Welcome to the Preseason Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s seventh and final warmup-season game on September 26, 2009.
Well this is it. After tonight, there’s nothing else to see in the preseason. It’s Calgary’s last chance to get things squared away before the games start counting on Thursday. And as a consequence, they’re icing a lineup that’s almost entirely veterans, with only two or three players that aren’t 100 percent certain to make the opening day roster getting the go. Meanwhile, the Canucks will put a healthy mix of rookies and veterans on the ice.
The Flames lineup, according to the Herald, goes thusly:
* David Moss-Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla
I think this line could work well. Not that Brent Sutter isn’t going to drop every forward to which he can lay hands onto that line to see if it becomes ultra-dominant, but I think of all the choices, I don’t dislike Moss the most for that left wing spot right now.
* Nigel Dawes-Daymond Langkow-Rene Bourque
This is a real good line too in my estimation. Bourque and Langkow showed undeniable chemistry last year, as Bourque netted 16 of his 40 points last season alongside the center. Dawes, too, has gotten a decent amount of time alongside the pair in this preseason with solid, even if it hasn’t gotten him any points.
* Curtis Glencross-Craig Conroy-Fredrik Sjostrom
This is just about as good as a line like this could get, I think. Pretty solid checking line that can take it the other way in transition and still be a threat to score.
* Eric Nystrom-Dustin Boyd-Brandon Prust
Surely Prust is out there to ensure there’s not too much funny business out of the Canucks while three other candidates — Jamie Lundmark, Jason Jaffray and Colin Stuart — watch from the press box. The latter two forwards held out of the lineup have little to no shot of making the team over Lundmark, I’d imagine.
And really, that’s not a TERRIBLE forward group, all things considered. It could certainly be a lot worse. But now let’s move on and have a look at the defensive pairings which will be much more interesting tonight for one reason, which we’ll get to when we come to it.
* Robyn Regehr-Jay Bouwmeester
Best top-2 in the league. No one else even close. Move along.
* Mark Giordano-Dion Phaneuf
I hate a Giordano-Phaneuf pairing. Hate. It. Neither is good enough defensively to cover up for the one or two egregious miscues the other makes per period. This is going to be a disaster, not that I dont’ understand it. Giordano is basically competing with the two guys on the bottom pairing to see which of the three take two jobs (because, let’s be honest, Staffan Kronwall isn’t making this team).
* Adam Pardy-Anton Stralman
Now this will be interesting. Of the three “maybes” on the roster, these two are the ones REALLY scrapping for the last spot, and as such, they’re going to be clawing tooth and nail to get in Darryl Sutter’s good graces. Expect both these guys to play extremely hard tonight.
Miikka Kiprusoff is scheduled to start for Calgary.
Yeah that sounds about right, doesn’t it?
But the real reason I’m excited tonight is that this game is on TV here in the States, meaning that, for the first time since last May, I’ll be able to watch a Calgary Flames game on actual television. That’s