The Weekly Ignition: October 7 2013



It’s been a busy, busy week in the world of the National Hockey League and your Calgary Flames. We had cuts, the beginning of the regular season and three Flames games. To catch you up on all the goings-on, here’s the latest edition of the Weekly Ignition.


On Thursday: Capitals beat Flames 5-4 in a shootout. David Jones, Lee Stempniak, Jiri Hudler and Lance Bouma scored, while Karri Ramo made 35 saves in the loss.

On Friday: Flames beat Blue Jackets 4-3. Sean Monahan, T.J. Galiardi, Jiri Hudler and Curtis Glencross scored, while Joey MacDonald made 29 saves in the win.

And on Sunday: Canucks beat Flames 5-4 in overtime. Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, Monahan and Jones scored, while MacDonald made 23 saves in the loss.

The Flames head into week two of the regular season with a 1-0-2 record, which is probably ahead of expectations, all things considered.



The Flames played three games, generally out-played the opposition, and took home four of six points. Seven Flames (Galiardi, Monahan, Stempniak, Backlund, Giordano, Jones, Hudler) are point-per-game or better. However, not everything is smiles and candy in Flames-land: the Flames are still not amazing at 5-on-5 goal differential (although this is skewed by playing three pretty good teams in Washington, Columbus and Vancouver). Either way, they’re still terrible at face-offs and they miss Matt Stajan badly in that respect. But let’s face it, both as analysts of the club and as people that follow the team, it’s very heartening that there’s this much buy-in this early on.

In the elsewheres of hockey, the Abbotsford Heat split a weekend series in Ohio against the Lake Erie Monsters. They won 5-2 and lost a nail-biter 3-2. Many players – notably Ben Hanowski and Max Reinhart – were great.

In junior hockey, my arbitrary Three Stars are Emile Poirier (6 points and 2 game-winning goals in 3 games), Coda Gordon (7 points in 2 games) and Morgan Klimchuk (3 points in 2 games). Honorable mention to Johnny Gaudreau, who had 2 points in a pre-season game against St. Francis Xavier University.


The Flames host the fabled Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (in an early 6pm start) and the New Jersey Devils on Friday (at the usual 7pm start-time). Then they’re off for four days. Compressed Olympic-year schedule? What compressed Olympic-year schedule?

The Heat open their home schedule on Friday and Saturday against Milwaukee (and you can listen to their games for free online at Alaska doesn’t play a regular season game until next week.

The WHL and QMJHL schedules continue onwards, so Flames prospects will be playing quite often. However, the NCAA schedule is finally getting going and next weekend will be the first major weekend of games. Michigan State (Matt Deblouw) plays a pre-season game on Wednesday, Colgate (Tim “Who?” Harrison) plays on Thursday, as does Boston College (Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold), while Providence College (Mark Jankowski, John Gilmour and Jon Gillies) plays Minnesota State on Friday and Saturday. Yale begins their defense of their national championship next weekend.

In other words, the light Flames schedule will provide some time to play attention to how the prospects are starting out.


Hockey’s back and the Calgary Flames have more points than anyone really expected them to have after three games. There’s a heavy schedule of junior and college hockey featuring Flames prospects coming up. The Flamesnation crew will likely have things to say about these and other topics in the near future.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I like this weekly feature. Pretty exciting to see the Flames prospects, Johnny G., Gillies, Arnold and Kenny A. as leading US college prospects. Arnold being described as an “elite two way player.” Hopefully the Big Jan’s name appears in this article this time next year.

    Also glad to see the Heat off to a solid start.

    • Parallex


      To be more precise. No, because…

      A: The situations are different. Schultz played a year of Junior after being drafted but before college thereby allowing his exclusive negotiating rights to lapse after 4 years (as opposed to the usual after graduation).

      B: He’s never given any cause for worry. Attends prospect camps, speaks nicely of the org, etc. etc.

      C: Calgary has advantages over any organization that may wish to sign him in the event that he chooses to finish off his senior year (to say nothing of his junior year which he is commencing).

      D: The guy put a big honking sign on his front yard about being drafted by Calgary.

