FGD: The Quack Attack are Back

Taylor McKee
March 12 2014 02:39PM

Simply put, the Ducks have dominated the Pacific division this season. Sbisa and Co. are a frightening 15-1-2 against the Pacific this season and as a result are sitting pretty to make the playoffs. 

The Ducks have one of the best centre-winger duos in the league with Getzlaf and Perry which has helped the Ducks be a top-three team in scoring with 208 goals (Calgary has 152, good enough for second last). The Ducks strong defensive corps have led to a +48 goal differential and have allowed the sixth fewest goals against this season, all that with their number one goalie missing significant time to injury only revealing the startling depth the Ducks have at that position.

Look, I could go on but why? The Ducks are a really good team and the Flames are really...admirable.

Check out the rosters and preview after the jump

THE FIGHTIN' FLAMES

There was a complete line scramble and a demotion this morning so be sure to check out the updated roster from Daily Faceoff (Note: I truly don't know what the top-line is here. I put McGrattan on there because he has the silkiest mitts)

Glencross - Galiardi - McGrattan
Bouma - Backlund - Byron
Cammalleri - Monahan - Colborne
Westgarth - Knight - Hanowski

Giordano - Brodie
Russell - Butler
Smid - Wotherspoon

Ortio

Welcome back to the roster Curtis Glencross. It's been a while, and I am sure you have a lot of questions. Chiefly, "What line am I on?" or "Galiardi at centre? didn't we give up on this nonsense in November?" or "McGrattan? Are you kidding me?" Yes, these are all valid concerns but you must understand, while you were gone, the Flames started experimenting and now, everything just feels different...

Glencross is a welcome addition to this depleted lineup that's already missing Hudler, Stajan, and now Markus Granlund whom was injured in the game against LA after playing only 12 seconds. That's a harsh break for Granlund after some strong play and reliable minutes in his first few games of his NHL career. Hopefully, the injury isn't too bad and he can get back to regular minutes with the big club. As for Glencross' linemates, I just hope that he can keep up with the five total goals scored by his 'centre' and winger this season (betcha can't guess who has the majority of those five). 

There was a demotion this morning that puzzled a lot of observers. Max "Power" Reinhart was sent back to Abbotsford after it looked as though it would certainly be Ben Hanowski especially after he was the odd man out in the morning line rushes. Many have speculated that the nature of the roster spot that would have been available to Reinhart is what made him the choice for the trip back to Abby as Hanowski is probably better suited for fourth line minutes (which seems to be a polite way of saying he isn't very good). 

That reminds me, Abbotsford are running out of hockey players. The beautiful symphony that Troy G. "Gee" Ward was composing this season with the Flames farm team is turning into a Ying Yang Twins song after his lineup has been decimated by injuries and call-ups. Hopefully, Reinhart can help stop the bleeding in Abby who are reeling from a franchise worst, eight-straight losses. 

There was some concern over the health of rookie-rearguard Tyler Wotherspoon after he left the game against LA with an upper-body injury but it looks as though it wasn't too serious as he is back in the lineup tonight. It has been nice to see the youngster get some minutes in the NHL with the injury to Dennis Wideman and hopefully he can continue to see more and more ice.

Tonight also marks the return of Kevin Westgarth. It's always good to see a guy come back from an injury, especially one that looked as scary as his did, but man, am I not looking forward to seeing the puck die on his stick tonight. It was kinda nice having the kids up and flying around without good ol' K Dubs hanging around but Alas, this is the team we deserve at the moment.   

DISTRICT 5

Mighty_Ducks_Logo

Here is the Ducks' lineup tonight thanks to our buds at Daily Faceoff:

Palmieri - Getzlaf - Perry 
Beleskey - Perreault - Silfverberg
Winnik - Koivu - Cogliano
Maroon - Bonino - Selanne

Beauchemin - Lindholm
Sbisa - Fowler
Allen - Fistric

Hiller

First of all, it literally pained me to type in Selanne on the fourth line. It seems so unbecoming of him to be playing on a fourth line. However, as one can see from their lineup, the Ducks actually roll four lines and in their last game against the Leafs (a 3-1 loss) every single player on the roster had over 10 minutes (except Winnik 9:43). It would be nice if the Flames could build a team without players that can only be trusted to punch faces and play six minutes a night. Oh well!

