After three and a half weeks, many scrimmages, four Young Stars games, a Dinos match-up and eight pre-season contests for the big boys, the 2014-15 Calgary Flames pre-season finally winds down tonight with a visit to MTS Centre and the Winnipeg Jets.
The game goes at 6pm MT on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. If you have a digital cable box, I believe the game is on the free Center Ice preview, but there’s also a chance it’s blacked out. It worked for me for Thursday’s game, but your mileage may vary.
With just 30 bodies left in camp, tonight’s the last chance for many Calgary Flames players to make a last-ditch effort to not get sent to Glens Falls, NY to begin play with the Adirondack Flames (who lost a pre-season game to the hated Utica Comets last night).
The Flames are getting healthy all of a sudden, with Mikael Backlund, David Jones and Mason Raymond all graduating to the main practice group earlier this week and now making the trip to play tonight. With Bennett out due to a reported upper-body injury, this probably means nothing but bad news for Sam Bennett’s NHL aspirations in the short-term, though.
Lines via Wes Gilbertson and Derek Wills with the team in Winnipeg.
Gaudreau – Colborne – Raymond
Jooris – Backlund – Jones
Hudler – Stajan – Setoguchi
Bollig – Bouma – McGrattan
Diaz – Brodie
Russell – Engelland
Smid – Wideman
This is basically the final roster, give or take a few tweaks. Hiller gets the start. No Monahan, Baertschi, Bennett, Byron, Glencross or Giordano.
The Jets are smarting off the 4-2 loss to Calgary on Thursday, particularly Zach Bogosian left the game with an injury and likely won’t play tonight.
Lines via the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe:
Kane – Scheifele – Wheeler
Ladd – Little – Frolik
Lowry – Perreault – Halischuk
Galiardi – Slater – Peluso
Stuart – Trouba
Postma – Enstrom
Pardy – Clitsome
No idea who starts in net. The Jets really, really, desperately need to stop taking penalties. They gave the Flames seven power-plays on Thursday. Against a team with a good power-play, that’s suicide.
Nikolaj Ehlers was superb against Calgary, so it’s a bit of a shame that it seems that he’ll be headed back to the Q. He’s reportedly been very good all camp.
SUM IT UP
Sixty minutes of ice hockey is all that separates some members of the Calgary Flames from honest-to-gosh NHL roster spots. Soon, the long pointless march of the NHL pre-season will be complete and the longer, more meaningful march through an 82-game NHL regular season will be upon us.