FGD: Grab Your Umbrella

The Calgary Flames (15-24-6) hit the road again for another quick two-game jaunt, this time well out East. Things kick off for them tonight as they attempt not to fall 10 full games under .500 on the season when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes (19-17-9). The puck drops at 5pm MT on Sportsnet West and The Fan 960.

Much like every other NHL team, the Hurricanes have been much better than Calgary over their last 10 games (going 5-3-2), and they sit 11 points up on the Flames having played just as many games. But with the Flames having had a pretty decent showing, all things considered, against Pittsburgh on Saturday night, perhaps the local boys have gotten a bit of a confidence boost. Considering their sub-par road record the past two seasons, the Flames need all the confidence they can get.


News broke early this morning that Mike Cammalleri suffered a suspected concussion in the third period via a check from Tanner Glass. You may recall that Cammalleri took a pretty blatant cross-checking penalty right after that, but at least now we can figure out why he was so mad about things.

Lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hudler – Backlund – Stempniak
Colborne – Monahan – Byron
Galiardi – Stajan – Bouma
Westgarth – Street – McGrattan

Giordano – Brodie
Smid – Wideman
O’Brien – Butler


New lines a-plenty, as Cammalleri’s absence results in a lot of shuffling. After getting victimized on both Penguins goals on Saturday, Wideman and O’Brien are broken up on defense, as well. Once again, despite injuries, these lines look okay, although you could argue Calgary now has three third/fourth lines and one second line. Depth is a concern, obviously.

The Flames PP, which has struggled, may struggle even more with Cammalleri’s absence. Then again, the unit’s tendency to revert to “pass it to Cammy” mode – to predictably load up for his one-timer – may mean they get a bit more creative. That said, the PP unit is desperately missing Kris Russell, who may be the best puck distributor on the team. But necessity is the mother of invention, and having a two-game span without #13 may force the PP unit to try out new things. What they’ve been trying of late certainly hasn’t worked.

And the goalie rotation continues, as Karri Ramo gets back in. In his last start against St. Louis, he gave up five goals. But he was sharp in Calgary’s last win in Denver, and he wasn’t really to blame against the Blues.


While the Flames continue to get bad injury news, the Hurricanes got some good news, as three regulars return tonight. Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Riley Nash are all back in. That’s probably not great news for the Flames.

Skinner – E. Staal – Semin
Gerbe – J. Staal – Dwyer
Tlusty – Nash – Dvorak
Lindholm – Malhotra – Ruutu

Sekera – Faulk
Hainsey – Bellmore
Liles – Murphy


The Hurricanes aren’t world-beaters – their defensive group isn’t all that much better than Calgary’s, and their star goalie is injured. That said, they have some good top-six depth – with Skinner, two Staals, Semin and Gerbe – and the bottom six is also quite strong. Khudobin has been game this year, going 6-1-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a strong .936 save percentage. His save rate is unsustainably high, but he’s done a great job in relief of Cam Ward (and Justin Peters).

Fun Fact: Fourth-liner Elias Lindholm, with 10 points in 23 games, was drafted a spot ahead of Flames center Sean Monahan, who has 18 points in 38 games.


Despite losing arguably their best player in Cam Ward, the Hurricanes have slogged along just fine in the NHL’s most disappointing new division – the Metropolitan. With a hot young goalie and a roster that’s getting healthier, the Flames would be facing a tall order even without being in the midst of their worst stretch of hockey (results-and-scoring-wise) in years.

But even with the deck stacked against them, the Flames have some positive energy to bring forward from the Pittsburgh game, and a strong showing tonight – even without a W – would go a long way towards repairing this group’s frayed nerves and shattered confidence.

  • seve927

    A conversation with a good friend this weekend, one that’s as big a geek on following prospects led to this question: Is there a place where one could see what draft choices belong to whom?

    As a result of trades, many choices have changed hands.

    What was being discussed what the market for Flames such as Cammalleri and Stajan. Personally, I figure that Mikey may be able to attract a second round draft pick and a second tier prospect. Stajan, on the other hand, might attract, at best, that second rounder in the right circumstances.

    Any insight as to where that draft listing might be seen?

  • Michael

    We don’t have a GM or an AGM, a coach that will be lucky to survive to the end of the season, no elite level talent, sparse ‘good’ NHL talent, one second line (when everyone is healthy) and three third / fourth lines, the major trade pieces that could have sparked the rebuild (Iggy, JBo, Kipper, Regehr) are gone with little to show for them (marginal returns) and an ownership group that dosent want a rebuild but a competitive team ASAP.

