nichushkin because he's a Russian? No, probably not. Nichushkin signed a KHL contract allowing him to play in the NHL, but he may be in violation of that contract if he goes to the AHL. He might therefore not be a prima donna ready to burn his bridges with Dallas if they don't think he's ready for the NHL. Hopefully, nationality was not a big factor for the Flames drafting staff. Only the future will show if Monahan was the better choice. In the future though, there's no reason to be afraid of drafting Russian players. Unless the KHL starts building a lot of arenas they simply don't have the money to lure quality Russian players back home. For those that do leave, money is likely not the deciding factor.

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#22 TRAV
September 14 2013, 02:28PM
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Our club heading to Edmonton looks light on skill but heavy on Truculence! Don't be surprised if there are a few bouts in that one. Can't wait to see the Ferland, Monahan and Poirier line in action! I read that Hartley will be switching his lines up a lot so they may not be together all that long. I also think that there is a bit of pressure on MacDonald as he has been lit up a bit in camp thus far. With Berra, Orttio and Ramo looking strong he will want to play well to help earn his way back onto the big club. I actually wouldn't be surprised if the Flames keep him regardless as he is the only goalie with significant NHL experience and they may be hesitant to go with two unproven guys. Depends on how sincere the pledge of meritocracy is. I also think that the club values the job that he did last year. I wonder if that is enough to guarantee a spot on the opening roster or if both positions truly are up for grabs?

Just excited to get some games under way!

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#23 coachedpotatoe
September 14 2013, 02:28PM
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An article on the hockey games.The Flames first two lines should be sound and could be the difference in this game. However it is the third line that interests me. These three kids could be quite a line in the future if they continue to develop; Monahan with all of skills and hockey sense. Poirier with speed to burn and a desire to get to the net, and Ferland with his size, toughness and skill could be awesome and I hope they demonstrate some chemistry tonight. Hopefully the coaching staff will give this some time to gel. I also would be okay with some mixing and matching of the centers on these three lines. The fourth line looks like a typical fourth line; based upon the rookie tournie and last season these young men seem to be AHL bound. I hope they can prove critics like me wrong.

The group we sent to Edmonton is much less talented but should please Burke. (I know it's tradition to send somewhat weaker teams on the road in preseason) What I hope is that all 4 goalies get a chance to play tonight so we can get some sort of read on them. Here's to the beginning of a long journey let's have some fun.

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#24 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 02:46PM
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@Dr. Bob

Game in EDM is being streamed on the Oilers' website, and the game in CGY is being streamed on the Flames' website.

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#25 beloch
September 14 2013, 07:59PM
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I'm watching the game but listening to the fan960 broadcast for the play-by-play. They just said Ortio is going to replace MacBackup halfway through the second. Good news! Or bad, if you want to see the Flames pick high this season. MacBackup getting backup duty instead of Ortio would easily move us up a couple of pick slots.

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#26 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:02PM
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Good to see Poirier get one

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#27 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:18PM
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Heck of a shot by Wideman.

I'm beginning to like what Joensuu is bringing.

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#28 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:31PM
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@schevvy

Ortio = Kiprusoff Ferland = Iginla Brodie = Bouwmeester

?

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#29 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:37PM
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schevvy wrote:

Brodie = Al McInnis obviously... :)))))

But hopefully with a happier ending for Flames fans?

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#30 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:47PM
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@RexLibris

Well yes.

Remember when the Flames went 7-0 in the preseason? That was a disaster. Losing games in the preseason is better than running the table. I think.

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#31 Michael
September 14 2013, 09:51PM
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@schevvy

Organizational disease...

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#32 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:52PM
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Michael wrote:

Organizational disease...

Prefer Industrial Disease.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rWuc5kar3Y

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#33 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 10:17PM
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@Avalain

Unlikely. I think the Eskimos may continue that 1st overall draft pick tradition this year.

Now, if Burke wants to swap 1st round picks with Ed Hervey I'd be alright with that.

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#34 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 10:25PM
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That goal is on Baertschi. Good play, good patience.

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#35 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 15 2013, 09:15AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

I find it interesting that the game I expected for the flames to win was the home one and they lost, and somehow they won in Edmonton. I only listened to the first period of the home game so I don't have a real feel for who played well. Reading the news on the Flames it sounds like Poirier grew as the game progressed; good for him. I wonder what the line up will look like for the next one, Hope Ramo gets better.

flames dominated in Calgary, but gave away two free goals they'd like to have back

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#36 clyde
September 15 2013, 11:45PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Valeri Nichushkin, a 2013 first-round pick of the Dallas Stars, is proving to be everything NHL scouts envisioned this weekend at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.

The No. 10 selection has scored twice, including a highlight-reel goal in the tournament opener, shown responsibility with the puck and generated quality scoring chances for teammates in 5-on-5 and power-play situations.

Nichushkin oozes confidence. That's evident by the way he carries himself during warmups and team stretches. He has that same strong build, smile and demeanor that Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk had during their time in Traverse City for their respective teams.

