FGD: Preseason 4

The Calgary Flames play their second game in two nights this evening when they complete a preseason home and home set with the Edmonton Oilers (6 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet Radio FAN 960).  The Flames fell 2-1 to the Oilers on Saturday night at Rexall Place as Taylor Hall’s third period goal served to be the winner.  Tonight sees a few of Calgary’s bubble players get some more game action along with a good mix of vets.

The Lineup

The reviews have been good on Sven Baertschi to this point, and judging from the line he’ll be playing on tonight, it looks like he’ll be given plenty of opportunity in all areas of the ice.  He’ll play on a line with two others hoping to crack the opening day roster, with both having real shots to do so.  Paul Byron could start the year in the NHL, although numbers wise it may not be the most realistic, while I believe Lance Bouma will be playing full time minutes with the Flames by the end of the year.

Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-David Moss
Alex Tanguay-Roman Horak-Tom Kostopoulos
Sven Baertschi-Paul Byron-Lance Bouma
Carter Bancks-Matt Stajan-Guillaume Desbiens

Jay Bouwmeester-Chris Butler
Anton Babchuk-T.J. Brodie
Jordan Henry-Derek Smith

It’s cool seeing the OMG line back together for the first time this training camp.  Head Coach Brent Sutter has put Glencross and Moss together for much of camp, but has reunited them with Jokinen.  Last year, especially during Calgary’s two month run, the trio was one of Calgary’s most effective groups, if not their most effective overall.

Henrik Karlsson looks to get the start in net for the Flames.

The Opponent

The big names, specifically Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, played Saturday in Edmonton so won’t be in the lineup for this one.  That said, the Oilers will ice names like Eberle, Paajarvi, Horcoff, and Smid.  The lineup was slightly better last night, but at the very least there are some NHL names in this one once again.  Devan Dubynyk gets the start in net and he’ll go the whole way.

Magnus Paajarvi-Shawn Horcoff-Linus Omark
Curtis Hamilton-Chris VandeVelde-Jordan Eberle
Phillipe Cornet-Ryan O’Marra-Teemu Hartikainen
Darcy Hordichuk-Gilbert Brule-Lennart Petrell

Ladislav Smid-Corey Potter
Cam Barker-Alex Plante
Theo Peckham-Taylor Fedun

The Story

For me, the result in this one doesn’t matter a whole lot, as we’re really starting to move into evaluation mode.  If guys like Byron, Henry, Bouma or maybe even Baertschi are to crack the opening day roster, consistency in these last three preseason games is what the coaching staff will be looking for.  You can expect some assignments this week, so this game becomes pretty darn important.