F(E)GD: Double Trouble

double-trouble

“Welcome to the preseason,” he said, with the anticipation of the crowd slowly withering into a hollow chaff. “Please, contain your excitement”

It all gets going again tonight, as future hopes and dreams of young men and somewhat older young men begin to be realized; possibly crushed. The path to FGD 1 begins with stereo exhibition tilts tonight here in Calgary and the crestfallen cesspool up north in Dreadmonton. It promises to be good exist.

This game, of course, is just a simple exhibition match: a precursor to what promises to be another year in transition for both Albertan squads looking to claw their way back into relevance. It’s simply a game of evaluation for the coaching squads aiming to get their charges in shape and figuring out who’s going to play where.

But for the hockey starved fan (that’s you), it’s a chance to get your cheering and trolling game into midseason form, an opportunity for you to watch your favourite team take on their hated rivals who you want terrible, despicable things to happen to, and to watch a potentially awesome thing that only happens in the preseason: a chance for the Flames to beat the Oilers twice in the same night.

Yeah, I’ve got your attention now, don’t I?

Thunder Go Squads 1 and 2

Thing1-and-thing2

Now you know normally the lineups for Game Day posts are provided to us by our good friends and minions over at Daily Faceoff, but the preseason is anarchy, and today we have to rely on outside sources to get the job done.

With that said, here’s the Flames Saddledome lineup courtesy of Roger Millions’ twitter account, which is probably somewhat reliable.

  • Raymond – Monahan – Hudler
  • Johnny Hockey – Colborne – Setoguchi (henceforth referred to as “Gooch”)
  • Bollig – Reinhart – Jooris
  • Klimchuk – Knight – Hathaway
  • Giordano – Brodie
  • Culkin – Brookbank
  • Kulak – Engelland
  • Hiller (Thiessen backing up)

and for the poor souls to have to travel past Red Deer, Jermain Franklin gives us the Rexall lineup:

  • Glencross – Stajan – Jones
  • SVEN – Granlund – Byron
  • Wolf – Arnold – Carroll
  • Buoma – Tousignant – McGrattan
  • Russell – Wideman
  • Smid – Diaz
  • Cundari – Yonkman
  • McDonald (Ortio riding pine)

Again, this is all experimental stuff, there’s likely really no strategy line wise going into the season, especially as guys like Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, and Tyler Wotherspoon nurse minor injuries and don’t check into the lineup. The first game is mostly a good chance for all the guys on pro tryouts (#TeamDiaz) to make it harder for the coaching staff to cut them (or, in the case of guys like Sheldon Brookbank and Nolan Yonkman, quite likely make it very easy to cut)

It’s also a nice opportunity to watch the debut of sorts for a bunch of new (Raymond, Hiller, sigh, Engelland) and newish (Gaudreau, Arnold) faces into the fold. 

It is also pretty nice to see there’s no real effort to break up the Giordano – Brodie pairing, so if you want a takeaway from the lineup tonight, it’s probably that. Also the opportunity to get to see Jonas Hiller’s awesome new gear, which, I’m sorry to tell you, I will be talking about a lot this year.

Erdmerntern

courtesy of our “friends” over at Oilers Nation, here is how those adorably motivated hack Oilers swuads shape up:

At the Saddledome:

  • Yakupov – Arcobello – Purcell
  • Pakarinen – Lander – Pinizzotto
  • Hendricks – Gordon – Joensuu
  • Moroz – Khaira – Baltisberger 
  • Nikitin – Fayne
  • Marincin – Simpson
  • Oesterle – Musil
  • Fasth (Brossoit)

Rexall (allegedly an arena)

  • Hall – Nugent – Hopkins-Chase
  • Pouliot – Draisaitl – Perron
  • Tkachev – Yakimov – Westgarth
  • Roy – Acton – Platzer
  • Nurse – Schultz
  • Ference – Hunt
  • Aulie – Klefbom 
  • Scrivens (Bachman)

Say what you will about the Oilers (you know, things like they’re precocious, in the ninth year of a rebuild, wanted for drug trafficking charges, lovers of the Big Bang Theory, Nazi communists, mullet supporters, HUNGARIAN, etc. etc.) but I will say this: Their name game is strong. Check out some of these gems: Pakarinen, Pinizzotto, Khaira, Baltisberger, NIKITA NIKITIN, Oesterle, and on and on. I have no idea who most of those guys are, but I could sit here all day laughing at their names.