    If his goal is to make this team competitive next season, Burke has some difficult choices to make at the trade deadline. You almost have to trade the free agents to acquire draft picks, and use the picks, and maybe our first rounder to buy at the draft. Whether its Burke or the new GM, this team is going to be very active, and that means trading players, prospects and picks, including names that the fans cherish.

  • Parallex

    Hartley’s line-up choices are strange… how does Colborne go from 4th line C to 2nd line LW? I mean, logically why wouldn’t the third line guy move up with Colborne slotting in his spot?

    Not that I object, I’ve thought for some time now that Colborne ought to be moved off Center and onto the wing.

    • I don’t think he has much choice at this point. He has a clear top line with Backlund, a clear 4th line with the enforcers and then random mish-mash in between.

      Stajan tends to get the second toughest minutes behind Backs these days, so moving Colborne with Monahan makes it easier to shelter both of them. You don’t want Joe taking a bunch of own-zone draws agains top-6 opposition.

      • Schmenkley

        Im not quite sure what the slag against Colborne having own zone faceoffs against top -6 opposition has to do with the anything.

        Moving any body up to the wing would not affect the own zone faceoffs. If Colborne hadn’t been moved up he would have been centering the 4th line with McG and Westgarth (with few own zone starts), or he would be playing wing on another line, or he would have sat for Street and Street would have been thrown to the wolves with McG and Westgarth (with few own zone starts)

        A gratuitous slag (as usual) against Colborne. It is getting tired.

        Yes, last game he was -2. Look at the plays. He made the correct play on both. O/Brien failed to challenge on one goal and Westgarth was in la la land on the other. Not quite sure what your issue is with a 4th line rookie center but he gets WAAAAYYY to much abuse for his imput into the results of games. He is not the problem but may be part of the solution moving forward if he develops and only time will tell how he can play with good line mates.

    • I suspect “a hope” for a scoring line. What were his choices? Bouma, Galliardi. McGratten or Westgarth? The best hope for goals would be Colborne if he can adapt to wing. Bouma could have been a choice but I like the plan of Stajan’s line hoping for a break even night and pray Street survives the night (at least its not Pittsburgh with last change).

      We had no wings even before Glencross, Cammy and Jones being hurt. Streets playing the best so he gets the call up. He was rewarded and rightly so but………

  • Parallex

    With Russel back in, i actually dont mind the D.

    The forwards are an absolute mess. Just looking at those lines i shuddered.

    Anybody else chomping at the bit for some shake and bake? A little burkie move here or there? Im ready guys.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I find it amusing that the Flames went from a team with a lot of mid-tier depth on the LW to a team that’s shifted Hudler from RW to cover it, followed by a competent 3rd liner (Galiardi) and two guys who can’t even keep afloat on the 4th line most nights.

    • Parallex

      Injuries to your top line AND second line LW (not to mention Sven’s demotion) will do that to ya.

      I suspect that wineeditor is right. Hartley is betting on a sheltered Colborne playing on wing with some half decent cohorts maybe having more offensive upside then Galiardi.

      Personally, I think they ought to make this his new position on a more permanent basis. See if relieving him of the extra responsibilities at C lets him use that big frame of his more effectively. Maybe he can be the new David Moss.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Oh boy, do I hope the Cammalleri concussion isn’t a major issue, or kiss any trade value for him good bye.

    On the human side, I also hope he’s okay.

    • RedMan

      Hopefully we will also see some of the young prospects for short spells. Also it is likely that Glenx, Bjones and Djones will get healthy. Also a chance that when the trades occur that Burke adds some other players. Yes this indeed will be the core for the last 20 games or so.

  • loudogYYC

    Coaches like Bob Hartley are a dime a dozen. Long travel and back to back games and he primarily went with 3 lines tonight. At least have the creativity to spot Street within the 3 line rotation?

    Just venting, must be Rob Kerr’s squeaky voice.

  • loudogYYC

    Exactly the kind of win the team deserved! I can’t believe Stempniak though, he can’t buy a goal right now.

    Great win! Let’s hope tomorrow’s a fun game to watch.

  • Truculence

    Another really good game by Monahan. He`s steadily getting better now that he has recovered from his fracture.

    According to extra skater, he had a Corsi percentage of 57.9%, despite a O/D zone percentage of 20%. In fact, he only took one offensive zone draw in 13:45 of ice time.