FGD: In (Prospect) Enemy Territory

Ryan Pike
September 06 2013 03:45PM

 

 

Last night, the Calgary Flames got the YoungStars event off to a wonderful start. How? Well, they beat the Oilers by a 5-2 score and largely out-played their neighbours to the north. The challenge for the boys in red will be to continue that momentum one day later, as they face the Vancouver Canucks prospects at 8:30pm MT. While you can experience the action via a stream from the Flames website (or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan), bear in mind that the BC crowd will probably be cheering on the Canucks.

In other words, the boys are in enemy territory and will have to fight their way out.

THE LINE-UP

Courtesy Sportsnet 960 The Fan's Pat Steinberg, the lines for this evening:
 

  • Max Reinhart – Josh Jooris – Linden Penner
  • Michael Ferland – Sean Monahan – Dylan Smoskowitz
  • Ben Hanowski – Markus Granlund – Emile Poirier
  • Turner Elson – Corban Knight – Sven Baertschi
  • Keegan Kanzig – Ryan Culkin
  • Zach Davies – Tyler Wotherspoon
  • Eric Roy – John Ramage

 
Joni Ortio gets the start. Sitting tonight are Kulak, Sieloff, Taranto and Gordon. Keep your eyes peeled for the Hanowski/Granlund/Poirier line, as they all had pretty strong showings against the Oilers. The Elson/Knight/Sven pairing also looks to be quite interesting.

Eric Roy gets his first taste of action tonight. The 5th rounder is a high octane offensive defender, so it will be interesting to see how he fares tonight.

Disappointing -  try-out Smoskowitz isn't playing on the same line as Hanowski.

THE OPPOSITION

The Canucks are coming off a 4-3 win against the Sharks in the late game yesterday but, surprisingly, aren't making huge changes to their line-up. While no lines are available seemingly anywhere, we're told (via the Canucks site) that Joacim Eriksson will probably start again after putting up a great showing last night.
 
Keep an eye out for the line of Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk and Zach Hall up front, while blueliners Frankie Corrado, Evan McEneny, Miles Liberati and forward Alex Friesen will suit up for the first time in the tournament. Notably not playing is Brendan Gaunce, although he's merely a healthy scratch so fresh bodies can cycle in.

SUM IT UP

Both the Flames and Canucks are coming off morale-boosting victories last night. Now, one of them will have to taste the not-so-refreshing spice of defeat. Calgary's gambling on Joni Ortio having a strong re-introduction to North America, while the Canucks are gambling that their young group of blueliners can hold back Calgary's offensive onslaught.
 
Needless to say, the Canucks probably have a better blueline here than Edmonton did last night. The big question is “how much better?” Oh, and the whole Ortio thing. He wasn't good when he was with the Heat, but he's had a lot of success in Europe.

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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 everton fc
September 06 2013, 10:41PM
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Hopefully Poirier puts pucks on net. Unlike Tanguay, most evenings...

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#52 prendrefeu
September 06 2013, 10:41PM
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Poirier is so fast he runs out of rink. I think he need to play on an international scale. On a North American rink he barely has any room to shoot he's at the opposite net so quickly.

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#53 Baalzamon
September 06 2013, 10:44PM
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@prendrefeu

International rinks aren't longer, only wider.

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#54 Baalzamon
September 06 2013, 10:46PM
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Kerr: "Don't you think that all five teams have different things going on...?" Wow. All five teams are five different teams. Brilliant observation. I'm not usually one to complain about Kerr, but dear god.

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#55 everton fc
September 06 2013, 10:48PM
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I can't get the live feed to load. Bummer. Anymore feedback on Roy? and who did Ferland scrap with? Did he simply overwhelm the guy??

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#56 Baalzamon
September 06 2013, 10:52PM
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@everton fc

game's over bro. That's probably why you can't get the feed.

Ferland fought one of the Mallets. Don't remember which one. Tossed him down with one hand.

Roy was better tonight than he was in the dev camp scrimmage I saw. He still looks a little overwhelmed in his own end sometimes, but he made a few good plays too. He's real good with the puck on the powerplay.

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#57 beloch
September 06 2013, 10:54PM
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everton fc wrote:

I can't get the live feed to load. Bummer. Anymore feedback on Roy? and who did Ferland scrap with? Did he simply overwhelm the guy??

Full game is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sG6ahFDD2o

Hopefully somebody will put together a highlight reel of Ortio. Mr. Durrrrrrr Kerr was right about one thing. Ortio made some Kipper-style saves this game! No scorpions though, but I feel the Finn has it in him!

It says something about a goalie when the other team resorts to lifting up the net and sliding the puck in from behind just to feel better about themselves!