      E: His twitter pic (last I checked) was him in a Flames practice jersey.

      Frankly I’m more worried that with Mr. “Truculance” employed here the Flames are going to piss away found money in Gaudreau like they did with St. Louis oh so many moons ago.

  • The Flames are also going forth as if he’s coming in soon. For instance, they get BIG defenders like Kanzig, BIG forwards like Colborne and Jones. Heck, they flat-out admitted at the presser that they didn’t draft a single player smaller than 6-feet-something. If I’m Gaudreau, I’m probably liking how things are looking.

    • Parallex

      That’s a bit of a double-edged sword isn’t it? I mean he’s probably just as likely to think “oh-oh it looks like the org is only giving shots to big guys” as he is to think “cool, I’m not competing with anymore smaller guys”… frankly I think this new Burkian obsesion with size is a detriment to the organization and one of the main reasons I didn’t want that loudmouth employed here..

      Also if they said that they didn’t draft any folk under 6’0 then they lied. Klimchuk & Gilmour are both listed at 5’11.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        I thought that Feaster’s success in his first Flames draft came from picking diminutive players that other teams passed on. Baertschi fell to him at 13. Granlund and then Gaudreau came in later rounds. I thought then and still do now, that the team was forced to pick up these small players because they were desperate for any skill they could uncover, and were not going to be overly selective about the package size.

        2 years later, as much as I wish it were not true, an NHL team cannot win without some sizeable players. (emphasis on player).

        • Parallex

          “2 years later, as much as I wish it were not true, an NHL team cannot win without some sizeable players.”

          That’s something that people say but can you link to an objective study that actually proves it? Say a league wide height/weight chart cross-ref’ed with standings for example (preferably multi-season)?

          Regardless I think it’s the wrong way to look at it. Acquiring assets because you like big is how you end up drafting the Kris Chucko’s, Matt Pelech’s and Greg Nemisz’s of the world and how you consequently end up with a developmental blackhole. The team should just be trying to acquire the assets that have the most value and if that asset is 5’6 then it’s 5’6.

      • Avalain

        No, I don’t think so. Not when the Flames are coming to talk to him every year to see if he’s ready to go pro.

        Honestly, Calgary is exactly the sort of place a rookie would want to play. There is a ton of opportunity for new players to crack the roster here.

        • Parallex

          Oh, I think so too… I just don’t think the fact that the Flames have been grabbing bigger players is going to make him any more or any less enthused.

          I think he’ll come here because it makes sense for him to do so for a variety of reasons. I just don’t think that the Flames getting other big guys is one of them.

  • Parallex

    I was interested in the article about the top prospects in the NCAA; while it was nice to see someone else thinks highly of the Flames prospects. What I found really interesting that 9 of the the top 30 prospects are free agents. I hope the Flames are doing a good job determining if any of these young men might have a future here.

    I was also looking at the Heat and see Grandlund has not played, is he hurt? Or is there to much depth at this time and he has not adjusted to AHL; that would be to bad after his showing at the prospect tournament.

  • RedMan

    ic you want to end your evening on a good note do yourself a favor and pop in on the oiler nation’s game day thread and behold the wailing and nashing of teeth and sackcloth and ashes 😀

  • RexLibris

    Oilers won 5-4 in the shootout coming back with four straight goals from Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Ference and Perron (Perron also gets the gwg in the s/o).

    Gnashing of teeth was justified during the first 40 minutes. Terrible game. That being said, they played the game correctly for 20 minutes and managed to win. Now, let’s see what they can do if they manage 25 minutes, or even 30.


    On Gaudreau, I understand the anxiety about his leaving for free-agency, but I think Feaster and Burke can convince him to come to Calgary and start his career there. He’ll be getting in on the ground floor of a rebuild along with a number of other young players and can expect lots of ice time – that has cachet.

    Something else to keep an eye on is Burke’s history with NCAA and European free-agents (Gustavsson, Bozak, and Hanson). They might not all have turned out as expected, but they were minimal risks and it is a pipeline for which the Flames have already shown a preference.