And also their play. Oh my goodness.

KEVIN WESTGARTH SIGHTHING!

If you had not heard the news, or had and then fell into a laughter induced coma that you’re just coming out of, Kevin Westgarth, ex-Calgary goon squad criminal, signed a pro tryout with the Oilers, and one really hopes he makes it, because why is Calgary always the team that gets to have all the fun? Anyway, McGrattan needs someone to punch, and there he is. Truly hockey at it’s finest.

Finally, Laurent Brossoit is a traitor, and will be treated as such.

Playoff Implications

STANLEY CUP BABY WOOOOOO!

Players to Watch

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For those fortunate enough to watch the Saddledome regiment tonight, you’ll get to see Johnny Hockey’s first game on Saddledome ice, and that seems pretty cool. You should watch that. And drool. And think of the implications for the future. The glorious, Gaudreau filled future.

Also Devon Setoguchi, because I really want to to instill early that we’re going to call him Gooch. Learn it, memorize it, use it. There will be a test later.

Other Junk

In case you were unaware, you’re able to watch both of these games tonight, but only if you currently have a working internet connection, because they are foregoing the TV watching experience completely and airing the game on calgaryflames.com. Both games are at 6 bells, so pick which one you want to watch. I guess. Or watch both. The possibilities are endless.

Because it’s preseason and it’s the Oilers and because I can, I’m just going to go ahead and predict the Flames are going to skate away victorious in both of the games tonight. In grand fashion. And it’ll set the tone for the series to be in the regular season. That was so bold of me even Craig MacTavish is taking notes.

Sorry for this haphazard FGD. It’s the preseason for us here, too. We’ll shake the rust off eventually and be a Big Red Machine come Game 1.

Seriously guys, Jonas Hiller’s pads. Go Flames!

  • jeremywilhelm

    In the YEG game Jones and Smid are horrible. Just… Horrible.

    The flames best D there is Cundari so that’s pretty sad.

    Stajan and Byron are the only forwards not regularly turning the puck over.

    Sven looks pretty meh. Not bad but not good.

    • RexLibris

      Byron was more noticeable than Baertschi.

      Most times Baertschi’s name was called it was in the context of “loses a puck battle along the boards”.

      Stauffer believes he’ll be moved sometime this season.

      • jeremywilhelm

        Stauffer is an idiot though.

        I wouldn’t judge him on one game. That was a dogs breakfast team in Edmonton tonight.

        Sven really has seemed to lose his swagger. I blame Burkes stupidity for that.

        • RexLibris

          How’d Gaudreau and Monahan look tonight.

          The box score makes it look like the Oilers threw a wet blanket on them defensively and were unable to create much offensively.

          • MichaelD

            Really? I thought Monahan played really well, he always seemed to be around the puck and obviously got a lot stronger. He had a lot of good chances for sure.

            Gaudreau I thought played decent, had some moments where you could really see his skill and hockey sense, but at the same time he’d disappear for a bit. Wouldn’t call it a bad game at all though.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Not sure why you’re basing that on the boxscore of all things. Monahan had 5 shots on goal and Gaudreau had 4.

            Monahan looked quite good, especially in the first period. Gaudreau was more consistent, but less impressive. Some nice zone entries, though, and a few good looks on the PP.

          • RexLibris

            That’s my point.

            The boxscore doesn’t really tell me anything about those shots or the play from them.

            Monahan and Gaudreau having 9 shots tonight could be good in that they were buzzing all night long creating chances that the goaltenders were able to stone.

            Or it could mean they had the puck, took a bunch of low-percentage shots and the goalies didn’t have to work that hard.

            ZE is an interesting thing to hear about, wrt Gaudreau.

            I’ll be curious to see how he plays given the size concerns and how other teams try to play against him.

        • RexLibris

          Note to all young goalie prospects who are below 6 feet tall. According to this guys outstanding analysis you are doomed. Take up another sport or profession. You are no longer valid in the sports world.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            I think, Chambers, you might want to research the last ten Stanley Cup Champions, the size of the goalie in net, and the average size of goalies in the NHL today.