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#58 prendrefeu
September 06 2013, 10:56PM
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@Baalzamon

http://www.anotherlearningexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Doh.jpg

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#59 everton fc
September 06 2013, 11:13PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

game's over bro. That's probably why you can't get the feed.

Ferland fought one of the Mallets. Don't remember which one. Tossed him down with one hand.

Roy was better tonight than he was in the dev camp scrimmage I saw. He still looks a little overwhelmed in his own end sometimes, but he made a few good plays too. He's real good with the puck on the powerplay.

Figured that out too late, hey?! :)

Good to hear about Roy. I got a good feeling about him, as well. If he puts on 10 pounds of muscle, he could be a real surprise.

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#60 Skuehler
September 06 2013, 11:27PM
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Some humble observations so far after watching the two games live

-Flames showed up for 4/6 periods and were unstoppable. - Ortio was excellent tonight. -Whoever thinks Kanzig is a coke machine should go buy their jersey now and join his fan club. Kid's got presence, can skate well, plays with his head up and makes an impact every shift. -Hanowski looked much better tonight, playing with a sense of determination -Reinhart had an excellent game tonight, Flames best forward. Could see Reinhart and Hanowski complementing each other well -Granlund has got a very solid game and through 6 periods the Flames best player by far -Loved the way Ferland played tonight. Along with Roy and Kanzig - these guys have a lot of presence on the ice -Poirier and Monohan are so smooth and talented. They make a great pair and hope to see them for a long time. -Knight was a non-factor. Held back on throwing hits when he had the chance. Can't see him beating out Reinhart or Granlund for a spot at centre. -waiting to see Wotherspoon step up and be a difference maker.

-2 very solid games from Ramage -Subban can skate!

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#61 everton fc
September 06 2013, 11:37PM
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Just watched a fair share of the 2nd, and all four goals.

Ferland plays both ends of the ice, is not lazy, and can skate. Roy looks big. Not Kanzig-big, but again, if he can put on some muscle, he could be a real steal. He has obvious offencive upside. What a quick release.

Smoskowitz has some hustle, as well. Ramamge looks a leader. Sven was invisible, to me. Ditto Knight. Didin't notice Wotherspoon.

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#62 Baalzamon
September 06 2013, 11:38PM
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I'm still constantly surprised at how competent Kanzig is. Maybe every time I'm expecting him to revert to a caveman or something. It never happens.

It remains to be seen whether the Incredible Bulk's game transfers to the bigs, but there's definitely something there. I'm still amazed he only scored seven points last season. I mean, he's no offensive dynamo, but still. From what I've seen?

Loving Poirier. The guy has definitely got wheels, good hands, good shot. There's a lot to like about this one. I have a feeling he'll be lining up as Canada's third/fourth line RW in a few months.

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#63 McRib
September 07 2013, 07:49AM
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@Baalzamon

When I watched Keegan Kanzig in Victoria last season it looked liked he was being held back by coach Dave Lowry, because he was playing with mighty mite Joe Hickets who was basically a fourth forward for them when he was one the ice. Kanzig was lucky to put a foot inside the opposing blueline. I think our old friend Dave Lowry probably alerted the Flames to the fact that Kanzig had more potential than his seven points and that's why they surprised taking him so high. Glad Poirier is putting in a good showing, but no suprise to me everything McKeens & Redline said about this guy was along the lines of could be the steal of the draft, I think when we drafted him everyone thought it was another Jankowski project reach, but the reason I was told he came out of nowhere is he developed these wheels out of the blue last year. He was not always this good of a skater and the Q had so much talent last year for an all time best crop he just was looked over in all the hype, but he's not a project one more dominant year in the Q and he's ready, as a full year with these wheels can only mean one thing huge offensive numbers. Like I said skating gained a full step and a half last season wasn't nearly this good of a skater in first half last season.

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#64 coachedpotatoe
September 07 2013, 08:41AM
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After watching parts of two games, watching the highlights etc there are some good things happening but not everything. I'm concern about Sven and Knight as they are not living up to expectations. As a coach with these two you have two choices for the next game, split them up (let sven either play with Grandlund or Rhino and Knight with more depth players)or sit them for game three.

Ortio was awesome last night. I have been really happy with Rhino, Ramage, Monahan and Poirier. The player that I have been most impressed with has been Grandlund, he has not played afraid in NA style has created opportunities, scored and back checked (great example in the first period last night)Feaster was right when he called him the wild card.

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#65 Craig
September 07 2013, 09:07AM
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I called out Sven in the last game, but you can really see that the only reason him and knight get their odd shift is to create a bit of chemistry, which I could see in this gme. those two re being kept for main camp, this tournament is for some of the other guys to showcase their stuff, I wouldn't worry about these two until pre season when they absolutely need to shine.

