FGD: Tank Baby Tank

 

 

This could be a very peculiar game tonight. The 12th place Flames take on the 14th place Predators and both clubs will be earnestly trying to lose to secure a favorable draft position.

So, in stark contrast to your average game, this will be an entirely different contest of wills: who can out-suck whom? Who can take more penalties, give up the puck at the blueline more often and dress more replacement level bodies? I’d feel sorry for any folks paying money to see the pending debacle tonight, but it might be morbidly interesting as a sort of rare, grotesque spectacle.

As discussed at length recently, Calgary’s ill-timed goalie regression and subsequent winning streak has crippled their chances of finishing inside the top-5, so there really is an urgent need to score a few own goals over the next few games. That would have been easier against another non-tanker, but Nashville is in the same boat and even closer to the brass ring with 38 points. They can practically start penciling in at least one of the big names onto their prospect list right now.

As such, no one should be surprised if goons start skating on top lines, if whatever remaining vets there are suddenly need to "leave the game" for mysterious maladies and, in the end, if defenders accidentally start rifling the puck into their own net as time winds down.

It’s the sporting equivalent of The Producers.

The Lineup

I wouldn’t have bothered with this otherwise, but Calgary’s roster tonight is, uh, noteworthy:

  • Baertschi – Reinhart – Cervenka
  • Hudler – Horak – Aliu
  • Bancks – Byron – McGrattan (!)
  • Hanowski – Street – Jones
  • Brodie – Cundari
  • Giordano – Wideman
  • Butler – Babchuk
  • Kipper

Carter Bancks makes his NHL debut. As laughable as this situation may seem to be, he’s one guy who probably doesn’t find it funny. Bancks isn’t really an NHL level talent, but by all accounts he’s a tireless worker and excellent teammate, so it’s nice to see him get a cup of coffee – even if it’s in service of less than honorable ends.

Babchuk’s re-appearance in the line-up is self explanatory.

The Opponent

  • Kostitsyn – Spaling – Bang
  • Mueller – Henderson – Butler
  • Fisher – Forsberg – Legwand
  • Clune – Smith – Halischuk
  • Weber – Josi
  • Klein – Bartley
  • Blum – Gill
  • Rinne

In case you thought this would be a slam dunk (loss) for the Flames, take a look at what the Preds will probably be icing. There’s a few more recognizable names in that line-up, but not many. Although Mr. Bang should get a few points simply for having one of the most hockey-ish last names ever.

Sum it Up

What happens when both boxers have been paid to throw the fight? Tonight we’ll find out.

  • thymebalm

    Why all the hate for Cervenka? Don’t you think it takes a little time to learn NHL defence? No training camp, blood-clot, never played in NA before… seems like a summer of training and some d lessons and he could be a jiri hudler.

  • Lordmork

    Not everyone may agree, but I really like Cervenka, and I hope he decides to stay and we give him another year. No longer than that though. Also, none of this “pretend he’s a centre” business.

    • loudogYYC

      I think Cervenka could be useful, but in a limited role and playing with a centreman like Bergeron. Flames can afford neither so he’s just not that valuable here. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he got a small 2 way deal from another team next season though.

      • Lordmork

        I guess a lot is going to depend on how successful we’re at in attracting free agents. If the choice is another year of Cervenka, or having to sign another overpaying, long-term contract to attract a half-decent player, I know what I’d pick.

        • loudogYYC

          I don’t think this is the year UFA’s will cash in. Teams have money but the lower salary cap has already handcuffed half the league and there’s about 5 lower teams that have self imposed salary caps.

          I’m ok with Calgary overpaying a UFA, but only on a 1 year deal. Give the guy a big offensive minutes and a chance to showcase himself for the 2014 UFA season and we can flip him at the deadline to a contender that will have cap space by then. I doubt contenders will want a player like Cervenka though.

        • mattyc

          yeah – i’ve also liked that line this year, but the only spot I see for him, I’d hope is instead for our draft pick. Who knows… he wouldn’t be a bad signing I dont think

          Tanguay Cammalleri Backlund
          Stajan Stempniak Glencross
          Hudler Baertschi ???Cervenka??

          • Lordmork

            I really hope our draft picks get time to play in the AHL first. I’m not convinced the best place to develop them is the NHL, especially on a team I expect to struggle at the start of the year.

