FGD: Swimming with the Sharks (Prospects)

 

 

The Calgary Flames have had a nice trip to Penticton, having won both of their games. Now they have the chance to run the table when they face the winless San Jose Sharks. Game-time is 6:30pm MT and you can experience all the action via streaming video on the Flames site or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
 
The Sharks lost to the Canucks 3-2 on Thursday and the Jets 5-3 on Friday, while the Flames beat the Oilers 5-2 on Thursday and the Canucks 4-1 on Friday. Can the Flames keep their foot on the proverbial gas on Sunday evening?

THE LINE-UP

Through two games, seven Flames have two or more points: Markus Granlund, John Ramage, Sean Monahan, Max Reinhart, Eric Roy, Michael Ferland and Josh Jooris. That’s a sign that a few things are clicking right now. Via Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald and Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960, lines for tonight:

Sven Baertschi – Josh Jooris – Coda Gordon
Michael Ferland – Markus Granlund – Dylan Smoskowitz
Turner Elson – Corban Knight – Ben Hanowski
Andy Taranto – Sean Monahan – Emile Poirier
 
Patrick Sieloff – John Ramage
Keegan Kanzig – Brett Kulak
Tyler Wotherspoon – Eric Roy

Brossoit starts. Taking the night off are Zach Davies, Ryan Culkin, Max Reinhart and Linden Penner. Part of me wonders how a Ferland/Granlund/Baertschi line would fare in pre-season. The rest of me really likes those defensive pairings.

THE OPPOSITION

Only two Sharks have more than one point – D-man Konrad Abelthouser and forward Rylan Schwartz. Goalie Troy Grosenick has played four periods and has both losses, while J.P. Andersson may see the brunt of the workload against the Flames.
 
After two losses in two days, the Sharks had the day off yesterday and are probably – hopefully for them – focused on walking away from this tournament with a win to show for their efforts. As it stands, the Sharks and the Oilers have zero wins thus far, and the Sharks will not want to be known as the worst team to show up.
 
That said, the Flames have momentum on their side and they’re dressing a fairly strong line-up.

SUM IT UP

Calgary has traditionally shown up at the YoungStars tournament and done fairly poorly. Not so this year. They’re poised to go undefeated and are facing a desperate, winless Sharks team that will be hard-pressed to come out of this weekend with a win.
 
With a bunch of young players looking to continue to make a statement – that they should be on the NHL roster come October 1 – expect another strong showing from the Flames. However, don’t expect the Sharks prospects to roll over without a fight.

    • Truculence

      I, for one, am not. Have followed him closely for almost 3 years, and he has always been gritty. Much more so than his brother. Back in Finland, he was always involved in srums and didn`t shy away from the rough stuff. Of course, the Finnish elite league and the NHL are very different beasts. Let`s see how he does relative to his brother.

    • BurningSensation

      When Chara was younger he had similar issues. He became a freakish work out machine (he went bike riding with Alfredsson who quit after ‘only’ four hours), and bulked his lower body up to get as powerful a base on the ice as possible.

      It’s not fair to compare Kanzig to Chara though. Chara had the big shot early on, and was always a better skater.

      On the plus side, Kanzig has his own reputation for being a weight room junkie, so he may yet be able to correct the balance issue.

  • RedMan

    maybe its just my imagination, but it seems there were times when Sven was standing apart from his team, and then also the first one to leave the ice leaving the rest of the team out there… was I seeing things?

  • BurningSensation

    Granlund is a bit of a revelation. I had hoped he might have a good showing at these games, but I never expected him to be the best player on the team, let alone in the tournament.

    • No doubt. He was fantastic. I hope he carries this play going forward, because he could really be something. This is the offensive drive we’ve been waiting to see from Roman Horak for a few years now.

      Just think: the Heat might actually score some goals this season. That’s almost unheard of.

  • McRib

    It struck me suddenly late yesterday how Markus Granlund looks more like Bastian Collberg every time I see him. In the WJC (and into dev camp) it was the shot and quick release; in Young Stars it was the skating and the willingness to engage, especially around the net. He’s definitely a natural goal scorer.

    I know, I can’t stop raving about the guy.

    @piscera.infada

    Roy is widely known for being less-than-impressive defensively. That was the big knock on him all along; his own-zone play. Honestly, he was better in his own end than I was expecting in this tournament, though as you say, there were a few plays where he really didn’t seem to be on top of things. For me, the worst moments were when he was under pressure. He has a habit of running around a little (though Kulak was actually worse for that last night).

  • McRib

    Michael Ferland with two more goals tonight against U of C!! How good has this guy been!!!!! He is a different player after loosing that weight he just gets in on the forecheck much quicker. Always had great hands, size but everything else has come together because of increased speed. He easily could stick with the big club this year if he keeps it up.