Well, 2013’s prospect camp is now in the rear-view mirror for the Calgary Flames as players regroup and prepare for the grind that is main camp.
But as we look forward to main camp opening on Wednesday, let’s look back at the overall performance of the fledgling Flames over the past week.
The Flames won three of four games, meaning the goalies got in the way of most of the pucks they faced. The club was also out-shot in half their games (against the Canucks and Sharks), so considering they won three games handily and lost once by a goal, you could make the case that their goaltenders did rather well.
Laurent Brossoit played twice, going 1-1 with a respectable 2.51 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Granted, the games he started featured the Flames playing their best and arguably worst efforts of the tourney, so his numbers may be skewed.
Ortio did great in his first game, allowing a single goal and stopping 39 of 40 shots. After the San Jose game, Jay Feaster mused that Ortio worked his way into the “who’s starting in Calgary this year” conversation with his efforts. He looked similarly poised against the Dinos, particularly given the traffic they put in front of his net.
Calgary’s blueliners generally did pretty well. John Ramage arguably did the most to raise his stock, putting up four points and earning praise from Troy Ward for his smart play and leadership. Others earning some positive feedback – based on media reports and post-game video – were Patrick Sieloff and Tyler Wotherspoon.
So basically the guys you’d expect.
Ryan Culkin played pretty well in his three games – aside from scoring on his own net – and I’d wager the Flames have probably figured out where he’ll be this season by now. 2013 picks Keegan Kanzig and Eric Roy both asserted themselves rather well, with Roy putting up two points against Vancouver and Kanzig punching dudes and generally deterring anybody from messing with his teammates.
In general? The D-men didn’t embarrass themselves and most raised their stock.
Well, here’s the group with the biggest variation in performance.
The good: Markus Granlund was excellent and scored goals. Turner Elson motored around a lot. He didn’t get any points, but he was almost always noticable. Michael Ferland appeared to be in great shape – he’s reportedly 20 pounds lighter than last year – and had a key fight that sparked a rally in the Vancouver game. The Granlund/Elson/Ferland line was very good against the Dinos. Sean Monahan scored twice and created chances. Max Reinhart, Emile Poirier, Ben Hanowski and Josh Jooris all played rather well, also.
The rest: I’ll ignore the three try-out kids, as they didn’t play a whole heck of a lot. To be fair, Taranto and Smoskowitz found the scoresheet and Penner was by all accounts perfectly adequate. The three remaining forwards – 2011 first rounder Sven Baertschi, former Hobey Baker contender Corban Knight and late round draft pick Coda Gordon – combined for one point in Penticton and another two against the Dinos. Gordon was largely invisible, which merely means he didn’t do anything to make anyone full of glee or terror on the ice. He’s 19 and that’s perfectly fine. The other two – Knight and Baertschi – disappointed a bit with some inconsistency. Knight was probably the better of the do, but neither showed off their pedigree or their talent as much as you’d hope they would in such a situation.
I mean, lets be blunt here – we’re all pleasantly surprised that Markus Granlund did as well as he did. But nobody expected him to out-shine Knight or Baertschi. I’m not sure if that’s due to Granlund “getting it” earlier than many expected him to, but it may also be due to some under-performance by the aforementioned players.
Veterans report on Wednesday for physicals and hit the ice on Thursday, as the competition for actual NHL jobs kicks off. In short: the real camp chaos begins in a few short days