PGD: Do Over

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After falling 6-1 to the San Jose Sharks Sunday night, Flames prospects are back on the ice tonight in Penticton for a game against the host Vancouver Canucks (5 pm, Sportsnet).  Both teams lost their openers at the Young Stars Tournament, with the Canucks falling 7-2 to the Oilers in the late game on Sunday.  It’s an opportunity for a number of Flames to bounce back, most notably goaltender Joni Ortio, who will get the start once again.

Ortio was in net for all six goals last night and did not have a good night.  You can attribute some of that to adjusting to North American ice along with a little rust, but it doesn’t change the fact he didn’t have a good night either.  We’ll see if things are a little better tonight, and we’ll also see if he’s kept in for the entire game this time around.

The Lineup

Up front, Calgary will make a number of changes as expected.  The veteran line of Mitch Wahl, Lance Bouma and Greg Nemisz will not play tonight, joining Carter Bancks, Roman Horak, and Ryan Howse as scratches up front.  The Wahl line had some nice stretches against San Jose, as they should, all having a season of pro hockey under their belts.  The one issue they ran into was turning solid possession into quality scoring chances; we’ll likely see them back together Wednesday against the Oilers.  Here are lines tonight:

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Patrick Holland-Max Reinhart-Sven Baertschi
Michael Ferland-Dustin Sylvester-Bryan Cameron
Logan MacMillan-Gaelan Patterson-Blake Gal
C.J. Severyn-Justin Dowling-Turner Elson

Sylvester, Cameron, MacMillan, Severyn, Dowling, and Elson will all play for the first time in the tournament.  I’m interested to watch Cameron specifically, as he had a difficult transition to the pro game last year with Abbotsford.  After scoring 53 goals in his final year of OHL hockey, he had just six with the Heat last season; I talked to him at length on Sunday, and I’ll have an article up later this week.

No surprise seeing Holland and Reinhart back together; Troy Ward spoke very highly of their work following Sunday’s loss, and now they get a chance to have the skilled Baertschi on their flank.  Those three forwards were the three best against the Sharks, as Holland and Reinhart can play it both ways; they did a nice job with possession.  Adding the offensive weapons of Baertschi should be very interesting.

A few changes on the blueline, as Joey Leach is the notable name sitting out.  T.J. Brodie and Chris Breen will be the focus for a lot of interested observers tonight after their rough outing against the Sharks.  Both guys looked really out of sync and we hope to see a lot more tonight, especially defensively.  I thought John Negrin had a strong first period, and aside from a couple oops moments in the final 40 minutes, was the top Flames defenceman throughout.

Peter Kosterman-Chris Breen
John Negrin-James Martin
Reid Jackson-T.J. Brodie

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Photo courtesy

Kosterman is a Calgary Hitmen product playing on a tryout basis.  I talked to him today and he’s got a really good head on his shoulders and is very well adjusted.  On top of that, he seems to be handling the pressure of playing on a tryout very well.  In his first game, he says he’s focused on not trying to be too noticeable, knowing if he plays his game the people who matter will take note.

The Opponent

No word on who is in or out for the Canucks tonight after they were shelled 7-2 by Edmonton the night before.  We do know the ten players who did not play skated this morning, so you’ll likely see these players get some ice time tonight:

  • Antoine Roussel, Providence (AHL)
  • Stefan Schneider, Manitoba (AHL)
  • Andrew Smith, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
  • Steven Janes, Ottawa (OHL)
  • Ryan Harrison, Everett (WHL)
  • Kellen Tochkin, Medicine Hat (WHL)
  • Marc Anthony Zanetti, Ottawa (OHL)
  • Craig Duininck, Windsor (OHL)
  • Ian Saab, Lewiston (QMJHL)
  • Brendan Jensen, Vancouver (WHL)

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It was a rough night for David Honzik in net for the Canucks, as he had some struggles during his time on the ice.  Granted, the team in front of him had some rather glaring defensive miscues.  Up front, Darren Archibald came away with two points, as he paced Vancouver’s most impressive line along with Alex Friesen and Nicklas Jensen.