The Ducks are a very, very good team with a lot of offensive weapons. One in particular should worry the Flames, friggen Daniel Winnik. This guy has been a Flame killer his whole career and will probably score a natural hat-trick tonight in the first three minutes. In 2012-13, Winnik scored three times and had four points against the Flames in three games. HE ONLY SCORED THREE OTHER TIMES THAT WHOLE SEASON. So, forget Getzlaf and Perry, get Giordano to follow the mighty Daniel Winnik around the ice all game.

Here is an example of one of Winnik's tallies at the Saddledome

Up front, the Ducks have an interesting mix of early twenties youth and experience, with graybeards Selanne and Koivu mixed in with emerging youngsters Bonino, Silfverberg, Palmieri, Fowler, and the 20-year old standout Hampus Lindholm. That being said, many around the league are still pretty confused as to why the Ducks dealt Penner at the deadline and then did not replace him in any way shape or form. It is a little confusing to be sure. Perhaps it was to allow some of their younger players to see more ice but it seems weird for a contending team to jettison a useful player at the deadline. 

Also, it looks as though the Flames will face Jonas Hiller in net for the first time this season. In 2012-13, Hiller was 1-1 against the Flames with an .892 SV%.

The underlying numbers of the Ducks are surprisingly...average. With the Ducks near the top of the league in many conventional stats it's curious to see them 16th in league in FF%, 15th in the league in CF%, and 20th in the league in Shots-For. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but it does suggest that perhaps there may be some smoke and mirrors contributing the to Pacific-leading Ducks. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?

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The Ducks are a contending team in the Western Conference and are obviously a heavy favourite tonight against the Flames. Tonight will be interesting to see how Glencross looks after some lengthy time off from game action. 

The Ducks are currently on a three-game losing streak which will probably make them pretty ornery tonight. What is kinda curious about the Ducks/Flames relationship is the fact that in their last four visits to the Saddledome, the Ducks are 1-2-1, which is surprising considering the Flames absolutely miserable history in Anaheim. Maybe the Flames can turn the Saddledome into a place the Ducks dread visiting as well? Here's hoping..

Puck drops at 8pm MT   

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Taylor splits time between UVIC and Calgary studying history. Taylor likes the Flames, the Cannons, Buckshot, and the Oxford comma. Taylor scored on his own net on dome ice when he was 8. Twitter: @TaylorMcKee_
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#1 Fact
March 12 2014, 10:09PM
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Clyde wrote:

Since we are being ridiculous, isn't it a coincidence that dressing westgarth and macgratten has significantly led to our young kids leading a Stanley cup contender 5-1 late in the 2nd

Both of those clowns should be in the ECHL not NHL! They are non - Factors in every game!

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#2 Mean Sonahan
March 12 2014, 10:05PM
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Why is the "trash it" button so much bigger than the "props" button? Oh yeah, good job Flames.

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#3 Primo
March 12 2014, 10:45PM
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Fact wrote:

Both of those clowns should be in the ECHL not NHL! They are non - Factors in every game!

@ Fact

Obviously you have never played the game before at any level! Do you watch much?

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#4 Really
March 12 2014, 08:57PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

One of my favorite lines, which came out of his Edmonton days, is still, "the only thing Penner goes hard to is the refrigerator"

not very often I actually laught out loud, but that one caused a hearty LOL!

what a stragley bunch of lovable flames.

GFG!!!

He goes hard to the bank as well!!! He is a smart guy , trains extremely hard in the summer, and is way fitter than you, and set for life financially at a young age, despite a nasty divorce!!!

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#5 Clyde
March 12 2014, 09:27PM
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mattyc wrote:

correlation =/ causation

Edit: also known as Why Pirates are causing global warming

Since we are being ridiculous, isn't it a coincidence that dressing westgarth and macgratten has significantly led to our young kids leading a Stanley cup contender 5-1 late in the 2nd

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#6 JermoneNeedsaWinger
March 12 2014, 04:29PM
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Say what you will about Butler, but the Blue Liners are looking like a reasonably solid group on paper. I'm okay with this.

