FGD: Duck Hunting



After the Flames didn’t fare so well Shark fishing, today they’ll try their luck at Duck hunting.

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In four games last year, both teams were 2-1-1 and both winning their games in their own barn.

With the shortened schedule, the Flames will play the Ducks three times, two of which will be here at the Dome. Last time these two team faced off against each other, it was the last game of the regular season. Both teams were out of the playoffs and basically disinterested;. Akim Aliu led the Flames with two goals and the Ducks couldn’t wait to get on the plane to go back to sunny California.

Tonight is a different story all together. The Ducks had the day off yesterday after taking the Canucks to the woodshed, and the Flames skate in their first of many… many, back-to-back games.

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It looks like we are going to see a bit of a change tonight, as Blair Jones and T.J. Brodie will make their season debuts.

  • Glencross – Tanguay – Iginla
  • Baertschi – Backlund – Cammalleri
  • Horak – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Comeau – Jones – Jackman
  • Bouwmesster – Giordano
  • Wideman – Butler
  • Sarich – Brodie
  • Kipper

Tonight will be another opportunity for Tanguay to find his rythym at centre. Though they were kept off the scoresheet last night, Iginla did lead the team with six shots. Tanguay is a great puck distributor and much like the coaching staff, I have faith that he will begin to turn it up, creating more chances for Iggy and Glencross. Speaking of the captain, don’t be surprise to see Iginla taking some of the draws for Tangs until he gets a little more seasoned in the face-off circle.

Blair Jones replaces Steve Begin on the 4th line tonight. This shouldn’t be coming as a major surprise as most (myself included) thought Blair should have been dressed last night. Begin did an alright job in his role of getting in the faces of the Sharks players last night, but tonight it will probably benefit to have Jones in the face-off circle, where he will be facing the likes of Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf is a pretty cool cucumber. You’re going to have more success beating him in the circle and along the boards than trying to goad him into taking dumb penalties. Even if that’s the aim, I like Jones better as the agitator anyways.

The defense will also see a slight juggle. T.J. Brodie is suspected to replace Derek Smith in the third pairing. This makes sense as well. It was going to be Smith or Sarich, and in the game last night, Corey was more on the ball than Derek. One of the reasons the Flames were taken to task in the second period last night, was that they stopped moving their feet. Too many times, too many Sharks were between the Flames defense and Kipper. T. J. Brodie has been playing all year in Abby and his conditioning is a lot more up to snuff than Smith. Last year’s combination of Sarich and Brodie is the natural fit to re-unite, and besides, Hartley seems pretty sweet on Sarich already.

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Who doesn’t love Selanne? No matter what team you cheer for?

  • Perry – Getzlaf – Ryan
  • Selanne – Bonino – Winnik
  • Koivu – Cogliano – Beleskey
  • Rakell – Smith-Pelley – Holland
  • Allen – Fowler
  • Souray – Sbisa
  • Lydman – Beauchemin
  • Hiller

Selanne is playing his 1,343 career game tonight. He is 42 years old, plus another couple hundred days. In the Ducks season opener he had two goals and two assists for four points; moving him past Dale Hawerchuk into the 18th spot on the NHL all-time scoring list.

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Getzlaf’s line is always one the Flames have had troubles with. Perry is always a threat around the net, not just to score, but to cause havoc on the goalie. He’s been getting away with it for so long, that he’s damn near perfected avoiding interference penalties. If you do manage to keep this line out of your zone, well then you have Ryan’s quick hands that are always good for throwing the odd puck out of the net, that managed to get past Hiller.

Souray looked impressive as well in the Ducks opener, scoring once on the power-play and assisting on one of Teemu’s goals. He has a bomb of a shot for the point and with the likes of Selanne, Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan circling like vultures, the Flames defense is going to have to be on their toes tonight.


First and foremost, the Flames are going to have to keep the Ducks off the power-play. They have too many weapons and if Calgary starts taking dumb or successive penalties, the Ducks PP is going to make them pay for it.

