The home side of the Calgary Flames pre-season schedule will be completed this evening, as the Flames host the Winnipeg Jets at the friendly confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome.
And if you remembered the pre-season Golden Rule when buying your tickets for the exhibition schedule – go as late in the schedule as possible – you’ll be seeing a mostly NHL-ready Flames line-up facing a similarly stacked Jets squad.
In short: it’s the closest we’ll get to NHL action before October 8. No TV, but the Flames site might have a stream. Maybe.
UPDATE: The Flames site and the Sportsnet site are streaming the game! But only for those who live in the “Flames broadcast region.”
The Flames (4-3-0) are coming off a pair of wins over the Colorado Avalanche that highlighted two important points: (1) this team will struggle to score goals and (2) holy moley, they have potentially some pretty great goaltending.
Lines for tonight!
Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler
Byron – Bennett – Setoguchi
Baertschi – Colborne – Jooris
Glencross – Stajan – McGrattan
Giordano – Brodie
Smid – Wideman
Engelland – Russell
That’s right – in the line-up tonight are Calgary’s 2011, 2013 and 2014 top picks, along with Johnny Gaudreau. The only “who?” roster inclusion is Josh Jooris, who has quite simply out-worked and out-hustled 95% of the invites to camp, veterans included. Karri Ramo gets the full 60 minutes tonight.
Regulars not playing tonight: Backlund, Jones, Raymond (all injured), Bouma, Ferland and Bollig (scratches).
The Jets are 2-3-0 this pre-season, but are coming off of a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. The pint-sized Nikolaj Ehlers scored the game-winner for the Jets in that one, and reportedly him and Nic Petan have been very good so far.
And like the Flames, it’s basically an NHL roster playing here tonight.
Lines, via the Jets website:
Ladd – Petan – Frolik
Kane – Scheifele – Ehlers
Lowry – Perrault – Halischuk
Tangradi – Slater – Thorburn
Stuart – Trouba
Clitsome – Bogosian
Pardy – Ellerby
Former Flames Adam Pardy and Danny Taylor – in Jets camp on a try-out after playing last season in Finland – make their returns to the ‘Dome tonight. Somehow, I think fans will have their attentions elsewhere, but it’ll be nice to see ’em nonetheless.
SUM IT UP
It’s a big test tonight for the home side, perhaps their biggest of the pre-season, as they ice an NHL-ready group against another team’s NHL-ready group. For the trio of kids in the line-up trying to crack the opening night roster (Bennett, Gaudreau, Baertschi), there’s no better time than tonight to make a good impression.
Because after tonight, if they don’t, they may be on a plane to Glens Falls (or Kingston).