The Weekly Ignition: November 18 2013



The Calgary Flames have hit the quarter-pole of the 2013-14 NHL season, with 20 games complete and a lot of hockey left to go. In addition, we’re experiencing the meat of the schedule in college and major junior hockey, while the Abbotsford Heat are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season.

All that and more in your Weekly Ignition!


The Flames played three games at home this week. Things didn’t go quite as well as they hoped.

On Tuesday, the Flames dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the San Jose Sharks. The club got beat up in terms of shots and chances through the first 40 minutes, then rallied in the third against a tired Sharks club to tie it up before losing early in OT. Kris Russell and Mike Cammalleri scored, while Reto Berra stood on his head to earn the team a point. [Post-Game]

On Thursday, the Flames were drubbed 7-3 by the Dallas Stars. They had a similarly slow start as against the Sharks, but Reto Berra wasn’t quite as sharp in net. He was pulled mid-way through the game and Karri Ramo finished things off, himself giving up three goals in a game the Flames were never actually “in.” Matt Stajan had a pair of goals and David Jones had the other marker for Calgary. [Post-Game]

On Saturday, the Flames staked themselves to a 2-0 lead but then collapsed in the third period. Worse, the collapse was against the hated Edmonton Oilers, who left the Stampede City with a 4-2 win. Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman scored, while Reto Berra was in net for the loss. [Post-Game]



The Flames are 6-11-3 after a week where they went 0-2-1. The work ethic is generally there, although it’s varying a bit, while they’re losing games because they’re getting out-skilled. And occasionally out-worked, sadly.

In minor pro, the Abbotsford Heat lost a game finally (boo!) but won two of three on the road as they begin a seven-game trek throughout the United States. They beat Texas 7-3 and Oklahoma City 5-4 before losing 4-1 in the only game Joey MacDonald started on the trip so far. Just saying. Ben Street had five goals this week, while Blair Jones, Chad Billins, Max Reinhart and Mchael Ferland also generated many points. Joni Ortio ran his record to 7-0 with a pair of wins. In the ECHL, the Alaska Aces also won two of three against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Olivier Roy split his two starts, while David Eddy returned from injury and had three points in two games.

Your prospect Three Stars are Swift Current’s Coda Gordon (six points), Vancouver’s Brett Kulak (four points) and Quebec Remparts captain Ryan Culkin (three points). Honourable mention to Providence College netminder Jon Gillies, who won both of his weekend starts and set the Providence College career shutout record with his eighth shutout. And he’s just a sophomore, so expect that record to get run up a bit before he heads to Calgary.


The Flames play tonight in Winnipeg, in their first visit in many, many years, before returning home for games Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Friday against the lowly, lowly Florida Panthers. If they can’t win against Florida, expect the panic levels to rise.

The Alaska Aces are off until November 27, but the Abbotsford Heat continue their trek through the USA. They play Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wednesday in Rockford and close out their seven-gamer on Saturday and Sunday with a pair of games against the Iowa Wild.

And in an added treat, Flames prospects will be on TV this week. The Subway Super Series starts tonight, so check out Rushan Rafikov and the Russian Selects against Emile Poirier and Team QMJHL. The game starts at 5pm and airs on Sportsnet. They play again on Wednesday, as well, at the same time and channel.

  • Derzie

    I’m really getting tired of Hartley. Guy is trying to coach this team like its a Stanley cup contender. News Flash this team is rebuilding. Therefore we need to develop our future, not beat on it like a rented mule. I’m all in favour of holding players accountable, but the sven situation is out of hand.

    its also on the gm to make sure he has the right coaching staff. Poor scouting isn’t tolerated, neither should poor player development be tolerated. Fire Hartley and get a coach who wants to develop players already.

  • Derzie

    Any rebuild that sits Sven & Backlund is wrong. Every second Ern and Jackman are on the ice goes against the rebuild. Also, Stempniak gets pummeled for a clean hit and no one does anything about it? If I’m Stempniak, I’m moving on mentally. He just lost a tooth and no one gives a crap? Some team. Hartley has been chipping away at the team morale with his goofball roster moves and it is showing now. The team was giving 100% every night and it was fun. Now they are in the ‘why bother’ phase and losing culture is lurking around the corner. If this is Burke doing this, we are in even bigger trouble.