  • mattyc

    Kent, you have clearly never played a sport. Both teams will go and try and win this game. Sure there might be a better draft pick, but creating a loser culture on your team will follow you for a long time… Edmonton

  • RKD

    So if the Flames most likely don’t land Jones, MacKinnon, Drouin, or Barkov which center you would take and who has the most potential of fulfilling their ceiling?

    Lindholm, Monahan, Domi, Gauthier, or Horvat are your choices.

    • beloch

      Lindholm is my fav, but I do like Monahan too. Which is actually unusual for me and a draft eligible power forward, but there it is. Both are quite likely (relatively speaking) to hit their ceilings. Lindholm’s is probably higher, but Monahan’s size probably makes him safer.

      Domi is a good pick for a bit later, but I don’t think i’d take him in the top 10.

      • Truculence

        I think Monohan is the superior player. Lindholm is a great playmaker and two-way presence, but Monohan has those qualities in addition to size and a great shot. He`s also one of those kids who plays every game like it is game seven of the stanley cup finals.

        As later round picks who will likely be available when we draft 21-23 with the Blues pick, and 25-30 with the Pens pick, I like Rychel, Hagg, Lazar, and Gauthier.

        • Ugh Rychel has bust written all over him. He did nothing this season until Khokhlachev returned from Russia. Nothing. And he’s also one of the oldest players in the draft.

          And we’ll have to agree to disagree on Lindholm vs Monahan. Yes, Monahan is bigger with a good shot, but Lindholm is smarter, more skilled, a better passer, and a much better skater. Plus he’s also already playing against men.

          • Truculence

            Regarding Rychel, once you get into the latter third of the draft, you`re pretty much looking at high risk-high reward players. I was talking about players we would realistically be able to draft, not the one`s we as fans want to. Josh Morrissey, for example, will most likely not be available by the time our second pick comes around.

            Regarding Lindholm vs Monohan, Lindholm should have a little more speed in him, as he is smaller. I don`t know where you got the more skilled part, as he is not a high-end scorer. And as far as playing against men, this is the Swedish Elite league we are talking about, not the AHL or KHL which are the closest approximations to NHL hockey. Way more players from Europe struggle with our smaller rinks and more physical style than are successful.

            I`m not saying he is a bad player; he is a good player and will probably be great one day in the NHL. Monohan, on the other hand, seems to have the tools to be a franchise center. He drives play, is excellent on face-offs, is very physical, and has high-end scoring ability. His playmaking skills, as Pronman and other scouts have alluded to, are also above-average. Hell, he was in on almost 50 percent of his team`s points this year, if I am not mistaken. And don`t forget, his team sucked.

            You cant go wrong with either, but Monohan`s game seems tailor-made for the NHL. He may become that big, two-way center we have lacked since Joe left.

  • RKD

    This is why they started Kipper I guess, what a garbage way to go out if this is his last start. Acceptable because it’s on the road, management upset at Kipper for potentially not playing out his full contract?

  • RKD

    ISS on Lindholm: Superior hockey IQ. 2-way player. Work ethic 2nd to none. Complete player in all 3 zones.
    Monahan: Big bodied, versatile Foward. Lethal scoring ability & awareness in all zones. Leads by example.

  • Lordmork

    This is a great night! The young players get a chance, we lose to Nashville , Florida and Carolina lose! We will lose for sure to St. Louis and Chicago! Chicagos coach is pissed that they were a no show in Vancouver so they’ll work us!

  • Lordmork

    As concerned as I am about the Flames playing themselves out of a good draft pick, I’m happy to see them not rolling over and giving up over the last few games. I feel like the Flames have done that all too easily over the last four years. I’m really hopeful that some of the trades we’ve made can help toss out that culture, and I hope we move to keep getting rid of any players who give up too easily.

  • Lordmork

    Aliu’s conditioning and speed seem much improved. I hope he can find a way to be consistent and make this team next year. I’d love a 4th line with him and Bouma next season. He could have a big impact on a game.

    Theres a lot to like tonight: Svens point streak, Brodie scores, Cervenka scores two (hope he resigns), NJ Buff Car Philly all win, we lose….all good things

    @Kent Wilson

    I agree Cundari doesn’t look as good tonight, but he made a good play on Brodie’s goal, and was steady tonight except for the puck getting behind him a couple times that made him look bad. Those were more the forwards fault more than his I think.