There are bound to be plenty of nights in the remaining twelve games where the outcome is not of any significance or have any bearing on anything other than where the Flames will draft on June 30th in New Jersey. Tonight however, is not one one of those nights.
It may have been a short flight from San Jose to Vancouver, but the team had a lot to think about. Despite the loss to the Sharks, there were a great deal of positives to come out of last night’s game.
The team was able to come together and play as a cohesive unit for pretty much the entire game. That’s saying a lot since this season it has been a rarity and given the game they had prior to last night was nothing short of an abomination, it was nice to see the boys rise to the challenge.
Tonight, they are going to have to have the same attitude and the same tenacity they showed last night. It may be asking a lot since they are on the second night of a back to back, but tonight is another game against a bitter rival. If they blow this one, then last night will have been all for not, and they will be right back where they were just three nights ago.
We all know our boys are going into this one tonight out-gunned and over-whelmed, so there is no need to beat that dead horse. It’s going to be a tough night for whatever line is put out against Hank and Dank, and most likely it is going to a task that is floated through all the lines at some point.
That being said, we are in for a few changes.
- Glencross – Backlund – Cervenka
- Tanguay – Stajan – Stempniak
- Cammalleri – Horak – Hudler
- McGratten – Begin – Jackman
- Giordano – Wideman
- Brodie – Butler
- Sarich – Carson
Curtis Glencross is going to be a game time decision. As a result, last night the Flames recalled F Max Reinhart (aka Max Power). Reinhart will make his NHL debut in his home town in front of his Dad, Paul Reinhart. Quite a proud moment for Dad watching his son play in his first game, a game that features both teams he played with back in his day.
Reinhart is not being brought up as a "what-if" Glencross can’t go tonight. If Curtis is out, then Reinhart will slot in there, but if GlenX is a go, someone else will come out of the lineup.
Miikka Kiprusoff, despite playing last night and facing 41 shots, will man the Flames crease again tonight. Kiprusoff had one of his best games of the year last night and was the leader in that team attitude factor that kept the Flames not only in the game, but close to stealing it.
Even though the Canucks are without Ryan Kesler still, they do get some relief as Mason Raymond and Dale Weise return to the lineup. In the past, I would have been very optimistic about Kesler not being dressed for the game, it would have been even better knowing David Booth will also miss action tonight, but in the grand scheme of things, their absence will not be missed.
- D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
- Higgins – Roy – Hansen
- Kassian – Lapierre – Raymond
- Weise – Ebbett – Sestito
- Hamhuis – Garrison
- Bieksa – Edler
- Tanev – Barker
This will be the first time the Flames face Derek Roy as a member of the Canucks, so like I said, the fact that Kesler isn’t in the lineup is no big advantage for Calgary.
Sum it Up
The big attraction for me in this game is the call up of Max Reinhart. It’s going to be exciting to see what this kid can do at the NHL level.
No one should be expecting miracles or to see him single handidly keep both Hank and Dank off the score-sheet. It’s his first NHL game, and he’s playing it in his home town. Let’s take it for what it’s worth and hopefully just enjoy seeing the kid have a whole lot of fun.
Some may wonder why Reinhart and not Baertschi. I think the Flames know what they have in Sven, they don’t need to see anymore, especially not in a quasi-toxic environment. They have nothing to lose now, even though the official magic number is six. Why not see what some of these other kids have got. I have no doubt Chris Breen would also be up here instead of having to play Babchuk, but he has a season ending injury, so we’re stuck with the
Crouton Anton, for a while longer.
Let’s call tonight what it is… The Flames engaging in an experiment with one of their prospects that has a little local connection.
Game time is 8:00 pm on CBC or the Fan 960.