Pre-Season Post-game #6 – Easy Pickings


Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla and Edmonton Oilers' Jim Vandermeer collide during the first period of their NHL pre-season hockey game in Edmonton October 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)



Normally, I take considerable satisfaction in a Flame victory over the Grease, even in pre-season. I won’t throw the win tonight back or anything, but the quality of the opposition tonight was poor enough that the injuries Calgary suffered are much more noteworthy.



David Moss appeared to injure his forearm or wrist in the second period on a seemingly innocuous play along the boards, and the post-game radio report had him leaving Rexall with the wounded appendage in a sling. Meanwhile, Ales Kotalik went down in a goalmouth collision a few minutes later and departed the building on the limp. For a team already short a forward or four, that’s sub-optimal news.


As for the game itself, it was poor through the first two, with not much in the way of flow. Jay Bouwmeester was shaky in the first period before setting down, and the forwards weren’t doing much for either club until Jarome Iginla decided to get his act together. The captain had good legs this evening, and he and Backlund made a nice rush for the ultimate winner. Iginla followed with a marker to open the third, but that was clearly an own-goal by Horcoff and company. Jon Rheault scored a nice goal off a broken play to end the game as a competitive affair, and T.J. Brodie added the final tally on the PP as the Flames rolled through an easy third period. 


As I said, a win’s a win, and a few Flames did distinguish themselves as the evening progressed. The Brodie-Pardy duo played mostly against the Oiler bottom six with minimal fuss, and Brodie, following a bit of a poor read, saved himself a few blushes by catching Ales Hemsky from behind as the Oiler forward headed in on a breakaway. The kid can likely survive against the other team’s bottom six most nights. Whether utilizing him in that manner is a good idea or not is another story altogether, but he certainly didn’t look out of place against an Oiler lineup missing only the Penner-Cogliano-Brule set from the regulars. Henrik Karlsson also looked the part. He’s not the quickest goalie around, but he seems to get himself in place, and he certainly blocks a pile of the net. I suspect that a club that can quickly move the puck laterally on the PP might be able to expose him at some point, but we haven’t had a chance to see that sort of action so far in the pre-season.


The Oilers were poor this evening, and that’s even noting the fact that every team has a stinker on occasion. As I mentioned this morning, the Oil are selling the future to their fans, but when a club goes that route, there are going to be nights where things aren’t so easy for their young players. Taylor Hall might end up being a wonderful player someday, possibly even this season, but he, Paajarvi and Eberle have a long way to go at EV. Paajarvi still looks like the best of the three to my eye, and to be fair, if Ales Hemsky was a touch sharper around the net, the Swede might have had a point or two. Oh, and ReKhab was pretty blah. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the Oilers would be better off if he were in Sheriff Joe’s outdoor hoosegow…actually, yes I am.


The Flames finish the pre-season at home against the same opposition Sunday. It would be nice if they managed to finish a game with the roster intact.

  • Greg

    Oy vey, the injuries. Top 3 centers and then eve the winger who moves to center goes down. This is going to sound like flip-flopping but even losing Kotalik is concerning because it was starting to look like that line was going to be heavily relied on to weather the injuries we had before tonight. Hopefully these are short-lived.

    Continuing the flip-flopping, put me in the Brodie makes the team camp now. First time I got to watch him tonight but I think he’s good enough to play in the number 6 spot and help out on the PP. At this point I’d argue for whatever is best for his development, Pelech-waiver threat or not.

  • No doubt the Oiler’s had an off night. And the high number of penalties really hurt them. But you have to credit some of that to the Flames. For the most part they managed to contain the speed of the Oiler’s and limited scoring chances. A pretty decent feat considering they were at 17-players most the night with the centre depth of Backlund-Meyers-Sutter-X.

    I thought Iginla looked very hungry tonight. Yes his second goal was kicked in by the Oil. But it was from a great shot off the cross iron that just kicked short of the goal line. He also had some good take aways, and was in the face of the Oil all night.

    Tanguay was decent, though he forced a few passes. Backlund wasn’t too far out of place and made a couple of noteworthy plays. He got two helpers and secured the second star of the game.

    The Hagman-Moss-Kotalik line looked sharp until two of the three were injured. However, Hagman continued to look good in spurts.

    I thought the entire D-core with the exception of Regher struggled for the first period. However, after that all but Staios seemed to get their legs. I thought Bouwmeester played one of his better games after that point. Pardy and White in particular struggled early, but recovered nicely by the end. Staios wasn’t horrible and is clearly giving it his all. Regher looked like his old self.

    I didn’t like anyone in the bottom six. Glencross had some chances, but overall had an off night. Ivanan’s was bad. Sutter picked it up at the end, but for the most part was ho-hum. I was hoping more from Myers and Sutter once Moss went off. Same story with Rheault once Kotalik went off, though he did finish the night with a goal.

    I agree with you on Brodie. He can handle himself competently enough with the teams bottom lines. However, he also brings his offensive upside to the table. Until tonight I had him pegged in Abbotsford. After tonight I think he makes the team.

    The biggest problem I had with tonights game was the PP. They really struggled to bring the puck into the offensive zone.

  • This is getting re-donk-ulous. How many guys are going down this pre-season? I guess there is something to be said of not putting all your regs out right away.

    Didn’t get to watch but thanks for the synopsis.

  • Boo Hoo!

    The injuries will exploit the lack of depth in the organization this season!

    My guess is Kipper will finally see some time on the IR as well and then what???


    Flames finish well out of the playoffs and the rebuild will begin (without the Sutters).