            When you’ve done that, get back to me.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            No no no Chambers! A thumbs down is not research. WHAT is the average size of an NHL goalie today and what is the average size of the last ten Stanley Cup winning goalies?

          • SavardianSpinorama

            By whom? You? You have not generated one argument aside from Mike Vernon that small goalies are successful in today’s NHL, and Mike Vernon has nothing to do with what’s going on in the league today.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            I don’t give thumbs down any credence if those distributing them don’t have the balls to back them up. Thus far, I have not encountered one legitimate retort that a) goalies are getting bigger b) the best goalies are big and c) big goalies win Cups.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            For a moment there I thought you might be Brian Burke in disguise. But then I thought no way, BB is actually very intelligent and would no doubt rate a 6′ goalie based on skill set! Not height!!

            Goof!

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Ah, so your opinion about Mike Vernon means you have done your research and we can toss statistical information out the window?

            I am sure that will weigh heavily on the side of all the Corsi aficionados here.

            What you are saying is that Mike Vernon is the catch phrase.

            What I am saying is small goalies are a thing of the past.

            Mike Vernon tended goal in an era where goalie equipment was small and goalies relied on reflexes.

            Today, goalie equipment is big and big goalies rely on positioning.

            It’s all there if you want to look. And what Brian Burke has to do with it, I really don’t know. The facts are goalies are bigger. Where does Burke come into this? What a ridiculous counterpoint.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Just looking at all your thrashes….I bet you regret making those silly comments about Thiessen and short goaltenders. Utterly ridiculous!
            Borderline moronic.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            You have not made one intelligent argument. And, no, I don’t regret stating statistical facts. Goalies are bigger today. I am not sure what part of that you are having such a difficult time dealing with, unless you have a son playing goal who is going to grow up to be under 6 feet tall.

          • The Real Slim Brodie

            For you to make a bold statement and say that Thiessen will never make it in the NHL because he is too short is inaccurate and I took exception to your comment!

            As a Calgarian I enjoyed watching Mike Vernon and his accomplishments with the Flames! I don’t have the time to dwell into stats but I can tell you Luke Fucale (5’8″ maybe was a 1st round 2013 selection of the Canadiens this past spring. I’m sure Kipper was no more than 5’11” despite what his bio may say.

            Having said that I also like Mason MAcDonald (6″3″) so height is not a factor with me. Stop the puck and win me games and potentially a championship and I don’t care if a goalie is 5’0″ tall!! I admire the mental stamina of a top skilled goalie and his physical attributes certainly are a large factor i.e. reflex, strength, conditioning etc. Having longer legs does not make you a better goalie!!

            Yes there is a trend towards drafting taller goalies but that expands towards all positions. In fact today’s hockey players too a certain degree are bigger physically than in the past just as today’s kids in all facets of society are.

            Your statement regarding Thiessen does not hold credibility with me. That is my opinion and you are entitled to yours.

          • The Real Slim Brodie

            Wasnt it zackary fucale or something…luke doesnt sound right…also do you think the flames will regret dealing brossoit and then losing olivier roy. I remember lots of hype over brossoit before we drafted gillies….what happened?

          • MonsterPod

            Your correct it is Zachery…my mistake.

            I liked Broissoit but also support him being traded to meet organization need. Gillies is rated much higher and the goalie prospects now look good, including Ortio and Macdonald. nBroissoit was well behind these guys.

            Smid was also part of the deal and fills a gap for a few years until Wotherspoon etc are ready.

            I also see the Flames trading other prospects (forwards) to fill the defensive gap that exists.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            At last, you formed an actual argument (though, as “insvenwetrust” pointed out Zachary Fucale is 6’1″. Hockey DB has him listed at 6’2″ but I think we can agree he is a lot bigger than 5’8″). In fact, out of the 42 goalies drafted the past two years, only three goalies were under 6 feet tall. I count 16 goalies that are 6’3″ or bigger (38%).

            You are correct in that I jumped the gun on Thiessen, I was simply making an observation the minute I saw him in net: That even at 5’11’ he looked incredibly small. And while that in itself doesn’t mean he could not become an NHL goalie, the odds are certainly stacked against him. I could also factor in his age (28) and that he has never played a game at the NHL level or that he is at least fourth on the Flames’ depth chart for goalies, but that’s not what started our “friendly” debate.