The Flames know what they have to do tonight because it’s pretty much the same game plan as yesterday. Shut down the top six and play a smart agressive game. 

Game time is 7:00 pm on Sportsnet West.


  • SmellOfVictory

    Holy crap, I can’t remember the last time I saw a top 4 dman so awkward as Wideman tonight. He bobbled the puck about 800 times and regularly got turned around when trying to defend. Yikes.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I was talking specifically the d-zone. Wideman’s been decent-to-good in the offensive zone, and yeah the entire defensive corps has been terrible so far, with the exception of Brodie/Sarich.

    • loudogYYC

      Yes, I’d say you’re the only one impressed.

      I just came back from the game. He looks out of place, a step behind and with the hockey sense of a baseball player.

      Another goat tonight was Sarich. Granted I’ve never liked Sarich, but this guy is getting worse and worse. Simple plays don’t exist with him ’cause he doesn’t know how to execute them.

      Liability #1, with Wideman right behind him.

      Man… I sound angry.

  • McRib

    What did Mike Cammalleri and Mark Giordano do in Toronto during the offseason, just horrid starts. If they were even anywhere close to where PK Subban was training, no wonder Montreal is in no hurry to sign him, although apparently he is looking for Drew Doughty money, Hahahaha. Good luck, IMO he is hands down the most overrated defender in the league, puts up big point in nothing games and is invisible in anything that matters.

    Also if Kipper makes one big save tonight we get the W, letting in 9 goals in two games is one thing but every single one of them was the type that completely takes momentum away from a team. Never seen him cough up rebounds like he has the past two.

    Only Positive is the PP looks much better this season with Wideman running it and not Jay Bouwmeester serving up his muffins.

  • McRib

    @ loudogYYC

    Disagree I thought Sarich was our second best defenseman tonight outside of Brodie, and thats saying something because I like you cannot stand him and I wouldn’t say he looked good either just not as bad as others.

    Giordano, Bouwmeester were just awful, their inability to clean up Kippers ridiculous rebounds is why we lots the last two. Never thought our defence would be our biggest problem, wish we would have traded Bowumeester in the offseason while he was worth something. We could have got a Gustav Nyquist who apparently isn’t NHL ready in Detroits eyes….. Dont understand why he is still in the A….

    Wideman looked shaky in own zone but his Play on the man advantage was what allowed us to get back into the game.

    • loudogYYC

      I’d also describe Wideman as shaky in his own zone yet effective from the point. So he’s what we hoped we would get from Zyuzin… I mean Babchuk, for $2.5M

      I don’t recall who said it first, but the buyout freebies could probably be considered on a Feaster signing next season.

  • McRib

    I would start Irving as Kipper has been dominated by Vancouver the last couple years. When Hartley was walking out tonight he said something to Irving wouldn’t surprise me if he’s in Wednesday.

    • Irving did win in Vancouver last year and played extremely well, and you are absolutely right, I can’t really remember the last time Kipper played well vs. Vancouver. I doubt it happens, but the way Kipper has played these first two games if you’re Hartley you have to at least consider it.

    • Kevin R

      Would agree & Irv would make sense. Hudler & Cerevenka need to be slotted back in, I think Comeau was invisible & I wouldnt be suprised to see both Stajan & Comeau sit. Horak has looked good & Jones was good tonight. Brodie was good too.

  • Willi P

    262 Posts and counting. Wow, what fan backlash.

    As predicted, TJ was, by far, the best D out there (maybe even the best player). Horak and Stemp rocked, too bad they don’t have a centre. The first period was painful. Flames were in this for the last few min of the first, until they tied it. After that, it appeared that they felt their job was done, they won the game by catching up. Let the Ducks have it after that. What a waste of a great comeback.

  • Vintage Flame

    Thanks everyone for the fantastic involvement tonight. Despite not having the live chat, you guys were engaged and awesome.

    Good to have you all back!