FGD: Finally Back At ‘Er

After a long 4-day break, the Flames are back on the ice tonight at home versus the Colorado Avalanche.

While a 1-2-1 record might not look too fancy, I’ve been quite impressed with the play of the Flames thus far. Of course, the caveats about it being early and small sample size, etc. apply – but the Flames have outchanced a really good team at evens (San Jose), a crap team at evens (Edmonton), and have basically played two games to a draw with two teams that right now have the look and feel of bubble teams (Vancouver, although that will change, and Anaheim).

Point being, this start has just added to my optimism about this edition of the Flames.

Tonight, Calgary will welcome the Colorado Avalanche to the ‘Dome. The Avs are on the second game of a back-to-back (losing 3-0 last night to Vancouver in the rainy city), and are currently sporting a depleted roster – meaning that tonight is a great opportunity for the Flames to pick up two points.

NHL.com’s preview teases this as a showdown between the two bottom teams in the west, but that’s a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that the Flames have only played 4 games – two less than 6 other teams and 3 less than another 6  (the remaining have 5). Being a game against a division rival and a team the Flames will be fighting off in late April, it would be nice to see the Flames’ relative dominance against the Avs continue: after struggling against Colorado for a couple of years, Calgary is 9-2-1 against the Avs in the past two seasons.

The Line-Up 

  • Glencross – Tanguay – Iginla
  • Cammalleri – Backlund – Stempniak
  • Hudler – Stajan – Cervenka
  • Begin – Jones – Comeau
  • Giordano – Bouwmeester
  • Wideman – Brodie
  • Sarich – Butler
  • Kiprusoff

SVEN! will not be playing tonight as he is week-to-week with a hip flexor strain, suffered a couple of days ago in practice. So far, he hasn’t put up points with the same gusto as he did in his 5 games last year but I think he’s looked pretty good out there for a 20-year old in his first pro year.

Chris Butler draws back into the lineup, which is definitely a good thing. He’s the teams 4th or 5th best defenseman, so it doesn’t make sense to me that he would sit in favour of the 6th or 7th, especially since it didn’t seem to me like there was anything wrong with his play.

I’ve mostly liked Hartley’s line matching this season, as through 4 games to my eye it seems that Iginla’s line has been gifted the high ground as much as possible, although he is still mostly playing against the other team’s best. This is a nice change from Brent Sutter, who of course, uh, struggled with that at times.

Roman Cervenka missed the last two practices but he’s good to go for tonight.


  • Olver – Duchene – Parenteau  
  • McGinn – Stastny – Jones  
  • Kobasew – Mitchell – Hejduk  
  • McLeod – Malone – Bordeleau  
  • Johnson  – Wilson  
  • O’Byrne – Hejda  
  • Zanon – Barrie
  • Giguere

Matt Duchene’s had a nice start to the season, with two goals and three assists in 6 games. Duchene had a bit of a down year last year, as a concussion limited him season to 58 games and he put up just 28 points (.49 PPG). Problem was he had a personal SH% of about 3% less than his two previous seasons, plus he lost some ice time with the emergence of O’Reilly/Landeskog.

As you can tell, the Avs are pretty weak right now, as their two best players (the aforementioned Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reiliy) are both out of the lineup. Landeskog suffered a head/neck injury after a nasty hit earlier this week, and O’Reiliy is currently holding out because the Avs are insanely cheap and don’t want to give one of the the best all around players in the Northwest Division the cash he deserves.


Sum It Up

The Flames are a better team right now than the Avs are, full stop. There is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t run them out of the building tonight, especially since the Avs are coming in tired after a late game last night. The way the Flames have played early on makes me think that will be the case.

Go Flames.

And Now A Word from our sponsor…


One last reminder to swing by the Tilted Kilt tonight for what I’m sure will be the first of many FlamesNation game nights there. FN readers get $10 off their tab and a chance to win other prizes. Just let the manager know you read the site and presto! Free stuff.