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#66 coachedpotatoe
September 07 2013, 09:26AM
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Craig wrote:

I called out Sven in the last game, but you can really see that the only reason him and knight get their odd shift is to create a bit of chemistry, which I could see in this gme. those two re being kept for main camp, this tournament is for some of the other guys to showcase their stuff, I wouldn't worry about these two until pre season when they absolutely need to shine.

While I can see your logic here I believe that if your organizational plan to reward players based upon the merit of their play this might be the perfect time to quietly send the message. For me it's about not really seeing the effort or compete level from them (now I'm only basing this on the 21/2 periods I saw, others may have seen more and have a different view)I also don't see the benefit of them playing together at the NHL level but again that is an opinion. Based upon what I've seen Grandlund, Rhino, Monahan are all ahead of Knight at this point (limited sample I know)

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#67 Jeff Lebowski
September 07 2013, 09:36AM
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I don't think Sven has the same attitude towards non big club activities as do all the other guys. Some may think that bad, but I think Sven is thinking 82 game NHL season.

Development camps, rookie camps, training camps, Olympic camps, preason games then a full season. That's a lot for a body to withstand without having gone through the entire gauntlet before. I really think he's pacing himself, working on skills (hand speed, first step, quick release etc). I don't think he's worried about his battle/compete level. He knows there are only two places he's gonna play and those both have pro travel and a grinding physical dimension.

I have no problem with that. Although it could bite him in the a$$.

The kids look great. Where WAS Ortio on the internal depth chart? Behind Gillies, Berra etc. The Flames have pieces.

How can you not be excited for the talent and playmaking going on without the top college guys?!

2 years ago, I predicted here that Calgary will be challenging EDM for best team in the league. It is still ridiculously premature but I still believe it. I've also said after seeing him in dev camp that Monahan plays NHL this year (hopefully WJC too). He is special.

Calgary has many players who flash NHL ability. If the learn to be consistent, and just get the training years (weights) under their belts this team could be a machine. I understand I'm in dream land but dreams come true damn it! Lol.

I hope I'm watching the future NHL roster with some big time additions from college plus the next 2 top draft picks here.

Think about it, Calgary's consensus top prospect, Sven, has underwhelmed thus far and guys like Ramage, Granlund and Ferland stand out (Monahan is already blue chip)?!

We are looking at the beginning of something incredibly special here. Mark my words if you haven't said them yourself already.

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#68 BurningSensation
September 07 2013, 10:02AM
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For me the three biggest pleasures have been;

- Keegan Kanzig

His tool kit borders on freakish. Monstrous size, power, and unexpectedly decent skating and skill. He is obviously more than just a bombthrower, and I wonder if he wouldn't be a much, much higher draft pick (late 1st rnd?) if the 2013 draft were redone today.

- Markus Granlund

As a prospect he's always been something of an afterthought. Considered a perimeter player he was always mentioned after the Johnny G's, Monahan's etc. He may have pushed his way into the conversation.

- Emile Poirier

Anyone who prefers Shinkaruk should have to watch last nights game on infinite repeat. Poirier isn't a pretty skater, but damn, the kid can absolutely fly.

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#69 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 07 2013, 11:04AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

After watching parts of two games, watching the highlights etc there are some good things happening but not everything. I'm concern about Sven and Knight as they are not living up to expectations. As a coach with these two you have two choices for the next game, split them up (let sven either play with Grandlund or Rhino and Knight with more depth players)or sit them for game three.

Ortio was awesome last night. I have been really happy with Rhino, Ramage, Monahan and Poirier. The player that I have been most impressed with has been Grandlund, he has not played afraid in NA style has created opportunities, scored and back checked (great example in the first period last night)Feaster was right when he called him the wild card.

pick this comment and add any ten before or after, and one almost has to go back a step and give Feaster and crew some credit for their drafting against what seemed conventional wisdom. Anyone else feeling the same?

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#70 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 07 2013, 11:08AM
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everton fc wrote:

Hopefully Poirier puts pucks on net. Unlike Tanguay, most evenings...

to me, it seemed it was KNIGHT with one-too-many passes when he coulda-shoulda shot, Tanguay style

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#71 Skuehler
September 07 2013, 11:53AM
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No one in this org can afford to take or be given a night off. Sorry. If Sven is saving himself he's missing an opportunity and that scares me cause who wants guys that think they can turn it off and on at will? That Flames jersey comes with responsibility. Step up or step aside.

Totally agree that the future looks bright - this years draft lot looks great so far. Lots of the peices aren't here, so that's exciting too. Anyone who was wishing for a youth movement should be thrilled. This talent level is great to have from the bottom.

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#72 Burnward
September 08 2013, 12:47AM
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Re: Kanzig

Never doubt A-Town.

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