FGD: Opening the Pre-Season with the Oilers & Weekend Open Thread

Flames Vs Oilers

Well, hockey returns to our beloved Scotiabank Saddledome on a Saturday night, in the form of a pre-season battle between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

In this special kick-off to the pre-season calendar for both clubs, there’s a 7pm game in Calgary (broadcast via Sportsnet 960 The Fan) and an 8pm game in Edmonton (brought to you by 630 CHED).

It’s my understanding that the Oilers site is streaming the Edmonton game and the Flames site is streaming the Calgary game. Both teams are hoping to come away with a pair of wins and a lot of understanding about where their players fit into their NHL line-ups. Here’s a look at what’s happening in Calgary.

THE LINE-UP

As per Pat Steinberg, the lines for the Flames:

  • Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
  • Cammalleri – Backlund – D. Jones
  • Ferland – Monahan – Poirier
  • B. Jones – Knight – Nemisz
  • Giordano – Brodie
  • Culkin – O’Brien
  • Sieloff – Ramage
  • MacDonald
  • Ortio

It’s a mostly NHL line-up (two NHL lines, an NHL D-pairing, the NHL back-up…), along with some interesting prospects. That third line could be killer, as well as the third blueline pairing. Here’s the first big test for Ryan Culkin to see if he’s pro-ready yet. In a fun bit of trivia, John Ramage’s first exhibition game is in the Saddledome, where his dad played – and he’ll probably pass the 1989 Stanley Cup photo outside the locker room on the way to the ice. And it’s a great test for Monahan, who’s been fantastic in camp thus far.

For the curious, the fellas not playing in either pre-season are goalie Laurent Brossoit, blueliners Chad Billins, Mark Cundari, James Martin, Brady Lamb, Eric Roy, Tyler Wotherspoon, Chris Breen and Zach McKelvie, and forwards Max Reinhart, Turner Elson, Coda Gordon, David Eddy, Brett Olson, Steve Begin, Morgan Klimchuk and Carter Bancks. Outside of Elson, Reinhart, Roy, Breen, Gordon and Klimchuk, who are all injured, it’s a lot of try-out players and guys on the AHL fringes. And Wotherspoon and Billins, oddly, though they may be victims of the numbers game in terms of able blueliners.

THE OPPOSITION

Via the Oilers Twitter account, their lines in Calgary:

  • Hamilton – Gagner – Eberle
  • Jones – Gordon – Perron
  • Eager – Acton – Pitlick
  • Bilcke – Ewanyk – Chase
  • Smid – Petry
  • N. Schultz – Fedun
  • Larsen – Marincin
  • LaBarbera
  • Bachman

A bit more of a youngster-filled roster for the Oilers. There are a few stars here (Gagner, Eberle, Perron and Schultz), but generally a test for how their newer players can handle a trip into a hostile building against a more veteran-laden club. And Hitmen forward Greg Chase, chosen by the Oilers in the seventh round in the 2013 draft, makes his exhibition debut in the building he always plays in. Nice touch there, too.

SUM IT UP

Two games in two cities between the same two teams is a fun way to kick off the pre-season. The Flames would love to get some winning into their system early-on, particularly against the Oilers. The countdown to the regular season continues.

Check out OilersNation for the dumbed-down preview regarding the game in Shelbyville.

  • beloch

    These games are more a test of coaching and practice structure than player quality. It sounds like the Flames may have spent a bit more time in scrimmages than the Oilers, so it will be interesting to see if they come out of the gate strong or, alternatively, have flaws in their system since they spent less time on it.

    The rosters appear to be stacked to favor victory at home for both teams, so the real question is whether or not there will be a surprise!

  • Alsker

    No GDB on ON yet..so hello cgy., should be interesting games, hope you guys stream ur home one, would be great to see both our bubble/junior type guys. Heres hoping, almost forgot SUCK IT CALGARY!!!!LOL, Enjoy the games everyone.

  • I’d expect the Flames to win in Calgary, and lose in Edmonton. Hall is going to destroy some of our kids.

    Man, that was hard to say…

    Cammy-Backlund-Jones. I like that line, a lot. Cammy for the scoring, Jones and Backlund to get dirty with the puck.

  • beloch

    An article on the hockey games.The Flames first two lines should be sound and could be the difference in this game. However it is the third line that interests me. These three kids could be quite a line in the future if they continue to develop; Monahan with all of skills and hockey sense. Poirier with speed to burn and a desire to get to the net, and Ferland with his size, toughness and skill could be awesome and I hope they demonstrate some chemistry tonight. Hopefully the coaching staff will give this some time to gel. I also would be okay with some mixing and matching of the centers on these three lines. The fourth line looks like a typical fourth line; based upon the rookie tournie and last season these young men seem to be AHL bound. I hope they can prove critics like me wrong.

    The group we sent to Edmonton is much less talented but should please Burke. (I know it’s tradition to send somewhat weaker teams on the road in preseason) What I hope is that all 4 goalies get a chance to play tonight so we can get some sort of read on them. Here’s to the beginning of a long journey let’s have some fun.

  • beloch

    Our club heading to Edmonton looks light on skill but heavy on Truculence! Don’t be surprised if there are a few bouts in that one. Can’t wait to see the Ferland, Monahan and Poirier line in action! I read that Hartley will be switching his lines up a lot so they may not be together all that long. I also think that there is a bit of pressure on MacDonald as he has been lit up a bit in camp thus far. With Berra, Orttio and Ramo looking strong he will want to play well to help earn his way back onto the big club. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the Flames keep him regardless as he is the only goalie with significant NHL experience and they may be hesitant to go with two unproven guys. Depends on how sincere the pledge of meritocracy is. I also think that the club values the job that he did last year. I wonder if that is enough to guarantee a spot on the opening roster or if both positions truly are up for grabs?

    Just excited to get some games under way!