See you there.

  • Parallex

    Yes! Perfect season continues. We beat the oilers but lose to everyone else, securing a lotto pick and start the rebuild. The only downside is I was hoping we’d get something for kipper in a trade. At this rate he won’t be worth a load of brown bananas.

    10 more games and we will be pretty much mathematically done and feaster wi finally have to take off his tin hat and realize this team is a sinking ship.

    Thanks for the loss boys!

  • schevvy

    Kipper is 41st in SV% and 39th in GAA, out of 43 goalies. If Kipper continues to stink like this, it’s gonna be a top 5 pick (which I guess for some isn’t a bad thing, haha)

  • seve927

    I didn’t see the 3rd. First two, the Flames seemed in control. One bad goal for Kipper, Avs capitalized on a couple of chances to stay close. What happened on the last couple goals?

  • Franko J

    Lack of execution once again. The same old story this team has no killer instinct and cave in so easily.

    I feel for the fans who pay to watch this team.

    I felt bad for Kipper, he is not the same goalie as was last season, and tonight wasn’t his best game, but where is the rest of the team to support him. There are more players on this team who tend to disappear more than a rabbit at a magician convention.

    The impact players are MIA. The goalie is looking old and out of shape. The future “stud” appears to have injury issues. On the bright side every loss should move Calgary management closer to reality of making changes once and for all.

  • Kevin R

    Tonight was in contrast to last years Flames but reminiscinet to two years ago Flames…..

    Tonight, like two years ago, the Flames players were good but the goaltending was bad.

    Last year Kipper was lights out but the Flames players were no good.

    Seems like it can never be in sinc since last time we made playoffs, in which the defence got hurt and we had no depth…

    I liked Flames offence tonight, but Kipper let in softies.

    The bottom pairing looked shaky also tonight, wondering if ‘staying fresh on blue line’ will ruin chemistry?

    One thing is the Flames are much more exciting this year in the offensive zone…

  • Kevin R

    Good game Lames and Lames fans. Don’t worry you guys will finish just out of the playoffs again so that you get a good pick but not great. While my Oil are priming themselves for as a perennial playoff team.

  • the forgotten man

    A few bigger issues are bugging me tonight…

    If trends continue, we are getting nothing for Kipper because he looks like he is already in Finland or if he stays he’ll be worth no more than a 3rd round pick…he should have been parlayed for assets at the trade deadline last season.

    On overtime it was brought up again how hamstrung the Flames are with their contract limits…again as above poor asset management (begin/sarich/badsuck/comeau etc) by carrying around all this dead weight.

    Overtime also touched on John Davidson and the powerhouse he built in St Louis and now he has a similar task in Columbus…JD has very strong roots in Calgary and the fact he is in Columbus is a tragedy…stuff like this continues to show me that Edwards and Ksquared are unserious at the end of the day to bring a Cup to Calgary…when you are competing with 29 other teams the room for error is minuscule. All efforts should have been taken to bring in JD as President of Hockey Ops and shoved King to the business side…once again missed opportunity by your Calgary Flames.

    One could go on all evening but the three examples above summarize the rot in this organization and with this group in charge I don’t see a Cup anytime soon…they suck at asset management plain and simple.

    • Oilertown

      I thought they should have traded all of Iggy Bouw and Kipper. But instead they keep them and bring in more mediocre talent in the summer. Priming themselves for another 9th place finish in the west.

  • Oilertown

    Your GM isn’t smart enough for that. Not only that but Lames fans are too fairweather they start tanking and their won’t be any fans left to play for. They already are starting to jump ship like Mr Gunk post on our site that he wants to join the good guys side.

    • A-Mc

      You’re giving us Oiler fans a bad name Oilertown. Go troll Vancouver fans if you have to get your troll on.

      @Scary Gary
      not a real loss. OTL (1pt) vs an undefeated team. It was a great game.