Nichushkin is one of six Russian-born players participating in this year's event, along with Dmitrij Jaskin (2011, No. 41) of the St. Louis Blues, Alexei Marchenko (2011, No. 205) of the Detroit Red Wings, Nikita Zadorov (2013, No. 16) of the Buffalo Sabres, free-agent signee Sergey Tolchinsky of the Carolina Hurricanes and tournament invite Rinat Valiev of the Stars.

Valeri Nichushkin has scored twice at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, including a highlight-reel goal in the tournament opener. (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI) In three games, the 6-foot-4, 201-pound Nichushkin has two points and a plus-1 rating, and has generated a team-leading 11 shots on goal.

His contributions have gone far beyond the score sheet, however.

"I think his skill level is obvious, but there have been other things that maybe the casual observer doesn't see," Doug Lidster, a two-time Stanley Cup champion who now works as an assistant coach for the Stars' American Hockey League affiliate in Texas, told NHL.com. "In our power play walkthrough on the first day, a defenseman lost the puck on a drill. Right away he grabbed another one, threw it back to the guy that fumbled the puck and said in broken English, 'Hey, let's do it again.' He took charge right away.

"Later on in practice, a defenseman missed a shift and didn't jump out there so Valeri jumped out and took charge. I like that. I like the fact he's not sitting back despite being in a foreign country, working on a second language and being with a new team. He's jumping out there trying to become a better player, trying to help his teammates be better. That's what has impressed me."

Nichushkin excelled in 25 postseason games with Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2012-13, totaling six goals, nine points and a plus-5 rating. That followed a regular season that saw him score four goals in 18 games, be named the KHL Rookie of the Month three times and win the KHL's Alexei Cherepanov Award, presented annually to the league's top rookie. But unless he's playing in the NHL in 2013-14, he'll return to the KHL. The Stars signed Nichushkin to a three-year, entry-level deal July 6, and the intent is for him to remain in Dallas.

Funny, but I recall the Flames brain trust and their lackeys telling us Nischuskin was flaky, unpredictable and not a "team-guy"...but the Flames don't need any goal scorers anyways...just GRIT.

Hasn't he said he will bolt back to Russia if he is not on the NHL roster? Doesn't sound much like a committed to the team guy to me. And, I think the drafting of Monahan, Poirier ( both looking great at camp), Klimchuck, etc proves that the Flames were looking for a lot more than just grit.

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#37 Dr. Bob
September 14 2013, 02:42PM
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Does anyone know if either of these games are televised? if not is there somewhere online that will be streaming the games?

Hockey is back! Yah Baby!

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#38 Sean Bennett
September 14 2013, 03:29PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Game in EDM is being streamed on the Oilers' website, and the game in CGY is being streamed on the Flames' website.

When you go to both official sites, they claim they are streaming only the Edmonton home game. Nobody will be streaming the Calgary home game.

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#39 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 04:30PM
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@Sean Bennett

That wasn't what I'd originally heard, but it appears that way now.

Weird that the Calgary one isn't being streamed.

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#40 McRib
September 14 2013, 07:10PM
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@FireOnIce

Calgary was planning on streaming our game live, but they couldn't get the in house equipment working that was still being repaired after the recent flooding.

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#41 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 07:14PM
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@McRib

Looks like they got it going. No commentary though (you can hear the refs and stuff but nothing else).

http://video.flames.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=616&id=444243

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#42 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 07:16PM
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R Jones scores on the PP for EDM. Looked like the first shot they had. At least first 2-3 shots. MacDonald is still bad.

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#43 Dr. Bob
September 14 2013, 07:44PM
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@FireOnIce

Not sure why i cant get this streaming to work in firefox anybody else having problems? I have no audio or visual. Thanks

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#44 Luc
September 14 2013, 07:57PM
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Dr. Bob wrote:

Not sure why i cant get this streaming to work in firefox anybody else having problems? I have no audio or visual. Thanks

mine was working fine (no commentary) so im hoping its just because its intermission

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#45 FireOnIce
September 14 2013, 09:02PM
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I know it's just pre-season, but I'm stoked. Flames are definitely gunning for that #1 pick the way things are going.

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#46 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:16PM
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Interested to see Berra, at last.

Good story this morning about Yakupov keeping #64. Said he wouldn't switch to 10 out of respect to Horcoff and his time in Edmonton. Nice show of respect for a young player.

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#47 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:19PM
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@RexLibris

Rex this is going to be a long season barring a miracle. I need to stay delusional to retain my sanity

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#48 schevvy
September 14 2013, 09:19PM
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@RexLibris

For example: Ortio = next Miikka Kiprusoff

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#49 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:22PM
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Nice speed on the attack by both Street and Byron.

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#50 RexLibris
September 14 2013, 09:23PM
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schevvy wrote:

For example: Ortio = next Miikka Kiprusoff

He's Finnish isn't he? If you re-prioritize your comparison model, perhaps moving play down a notch - or six - it could work.

I understand long seasons. The first is always the worst. 2009-2010 was a complete horror show.

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