  • I am sick and tired of Hartley. What the hell is he trying to prove exactly? We’re not winning the stanley cup this year! How asinine can you be to even remotely think you’re contending for anything! Play your young guys! Let them develop!I don’t see a lack of work ethic on Sven’s part the past couple of games, he’s been flying, hitting, making good plays around the net

    Galiardi has had an awful past 3 games…scratch him if team accountability applies to every player…or so hartley says…I’m done with this bufoon.

    One thing’s for sure, I will guarantee you when we are ready to contend, he won’t be the coach anymore. I hope players start tuning him out.

  • haha awesome excerpt from the one article

    “A thoughtful entrepreneur was trying to sell paper bags to Oilers fans on the Saddledome concourse. With a reported asking price of $20 apiece, no word on how sales were going … “

  • mattyc

    Not sure what everyone’s upset about – sounds like Jackman is the scratch and Baertschi is playing with Hudler and Monahan… ? Looks like the same lines as Edmonton.

  • Nighteyes

    I think there was an initial hoo-ha because reports and rumours were coming out this morning – largely from Roger Millions – that Baertschi was being scratched. Either these were attempts to create further drama and outright lies or Hartley had a change of heart about Sven sometime after the morning skate.

  • Nighteyes

    Everyone get over it on the Backlund / Sven situation. These guys are not Burke type players and they are as good as gone. Hartley is playing the politics and doing as he is told.

    Let’s hope they can land us some high end prospects or draft choices!

    • Emir

      I agree with Hartley as a coach (Good Coach for a good team but wrong coach for a rebuild team.)

      As for the whole sven and backlund thing here my is piece on it.

      Backlund can be an effective player but he can’t seem to score. He isn’t gritty enough to be a stephan yelle type checker either. So Backlund needs to figure out his future soon.

      Sven is being mishandled. We won’t get jack for him in trade. We won’t get another first for Sven and if we did I doubt it turns into the same level of prospect that Sven is. So if there is a issue with upper management they better figure out how they are going to turn in him into something good. Bad players get bad returns in trade, so don’t make him out to be a crappy player if we are intent on trading him.

      I don’t see why we are playing jackman and mcgrattan at all. Those two suck and aren’t even good at face punching. We have better fourth line options that we are keeping in the AHL.

      • What do you all expect a coach to do with this team? He is getting them to compete and I would say this season is going exactly how I wished it would. The guys are working hard most nights but getting outmatched by better teams. Some of those games we probably deserved better.

        As for Sven, I can’t really say why he is being benched so often…

      • EugeneV

        Agree for the most part.

        On McGratton….if you played the game at a high level you will understand that a McGratton type player serves 2 purposes:

        1) He sends messages to the opponents to layoff the young guys and stars (Monahan, Sven etc).

        2) He makes your own players braver…they play with more confidence that McGratton will have there back!

        He is essential for that purpose. Not score goals!!!

  • Nighteyes

    Ok I’ll admit I was pissed this morning when I heard Sven was going to sit again.

    But Hartley is just trying to get the best out of him and the proof for me is after earning praise for his efforts against Dallas Hartley has been playing Sven a lot more even strength and on the PP.

    It is a process to become a consistent NHLer and not everyone can do it. I think Sven can and Hartley is doing his best to develop him into a well rounded player.

    Like I said I’ve been frustrated with Hartley too but then I see some of the mistakes Sven makes and I understand. If he would have scratched him today it would be a different story but Sven is playing tonight and I believe in this rebuild.

    But its a process and it will not always be easy..

    But one thing I’m pretty sure of is the Flames are not and will not give up on Sven. They just know how good he can be but he wont achieve it if he doesn’t understand the fundamentals of back checking.

    Give Hartley some time..

  • RedMan

    ive got to admit im happy with feazters overall job since picking up sutters hollow shell of a system and actually adding some real prospects, and Im happy with the effort the team gives… a complete cha ge from the Iggy era.

    so… theres a few things i don t understand… still pretty happy