The Calgary Flames lost to their bitter rivals, the Vancouver Canucks, last evening at home. Tonight, a slightly different group of Calgary Flames players travel into enemy territory to try to return the favour at Rogers Arena.
The Flames (2-2-0) are at .500 in the pre-season and are likely using this game to evaluate before trimming their roster down significantly. The Canucks (2-1-0) are probably just trying to keep some momentum going.
The game goes at 8pm MT on Sportsnet One (with the Canucks broadcast team) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. It’s the last televised pre-season game this year.
For a look from the other side, check out the preview from those rascals over at Canucks Army.
Your local hockey heroes came out and played really well for 40 minutes of last night’s game, but failed to really accumulate goals off of their many, many chances. They’ll be hard-pressed to do better tonight, especially given they’re leaving some of their aces at home.
Upside? Tons of chances for the lesser lights to impress and cement themselves contracts or roster spots.
Lines, via Derek Wills (of Sportsnet 960) and Wes Gilbertson (of the Sun):
Byron – Bennett – Hudler
Agostino – Reinhart – Setoguchi
Van Brabant – Granlund – Hanowski
McGrattan – Knight – Bollig
Russell – Ramage
Sieloff – Culkin
Kanzig – Acolatse
Your scratches tonight are Garnet Hathaway and Dustin Stevenson. Shocker. Stevenson’s the only healthy body not to get into any games thus far. It’s the first pre-season action for Ramo, Acolatse, Kanzig, Ramage, Van Brabant and Hanowski. It’s basically the AHL team, plus a handful of NHL bodies.
Can Sam Bennett carry this team on his back again tonight? If he can, start ordering #63 jerseys.
In other news: Tyler Wotherspoon, Corey Potter, Curtis Gedig and Trevor Gillies, previously of the injured skating group, skated with the main group in Calgary this morning. The other injured bodies – Emile Poirier, Mason Raymond, Mikael Backlund and Morgan Klimchuk – didn’t skate with the main group.
The Flames sent Austin Carroll back to the Victoria Royals this morning, dropping the camp roster to 57 bodies. There’s a chance that Keegan Kanzig gets the same treatment after tonight, but they may keep him around longer like they did last year.
The home line-up, courtesy the radio voice of the Flames, Derek Wills (@fan960wills):
Forwards are Richardson, Vrbata, D.Sedin, Sestito, H.Sedin, Hansen, Jeffrey, Vey, Jensen, Gaunce, Dorsett, and Horvat. The largely NHL-ready defense is Hamhuis, Bieksa, Sbisa, Weber, Tanev and Stanton. Ryan Miller gets his first taste of Canucks action, with Eriksson backing him up like he did for Eddie Lack last night. We don’t have lines available as of this writing.
The big news in Vancouver is the waiving of Jacob Markstrom, but this is a mostly NHL-ready line-up playing against the Adirondack Flames. Ramo will get tested quite a bit tonight, but it’s also a nice test to see if any of the Flames’ aspiring bottom-six prospects can shut down – or even slow down – the Sedins and Co.
SUM IT UP
Tonight’s game represents the half-way point of the pre-season for the Flames! I’d expect some cuts imminently after this game, particularly since the Flames are getting some healthy bodies back and the Baby Flames begin their camp on Monday.
Tonight’s the last chance for fringe bodies to get onto Brad Treliving and Bob Hartley’s radar. After tonight, the axe falls and we get down to some serious, serious business.
Let the games begin.