The Story

Sunday’s game was the first of a preseason tournament for Flames prospects, so getting too worried about a 6-1 loss is a little silly.  In fact, the 6-1 score wasn’t even indicitave of how the prospects played, as they carried the play for the majority of the contest.  Seeing Ortio bounce back would be nice, more for the kid than for the organization; regardless of his tournament, Ortio is still thought of very highly by the team.

  • icedawg_42

    Yeah, Kosterman’s a good kid…and very, very tall. Hopefully I’ll get to catch some of this one tonight. Of course, I’d rather be there in person.

    • Really enjoyed talking to Kosterman, plus he’s a FAN 960 listener! Even better!

      Must be weird being on a tryout at a thing like this; you wanna standout, but sometimes if you try too hard to do that, you F up royally.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I expect Brodie will be just fine. I though he was much better by the 3rd last night. Breen on the otherhand needs to be way better than what he showed yesterday. The first line may be a real treat to watch. I’m really looking forward to watch them, in particular.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Probably won’t catch much of the game tonight but i am excited to hear and see the performance of the first line. Holland, Reinhart and Baertschi is a line that could be a top 6 line for the Flames in a while. Hopefully Ortio will have a rebound game because watching the highlights last night he was BAD. Brodie and Breen were less than impressive so hopefully we see more good from them tonight.

    P.S- Is Kerr calling the game tonight? I’m interested to see if he can come up with a new catchphrase, so we aren’t all going through some kinda withdrawal. 🙂

  • flamesburn89

    Very excited to see the Reinhart line. Interested to see Micheal Ferland too. Watched alot of him last season. Hopefully Gaelan Patterson plays well, and bounces back from the injuries he had last year.

  • BobB

    I didn’t see the first goal, but would it kill Joni to at least play far enough out that his knees are on the top of the crease, in the B-fly?

    I’ve stopped hoping he could keep his heels there.

    He’s 6’1″ and he looks like he’s 5’6″ in there.

    EDIT: I just saw the first goal and he had good depth on that one…. too bad it went through him and sat there.

  • Another pretty strong period by the Flames kids and this mostly with guys you’ve never heard of. The defense doesn’t look quite as leaky so far, although that may just be because the puck isn’t going in all the time.

    • Emir

      Couldn’t agree more. He is really not impressing me at all right now. Mind you none of the defensemen are at this point.

      Sylvester is intriguing to me. What is there to know about him?

    • Robert Cleave

      He probably isn’t quite there. There are fans that have a fetish about clearing roster spots for young guys, but if they aren’t ready, rushing a young D is a good way to screw their development. He has two years left on his ELC and it isn’t like he’s the most mature guy physically. If he’s ready by next fall, that would be fine, imo.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I’d like to see Brodie playing with someone other than Breen, but defensively he’s not blowing me away (offensively decent, though).

    Ortio just gave me total Kipper deja vu. Also, I’m enjoying Elson.

  • Emir

    Ready for the NHL or not I really like Brodie’s game tonight on both ends of the ice. A bit of a relief after last game.

    I am also really enjoying watching Baertschi, especially on the PP. Reinhert and especially Holland are impressing again tonight.

    Ortio looks much better, but is still out of position and doesn’t look comfortable.

  • Schroeder is already learning the Canucks trade – anytime he gets hit, he goes down like he’s been shot. Baertschi hit him a bit high and bam, down on the ground holding his face like his teeth were falling out.

    Good to see the coaching staff teaching only the best of hockey skills!

    One thing I can see being a problem for Baerstchi is just being pounded on. His hands and his offensive prowess are great weapons, but if he can never really get open or break out in order to use them, then he’ll never do well. Especially if he’s playing in the Western conference and getting plastered into the glass on every occasion.