FGD: On the Road Again

Ryan Pike
February 04 2014 02:48PM

The Calgary Flames visit La Belle Provence tonight for another instalment of the classic Flames rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens. The teams have met once this year (Calgary won), as well as in two Stanley Cup Finals series (they split them) and a Heritage Classic (Calgary won).

In terms of direct connections, Flames coach Bob Hartley was also interviewing for the Montreal vacancy when he was hired here, and Mike Cammalleri used to play in Montreal. Habs forwards Rene Bourque and Brandon Prust used to be Flames. So much history! And the games between the two clubs are generally spirited affairs, a rarity for clubs that so infrequently play each other.

Tonight's edition of the Battle of Teams Whose Logos Look Similar If You Squint kicks off at 5:30pm MT on Sportsnet.

THEM FLAMES

The Flames lost Karri Ramo to injury, so tonight's your first chance to see 22-year-old Joni Ortio working the gate. There's a good chance he'll play on the trip, especially when you consider the Flames have used both goalies in three of their last four games. He'll wear #37 for the visitors tonight.

Lines! Care of DailyFaceoff.

Hudler – Backlund – Stempniak
Bouma – Stajan – Jones
Cammalleri – Monahan – Colborne
Westgarth – Galiardi – McGrattan

Giordano – Brodie
Russell – Butler
Wideman – Smid

Berra
Ortio

Shock of shocks, the Flames have won five straight and have played well in their last dozen games. The only “significant” roster swap is Chris Breen heading to the sidelines for a recovered Kris Russell.

The Flames are in danger of moving up in the standings once again, as they're just a point behind the lowly New York Islanders heading into tonight. This week's road trip could be crucial to the Flames finishing bottom-four or bottom-five in the NHL. All kidding aside, it's nice to see the team's hard work rewarded.

THEM HABS

Lines, per DailyFaceoff:

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Briere – Plekanec – Gionta
Bourque – Eller – Prust
Bournival – White – Weise

Gorges – Subban
Markov – Emelin
Beaulieu – Murray

Price
Budaj

Montreal's in a wild-card playoff spot out East, but they're 3-6-1 in their last 10 and have tumbled down the standings a bit. They've won just twice since mid-January.

Carey Price starts in net, hoping to get something going before the Olympics. Dale Wiese I believe is making his Habs debut, and is probably just happy to get away from John Tortorella.

The X-Factor tonight might be the loud, partisan Montreal crowd. Bell Centre is one of the loudest buildings in the league, and the presence of Mike Cammalleri may make them a bit more rowdy than usual. Calgary's used to playing in a loud barn sometimes, but Montreal is on a whole other level.

SUM IT UP

It's game 56 of the rebuild and the Calgary Flames have some momentum. With just three games left until the Olympic break, let's hope they can keep things rolling along.

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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 Kent Wilson
February 04 2014, 02:50PM
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You mean Weise, Shurley.

Or, rather, Ol Flooby means Weise, of course.

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#2 Danger
February 04 2014, 03:18PM
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Wait, we have two Hudlers and we've only been using one of them this whole time?!

But seriously, I take it that Monahan is playing between Cammy and Colborne tonight?

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#3 Lordmork
February 04 2014, 03:21PM
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Have we travelled to a strange alternate dimension where Hudler is a centre?

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#4 funkyjaman
February 04 2014, 03:32PM
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I wont mention the Monahan thing since others already have. So don't worry about it, Monahan is easy to miss. I'm sure Monahan would have done the same thing if Monahan was doing the FGD. If there's one thing Monahan isn't known for is attention to detail. Unless of course Monahan is on the ice. Then Monahan really knows detail. Monahan.

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#5 Rude
February 04 2014, 04:03PM
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I pray to harvey the hound we won't be subjected to another performance by Reto "the Jumping Spider" Berra

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#6 Keith Fredlund
February 04 2014, 04:14PM
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I really hope Bourque doesn't score 4 goals tonight. Maybe we can bring Prust back.

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#7 loudogYYC
February 04 2014, 04:45PM
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I freakin LOVE this match up! I've been a Flames fan since the 80's and then spent the entire 90's in another continent that doesn't care about hockey, so as far as I'm concerned, the history between these 2 franchises really matters.

With Berra in net, it'll either be one of those Scrivens-like performances that will infuriate Habs fans even more than usual, or we'll see Ortio in net by the 2nd period. Either way, it's gonna be a great game to watch!

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#8 Baalzamon
February 04 2014, 05:01PM
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So I'm absolutely certain this has been asked before, but why isn't there a Habs nation?

I am at a complete loss for expectations for this game. In theory, Montreal should mop the floor with Calgary... in theory.

It's really strange just how much Habs fans hate Desharnais.

And my final disjointed, one-line pregame thought is... Montreal got completely shafted in the Weise deal. I mean... wow. THAT was the best offer they got for Diaz?

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#9 Colin.S
February 04 2014, 05:09PM
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"The Flames are in danger of moving up in the standings once again, as they're just a point behind the lowly New York Islanders heading into tonight. This week's road trip could be crucial to the Flames finishing bottom-four or bottom-five in the NHL"

Even if we pass the Islanders tonight, we are still 8-9 points behind the rest of the NHL before we are in danger of moving out of the bottom five in the NHL. I'll enjoy the wins when they come. Especially if those wins are increasing the value of the players we want to trade before the deadline comes.

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#10 ultrathinzigzags
February 04 2014, 05:29PM
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I notice Poirier has just 105 pim's in 47 games or so. Does anyone know what a lot of these penalty's are? Is he really that gritty? That's a lot of points and penalty minutes!

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#11 loudogYYC
February 04 2014, 06:13PM
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@ultrathinzigzags

He's a sh*t disturber on the ice, gets in peoples faces and all that. A pest with skill basically.

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#12 piscera.infada
February 04 2014, 06:25PM
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loudogYYC wrote:

He's a sh*t disturber on the ice, gets in peoples faces and all that. A pest with skill basically.

...Something this team's been missing for a long time - especially if he can back it up.

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#13 Colin.S
February 04 2014, 06:28PM
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loudogYYC wrote:

He's a sh*t disturber on the ice, gets in peoples faces and all that. A pest with skill basically.

So hopefully a much more skilled Brad Marchand than? Would be nice if that's the case.

Also, for those that didn't know, Iggy picked up his 600th assist tonight against the Nucks(has 1g+1A). So that's nice.

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#14 JBudd
February 04 2014, 07:05PM
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Marchand is quite skilled just undersized. If Poirier can have that pest factor in addition to the size and skill to back it up he'd be quite the valuable player.

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#15 ChinookArch
February 04 2014, 07:27PM
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Just tuning in. How are the boys playing so far?

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#16 loudogYYC
February 04 2014, 07:41PM
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@ChinookArch

Not too fluid, it's been a choppy game so far.

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#17 Carlizzle
February 04 2014, 08:18PM
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Of all people to get the winning goal, freakin' Bourque!

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#18 Carlizzle
February 04 2014, 08:35PM
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Carlizzle wrote:

Of all people to get the winning goal, freakin' Bourque!

Oh yeah, assisted by Prust.

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