— Kristen Odland (@KristenOdlandCH) September 24, 2014
CBC’s grip on the game of ice hockey may soon become but a memory as Sportsnet gets more and more accustomed to owning the NHL rights for eons, but one of the cooler remnants of the CBC Era will likely be Kraft Hockeyville.
Canadians nominated a community that deserved or required rink upgrades and provided a story as to why. In the case of Sylvan Lake, the roof of their old arena collapsed in January. CBC viewers liked their story, so they won arena upgrades and a bunch of cool CBC-related prizes, including hosting tonight’s pre-season clash between the Arizona Coyotes and your beloved Calgary Flames (5pm MT; Sportsnet 360 and Fan 960).
Calgary split a pair of split-squad games with Edmonton on Sunday, winning 1-0 at home but losing 3-1 on the road. T.J. Brodie and Curtis Glencross had the the only goals. The coaching staff appears to be trying to see everybody that’s 100% healthy, so they’re rotating guys through. I wouldn’t expect to see many of the gentlemen from tonight’s game tomorrow against Vancouver.
Guesswork lines courtesy of practice yesterday.
Baertschi – Colborne – Klimchuk
Gaudreau – Granlund – Ferland
Glencross – Reinhart – Jooris
McGrattan – Elson – Wolf
Russell – Engelland
Diaz – Kulak
Sieloff – Brookbank
Klimchuk and Ramage also skated with the game group yesterday and are traveling to Sylvan Lake, but both were paired with guys that aren’t making the trip, so I don’t think they’re going to play. UPDATE: Mason Raymond is nursing a lower body ailment, so Klimchuk draws in. (Per Randy Sportak of the Sun.)
Still on the sidelines are Emile Poirier (shoulder), Tyler Wotherspoon (shoulder), Corey Potter (shoulder), Mikael Backlund (abdominal), Karri Ramo (hip), and Trevor Gillies and Curtis Gedig (undisclosed). Ramo may be ready to play after the weekend.
Changing their name this season as part of their sale to new cool Calgarian owners, the now-Arizona Coyotes are hoping for a fresh start, but also to continue the momentum that saw them miss the playoffs by just two points last season.
They’ve played three pre-season contests so far, also splitting their split-squad games (with the LA Kings) and then beating Anaheim last night 4-0. The group that won against LA in Glendale on Monday night is the group that’s going to be playing tonight.
Lines, from Monday:
Reider – Vitale – Crombeen
Hanzal – Samuelsson – Domi
Gagner – Doan – Korpikoski
Gaudet – Szwarz – Kassian
Campbell – Reese
Ekman-Larsson – Gormley
McBain – Summers
There may be a tweak or two, as Arizona is carrying extra bodies with them. Brandon Gormley, you’ll recall, was picked by Phoenix with Calgary’s 2010 first round pick that they sent to the Coyotes for Olli Jokinen. Man, that trade turned out poorly. Anyhoo, I generally like most of the Coyotes players here.
Mike McKenna is a fun story; he’s a journeyman goalie who’s played in some of the bizarre outposts of minor league hockey – including a stint with the Flames organization with Las Vegas and Omaha – but has worked his way into 21 NHL games as the league’s go-to emergency goalie. He may not be an amazing netminder, but he’s a pro’s pro.
Brendan Burke will play the third period. He’s Sean Burke’s son.
SUM IT UP
The grind begins for the locals!
Sylvan Lake versus Arizona tonight. Back at the Dome to host Vancouver tomorrow. Over to Vancouver to visit the Canucks Friday. An off-day Saturday, followed by a trip to Denver on Sunday to see Jarome Iginla and the Avalanche.