            And yes, people (North Americans, at least) are getting bigger. Hockey players in general are much bigger today, but I would venture to guess goalies have surpassed skaters in terms of accelerated height the last forty or fifty years. If we go back to the 1956/57 season, three goalies were 5’9″ or smaller (Bower, Worsely and McNeil), five were listed between 5’10” to 5’11” (Defilice, Simmons, Sawchuk, Hall and Chadwick) while Plante was 6″ and Rollins was 6’2″. I don’t know, is there even a goalie in the NHL today (let alone three) who are 5’9″ or smaller?

            All things being equal, big goalies are in demand. Does that mean someone under 6’0″ can’t make it in the NHL? No. Obviously there are some goalies in the league below that height, but they are becoming few and far between.

  • RexLibris

    all these goons on our team and we are still super soft…?
    Gooch gets run knee on knee by a piece of crap who will be playing in the KHL next year and no response….
    Why get all these goons if they are going to play soft?

    WW

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    I only watched Calgary feed. Looked like a typical preseason game minus the odd (look at me) fight.

    Monahan Raymond hurdler look good. I also though setoguchi had some moments. I think he’s better than TJG.

    Kulak stood out as a player who has potential. Good skating ability to make heads up passes.

    I continue to like the quiet game of knight. He wins draws, makes smart plays and has some finish. He likely won’t crack the squad but I think he would be a solid fourth line center.

    Interesting that big joe played center tonight. I watched him in scrimmage and now this game he he seems stronger on the puck. A few times he took the luck from the corner to the front of the net driving hard.

    Johnny g was good. He created chances and generally their line drove the play. It would be nice to see him light the lamp but chances will lead to goals.

    Also gotta mention Hathaway. I’m close to being converted to those at the nation who would far prefer to see a functional fourth line. I’d even take a Wolf knight Hathaway type line. Hopefully with engel land and Bollig we can dress Gratz less. (Sorry for typos iPad is tough to type on and autocorrect is a pain). Too lazy to go back and self correct.

    Curious about those who watched in oil land

    • RexLibris

      Glencross was good, Stajan looked good, and Wideman was playing the puck well moving it up ice.

      Ortio was shaky to start, and some of the saves were on the crest, but he had to be wary with Pouliot and Perron who, along with Draisaitl, were creating havoc down low all game long.

      After Wideman, Cundari looked alright. Heard Carroll mentioned a lot, mostly on the forecheck.

      Baertschi really didn’t show well tonight. Lost puck battles, slow on the backcheck, and just seemed lost or out of step with his linemates.

      Aside from that, the pace was back and forth at times.

      Draisaitl had a very good game, as did most of the Oilers.

      Aulie needs work. Acton proved once again why a coach may like him but he belongs in the AHL. Hunt played well but is an AHL-level defender.

      Yakimov pinned Glencross beautifully against the boards and the veteran was more or less helpless.

      Schultz had a very strong game in both ends.

  • RexLibris

    I was asking what they looked like in the game because the game sheet shows shots, and TOI but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

    From one perspective you could say the Oilers limited the Flames to only one goal despite being obviously outgunned.

    Another view might say that the Flames failed to make any offense happen despite the shot clock because the attempts were from the outside or were essentially easy saves and that Brodie’s goal saved an otherwise boring game.

    Hence my inquiry.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      1-0 yes but I got a lot of entertainment value.

      -JG’s little back heel to Colborne was indicative of a lot of skilled ‘little passes’ that had CGY players galloping in the offensive zone looking to make plays.

      the execution slipped at the end but from my POV I saw so many young players make good plays. Unheralded guys like Hathaway and the ones we expect.

      The confidence to make plays is so great to watch.

      I realize it’s preseason and its EDM but the moxie guys like Kulak showed on that dummy play on the blueline was stand out impressive to me.

      Just the fact they know they can reach this level in their swagger is going to bode well.

      So many of them : Monahan, Colborne, Max and you can see its starting to come with Klimchuck too. That play were he cut across the crease was real nice to see. Beautiful hockey.

      They pounced on the coil.

      • RexLibris

        Thanks.

        Something happened with Yakupov at the end there.

