“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
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.
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.
STANLEY CUP BABY WOOOOOO!
Players to Watch
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.
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!