Preseason Game No. 5: Met a little girl by the name of June

After last night’s NHLer-filled roster, the Flames are back to icing a rag-tag group of enough guys on one-way deals to fill out the league-mandated minimum roster spots, and that means a whole lot of kids.

That, in turn, should mean almost nothing to Flames fans at this point. Look at the names of the guys playing tonight that have literally no chance of being with the big club this time next week: Armstrong, Cunning, Jackman, Kronwall, Meyer, Nemisz, Pelech, Rheault and Irving all strike you as guys who are just in this for the hell of it at this point. The roster also includes luminaries like Cory Sarich and Adam Pardy and Ales Kotalik and Raitis Ivanans who won’t or at least probably shouldn’t be in the lineup every night come this season.

But there are some positives to take from last night’s showdown with a senior Phoenix Coyotes squad, including the continued and ultimately doomed case TJ Brodie is making for inclusion on the final roster. A goal a game is a hell of a nice pace, and it seems that, with his inclusion on tonight’s roster, the organization is giving him every chance to steal a roster spot from someone whose name rhymes with a certain Mr. S. Staios. No that’s too obvious: Mr. Steve S.

If everything works out for the kid and he starts the year in Calgary — an idea to which Flames fans seem increasingly married despite the myriad of reasons it’s a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad one — then that’s great for him (at present) and good for the team (possibly). But he’ll need another emphatic performance or three before then.

And looking at the roster the Flames sent out to Saskatoon tonight, it leaves one wondering what ever happened to Rene Bourque. If I’m not wrong, he hasn’t gotten into a preseason game in a while here and has been held out of practice for the better part of this week with nary a word uttered about it, so that may be a bit troubling.

But then, who can argue with results? Calgary keeps winning, thanks in large part to the top-class performances by the oddly productive line of Kotalik-Moss-Glencross. Now sure, it’s preseason, so who really cares that Kotalik has four points from two games? I get that argument — since Jon Sim used to be good for a preseason Hart Trophy every year — but he’s running all this talk about confidence and a good mental attitude that he previously didn’t have, so maybe this all continues forever. With a gun to my head, I’d settle for a point a game outta the guy in the regular season. I would be fine with that, I guess.

Another guy who’s way overproducing? Niklas Hagman, who in four preseason games has the same stat line as Kotalik at 2-2-4. No idea who he’s grouped with tonight and, as with Kotalik, no belief whatever he’ll be able to keep it up, but I guess we can enjoy it while it lasts.

And finally, a sad note: last year’s preseason tilt with the Islanders featured Dion Phaneuf memorably lighting Kyle Okposo up with an awesome, clean hit in open ice. But thanks to injuries in Okposo’s case, and intolerable douchebaggery in Phaneuf’s, neither will be participating in a rematch. Unfortunate.


  • PrairieStew

    Entertaining reading the comments; also insightful seeing how I couldn’t see the game.

    So it sounds like Pelech has played his way back to the farm, and Nemisz is a long ways away.

    A bit troubling that Bourque hasn’t hit his stride, but good to hear Moss is adapting well to his new role. Robert : I don’t know who would be among those that want to run Moss out of town – he’s certainly a decent value, though injuries limited his production last year.

    Moving a defenceman to forward is certainly an option – as I said yesterday – Pardy did a little of that as well, but it might be time to give Brodie a shot at that if you badly want to keep him around.

  • everton fc

    Pelech may not clear waivers. And this may not be a bad thing. He is simply too slow.

    Does anyone know what Bourque’s issues are? Why isn’t Rob Kerr asking?? (I he has, my apologies!)

    We don’t need to move a d-man forward. We can go with Sarich and Pardy or Brodie. Kronwall may not clear waivers. Staios can be waived, hopefully not clear, and heat to Abbotsford. Pardy earned his keep last evening, and the game before.

    As for the fourth line… I don’t think Jackman is going to be that bad. Something about him I actually like. I also like Stefan Meyer. He is getting no traction on any threads. Are people not seeing this kid – he wants it bad, plays physical, will drop the gloves, has nice speed, creates chances… He’s got small town/prairie grit, and should stick. A fourth line of Meyer-Conroy-Jackman/Sutter may surprise. I’d take Meyer over the oft-injured/oft-rehabbing Stone. That said, if Stone’s healthy (I can’t remember if he can play LW &/orRW) I like a line of Meyer-Conroy-Stone, or Meyer-Conroy-Sutter. Jackman can be replacement fodder (though I still think he’ll surprise us all). The Latvian brawler should be waived. We should have signed D.J. King or Aaron Asham – both tough, both with decent hands that can be used for something more than punching. Ivanans is 31. King is 25. And a better player – he can actually move the puck and skate.

    Nemisz is not ready. Not even close. Good for Cunning. I like him. Meyer should make this team.

  • everton fc

    One more thing… Kotalik is not hurting us now, nor will he during the season. I actually think he’s a good guy and hope he does well here. This line w/Glencross-Moss-Kotalik could really surprise. I like it. Always liked Moss. He’s the type of player Cup dynasties always have on the roster. True role player who knows what he needs to do. And does it. Let’s hope he stays healthy.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I’m listening to Fan960 and reading the comments above. The big topic on 960 is Ken King calling in to defend JBo, and Dreger calling in to defend Peca and his comments of JBo. Part of the discussions above is that we have too many D and not enough good forwards who aren’t injured.

    I’ve just had this premonition: The Flames are attempting to fix their salary cap woes by trading Jay Bouwmeester!

    Signed, Swami Beek

  • Robert Cleave

    Intolerable douchebaggery. That’s awesome. I still can’t believe the Leafs made that guy their captain. I can’t imagine where they found a helmet to fit over his head this year?!?