After a pretty entertaining 4-3 win in Sylvan Lake last night, the Calgary Flames are back at it! In the second game of both their 3-games-in-3-nights stretch and their 4-games-in-5-nights stretch (and 5 in 7 if you want to go that far down), they host the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
The puck drops just after 7pm MT and the game is on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan and on television via Sportsnet 360. Beware, again, it’s the Canucks feed, so no Ball, Hrudey or Millions tonight.
The Flames are 2-1-0 this pre-season and are in the midst of a tough stretch. The upside is they’ve gotten the opportunity to rotate a bunch of bodies into the line-up.
One body that’s getting rotated in (finally)? Sam Bennett!
Lines! They changed a bit during practice, so I ended up going with Steinberg’s:
Baertschi – Monahan – Setoguchi
Jones – Bennett – Ferland
Bouma – Arnold – Agostino
Bollig – Stajan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Culkin – Diaz
Yonkman – Kanzig
Wideman – Cundari
Hiller gets two periods, while Thiessen mops up in the third. Since Kanzig has yet to play, I guess that Wideman and Cundari sit, but that’s a guess. Man, I like those forward lines!
But they broke up the Giordano/Brodie super-pairing! No they didn’t, so they’re being smart.
In other news, Karri Ramo (hip) may play tomorrow in Vancouver, as could Mason Raymond. Heck, Bennett might get put in that group with a good game tonight – the team wants to accelerate him a bit, so expect to see a lot of #63 until they decide what they have in him. Wotherspoon is also progressing, but he’s a bit behind.
The visitors are coming off a split squad set on Tuesday with the Sharks; they won 4-2 in Vancouver and lost 5-2 in San Jose. Shockingly, every single split squad pairing I’ve seen this pre-season has involved the pre-season winning. This is their first non-split game of the pre-season.
Probable lines, via the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap:
Burrows – Bonino – Kassian
Higgins – Horvat – Hansen
Shinkaruk – Richardson – Matthias
Sestito – Bancks – Jensen
Stanton – Corrado
Sbisa – Negrin
Huskins – Tommernes
Shinkaruk was passed over by the Flames in the 2013 draft, instead taking Emile Poirier. Negrin and Bancks are both former Flames. Oh, and expect somebody to go after Frankie Corrado after he elbowed poor Johnny Gaudreau in the jaw in Penticton.
SUM IT UP
It’s always fun when the Canucks are in town, in that their presence appears to bring out a specific type of rage in Flames fans. And the Canucks are icing a line-up that the Flames should be able to beat.
It should be an exciting game, if only to see how Sam Bennett fares in his first pre-season action.