Need to rewatch the might ducks soon, how is it only a 6.3 on IMDB?

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#8 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 12 2014, 03:11PM
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my guess is before the knights over that we see cammi, backlund and glenx on a line together

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#9 clyde
March 12 2014, 07:41PM
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Taylor McKee wrote:

It must be nice to have that kind of depth, something you probably don't develop, at least not as fast, by sticking with antiquated ideas about facepunchers.

Anaheim has always been near the top of the league in majors and over the past 5 years during which guys like Bonino have been developing, they had such players as Parros, Bodie, Brown and Brookbank in the line up. So, perhaps having facepunchers in the lineup has helped them develop?

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#10 mattyc
March 12 2014, 06:09PM
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Tonight may be more like MD2 where they Ducks take on Team Trinidad and Tobego

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#11 Aussie Flame
March 12 2014, 07:07PM
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"their last five visits to the Saddledome, the Ducks are 1-2-1"

That is surprising, you'd think those numbers would add up to 5.

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#12 Clyde
March 12 2014, 10:26PM
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Fact wrote:

Both of those clowns should be in the ECHL not NHL! They are non - Factors in every game!

Then, why are those two and many others like them still playing in today's NHL?

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#13 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 12 2014, 11:21PM
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Really wrote:

He goes hard to the bank as well!!! He is a smart guy , trains extremely hard in the summer, and is way fitter than you, and set for life financially at a young age, despite a nasty divorce!!!

says the guy that impersonates himself :-P

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#14 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 12 2014, 03:08PM
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One of my favorite lines, which came out of his Edmonton days, is still, "the only thing Penner goes hard to is the refrigerator"

not very often I actually laught out loud, but that one caused a hearty LOL!

what a stragley bunch of lovable flames.

GFG!!!

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#15 mattyc
March 12 2014, 08:14PM
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clyde wrote:

Anaheim has always been near the top of the league in majors and over the past 5 years during which guys like Bonino have been developing, they had such players as Parros, Bodie, Brown and Brookbank in the line up. So, perhaps having facepunchers in the lineup has helped them develop?

correlation =/ causation

Edit: also known as Why Pirates are causing global warming

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#16 Ssamz
March 12 2014, 09:50PM
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Clyde wrote:

Since we are being ridiculous, isn't it a coincidence that dressing westgarth and macgratten has significantly led to our young kids leading a Stanley cup contender 5-1 late in the 2nd

I'm expecting all W from now on as we will have Westgart and McGrath in our lineup!

But seriously, it would be hilarious when we win more with those two in the lineup. And of course scary as BB will justify his love for gritchart.

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#18 Kmp
March 12 2014, 08:26PM
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Galliardi read Justin's piece, nice goal.

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#19 Lordmork
March 12 2014, 08:35PM
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Who replaced our regular Calgary Flames with Folgers crystals?

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#20 JermoneNeedsaWinger
March 12 2014, 08:38PM
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wait, what?

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#21 Burnward
March 12 2014, 11:43PM
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Is it time to start an "extend Hartley" petition yet?

His work with this team this season has been exceptional.

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#22 Baalzamon
March 13 2014, 08:44AM
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Burnward wrote:

Is it time to start an "extend Hartley" petition yet?

His work with this team this season has been exceptional.

A low plain makes any mountain look tall. Like, no disrespect to Bob, but look what we have to compare him to since Darryl fired himself: Jim Playfair, Mike Keenan, and Brent Sutter. Not exactly a hall of fame lineup is it?

It's like doing high jump where the bar is held up by a pair of pucks. Hartley basically just walked over it.

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#23 belch and fart
March 13 2014, 08:47AM
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Primo wrote:

@ Fact

Obviously you have never played the game before at any level! Do you watch much?

I know enough that Baertschi and Reinhardt are 10 times the players- and are playing in the AHL while these two clowns occupy NHL jobs - hockey is a game of skill and toughness- Glencross, Bouma,etc. are skilled , tough hockey players -not CLOWNS!!!!