        I’d heard it was a knee-on-knee collision (unintentional) that sent Setoguchi to the dressing room.

        Is this correct?

        • SavardianSpinorama

          Yep yak caught him knee on knee. Truthfully I didn’t think it looked intentional. They sort of collided. Strangely I agree with WW I would have thought that somebody might have had a few words for yak but seemed pretty quiet.

          Hathaway probably had the hit of the game.

          Edmonton’s goalies were good.

          I don’t know if there is going to be all that much separating these two teams. Likely depends on how quickly the flames start moving out vets.

        • Captain Ron

          I was at the game. In real time it looked like a knee on knee hit but after watching the reply I don’t think it was. Was more like one of those hits where two guys on the same team run into each other by accident. If there was knee contact it was unintentional from what I could see. Yakupov was trying to get out of the way of a team mate and ran into Setoguchi in the process. I didn’t notice Yakupov at all in the game until that happened. Didn’t even know he was playing.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I thought Sven made some really good plays. He and Granlund were the marquee offensive guys so it was tougher for them. I thought they battled.

    There are tons of shifts left in preseason. I’m looking forward to Sven playing with group that played in CGY tonight – Granlund too. See what kind of chemistry can be found.

  • Teamsupreme

    I really want sven to turn out. It makes me so sad to think he was once our wonderboy, and then he lost all his confidence. He deserves better. I just want nothing but success for him, but at every turn it seems like he hits setbacks. What would get him going again?

  • Derzie

    It’s going to be a loooong season. I was in tears when I watched Bollig skate. Looked like he should have had a shovel in his hands instead of a stick. Brutality.

  • Danny Lawson

    Granted it was Sven’s 1st game and hopefully he gets on track, but can’t agree with your assessment of his play from today’s game, other than noticing him cough up the puck, his was invisible. Granlund was OK but expect him to start in the AHL. Was impressed with Hitman winger Chase who played with Hall & RNH.

  • SavardianSpinorama

    Watched the game from Edmonton . Close game , typical exhibition with Oilers goalies outshining the Flames Ortio . Glencross could have had 4-5 goals with any luck . He was dominant . Stajun played well , Jones not so well . Granlund was bad and occasionally good/okay , Baertchi was inadequate all night . Arnold okay , Carroll and Wolf did little . Byron played reasonable and flattened Draisaitl into the boards on one shift . Tousignant was best 4th liner for Flames . Probably hit of the game was by Byron . Flames defence was good and bad with no one really sticking out . Not much for physicality in this game . 3 stars by my estimation should be Schultz , Glencross and Nurse .

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    A few things:

    Monahan had a strong game I thought. Especially in the first period he looked very good. Hudler and Raymond seemed a fine fit

    Knight was strong both ends of the ice and in the dot. Created a few nice chances. He is going to be a strong two way center ice man.

    JG was good for his first real preseason game. Got all the jitters out and was able to get involved and create a few good chances. Size wasn’t an issue for him in the game tonight.

    • MonsterPod

      I’m 5′ 11″. Actually standing next too Kipper he looks up at me.

      Careful with NHL bio’s, they work to the advantage of the player!

      Fucale is no where 6′ tall, Not even close. That’s info promoted by an agent!

          • The Real Slim Brodie

            Does anyone know why ferland didnt play, did he aleady show he is ready. How is greg nemisz and ryan howse looking these days? Had high hopes for them along time ago

          • The Real Slim Brodie

            Obviously not possible to play the entire roster. Ferland has impressed a lot of people including the coaches and management. He and Granlund are going to get lot’s of ice starting Wednesday.

            With Backlund expected to miss significant time look for Granlund to start the season here. Word is that Ferland is already penciled into the starting lineup as well.

  • MonsterPod

    According to Urban Dictionary, “Gooch” is the area of skin that attaches a man’s sack to his anus. Not sure that’s the best nickname for Setoguchi unless you dislike him.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    Hope it’s not a sign for the 2014/2015 season but I anticipate the Flames outplaying a few teams and coming out on the short end of the stick. Goal scoring is going to be an issue for this squad and while I won’t pass judgment on two goals in two games, I’m afraid we’re going to see our share of these games this year. Just hearing the Oilers goaltending stymied the Flames attack makes me shudder.