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#24 McRib
March 12 2014, 04:00PM
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Why does the Anaheim lineup have Nick Bonino as the Fourth Line Centre, he is third in team scoring? Nick Bonino is easily becoming one of the more underrated players in the league as he progresses this is just another example of it.

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#25 RKD
March 12 2014, 06:53PM
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I'm glad GlenX is back in the lineup, he's had a tough season. It would be nice to see him score some goals and finish the season strong.

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#28 mattyc
March 12 2014, 08:14PM
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@Taylor McKee

Those jerseys... and Anson Carter coaching.

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#29 RKD
March 12 2014, 08:27PM
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So glad this game isn't in Anaheim, heck all three California teams are playing well. The 'Death Valley' moniker is very appropriate this season.

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#30 RKD
March 12 2014, 08:48PM
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4-0 WOW! Backlund, Brodie and Gio all with 2 pts. apiece.

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#31 Kent Wilson
March 12 2014, 08:53PM
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The Ducks' bubble has burst with a vengeance.

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#32 RexLibris
March 12 2014, 08:56PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The Ducks' bubble has burst with a vengeance.

Time to bring out the flying V.

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#33 RexLibris
March 12 2014, 08:57PM
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Just checked the possession metrics on ExtraSkater to see if it could shed light on this offensive outburst and it is confirmed.

The Flames are possessed.

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#34 exsanguinator
March 12 2014, 08:59PM
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So... do the Ducks have anyone in net? How the hell is this happening?

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#35 ChinookArch
March 12 2014, 09:09PM
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Nice 5 hole.

Backlund is great!

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#36 Chad
March 12 2014, 09:16PM
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Backlund!

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#37 sathome
March 12 2014, 09:17PM
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I forgot this game was on. I was never in a million years expecting it to be 5-0 for the Flames when I turned it.

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#38 beloch
March 12 2014, 09:41PM
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When Smid scores you can really smell the karma burning!

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#39 RexLibris
March 12 2014, 09:48PM
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beloch wrote:

When Smid scores you can really smell the karma burning!

Interestingly enough, he was drafted as an offensive defenseman. Edmonton traded for him based on that expectation and it took his first season or two before that belief was finally put to rest.

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#40 beloch
March 12 2014, 10:33PM
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Getting your first NHL goal with Westgarth and Hanowski as your linemates is seriously impressive. Congratulations to Corban Knight!

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#41 RKD
March 12 2014, 10:35PM
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Nice to be on the right side of a 7-2 beatdown, Backlund has been a beast tonight. Knight scored!

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#42 beloch
March 12 2014, 10:37PM
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Oh man, the clueless ref tossed the puck that Corban Knight scored his first goal with. Hopefully somebody tracks that little girl down fast and swaps something with her. Better yet, hopefully she's awesome enough to give it to Knight herself!

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#43 beloch
March 12 2014, 10:39PM
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beloch wrote:

Oh man, the clueless ref tossed the puck that Corban Knight scored his first goal with. Hopefully somebody tracks that little girl down fast and swaps something with her. Better yet, hopefully she's awesome enough to give it to Knight herself!

Backlund tossed the girl his stick and got Knight's puck back. Nice save Backs!

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#44 Ssamz
March 12 2014, 10:40PM
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I've tried to avoid watching tonight since I have a test tomorrow. But I've peaked the score and there was no turning back.

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#45 RKD
March 12 2014, 10:49PM
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beloch wrote:

Backlund tossed the girl his stick and got Knight's puck back. Nice save Backs!

"It's a bird, no it's a plane, wait it's...Superbacks!"

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#46 BurningSensation
March 12 2014, 11:01PM
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beloch wrote:

Backlund tossed the girl his stick and got Knight's puck back. Nice save Backs!

Letter material

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#47 Ssamz
March 12 2014, 11:16PM
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"Maybe the Flames can turn the Saddledome into a place the Ducks dread visiting as well? Here's hoping."

I grant your wish! ...for tonight at least.

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