Welcome to your favourite Scorch fanblog for tonight’s preview of the Flames and St. Louis Blues!
The Flames are coming off their requisite thrashing of the Oilers on Thursday and are in St. Louis tonight for the Blues home opener that precious few in Missouri will give a flying crap about as both the Royals and Cardinals play this evening in the MLB championship series’.
The Flames are on the second game of a brutal six-game road trip to start their season and will be in tough tonight against a Blues team that dropped their season opener on Thursday. Thanks to a most predictable injury and a flu, the Flames will debut a new winger tonight, find out who it is (there’s a big picture of him) after the jump!
THE FIGHTIN’ FLAMES
Here is the roster for tonight’s game thanks to our dear, dear friends at DailyFaceoff.com and Roger Millions.
Byron – Monahan – Setoguchi
Glencross – Backlund – Bouma
Gaudreau – Colborne – Raymond
Bollig – Stajan – McGrattan
Giordano – Brodie
Russell – Engelland
Smid – Wideman
Jiri Hudler is out today with the Flu and David Jones is injured because well, I think it’s a contractual obligation, so that means Flames fans will get their first look at Setoguchi tonight. I would say that there is a fair amount of pressure of ol’Seto to produce when he is given an opportunity and tonight he will be playing with some very capable linemates.
After a less than impressive camp, many were calling for Setoguchi to be waived and buried, giving his spot to Jooris, Ferland, or another of the camp standouts. However, here he is and here we are and he had better make the best of it because I don’t think Flames brass would feel too guilty about sending him packing.
McGrattan slides back into the lineup because there are no other options at the moment and will play on a like with Brandon Bollig and Matt “Sisyphus” Stajan. Not much anyone can say about that line.
We all knew that Mason Raymond was the greatest goal scorer in history of Cochrane but I think most of us were surprised to see him pot a hat-trick in hostile territory. Raymond is a very streaky scorer so hopefully he can score a couple more here, simply because I want to see his name atop the list of Maurice Richard candidates for as long as possible.
Wideman draws back in tonight amid reports that he and Hartley aren’t “seeing eye to eye”. From my inside sources, I have heard that Hartley told Wideman “You aren’t good at hockey, what the hell happened?” to which Wideman responded “I’m rubber and you’re glue.” We will keep you posted as this story develops. In any event, Raffa (?) Diaz sits tonight and Wideman will join Smid on what is just an abysmal d pairing.
Jonas Hiller gets the start in Net tonight and looked pretty good in the season opener against the Canucks though many thought that Ramo would start tonight after stealing the game in Edmonton. Oh well, I’m sure we will have plenty of time to quibble with coaching decisions as the season progresses.
THE ST. LOUIS
Here is the Blues lineup thanks to Daily Faceoff:
Berglund – Backes – Oshie
Steen – Stastny – Tarasenko
Schwartz – Lehtera – Lindstrom
Ott – Porter – Reaves
Cole – Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester – Shattenkirk
Jackman – Leopold
The Blues have a pretty scary top-nine and, like almost every other NHL team, outgun the Flames on offense. Though the Blues are essentially a big, physically-punishing team, they have some serious skill in Tarasenko, Steen, and Stastny to compliment Backes, Berglund, and Oshie. The Blues also boast a pretty solid group of defenders as well with Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester, and Pietrangelo being three top-end dmen.
Brian Elliot over Jake Allen starts in net because I think St. Louis forgot about their goaltending this offseason and arrived at camp to find Elliot and Allen and sorta just shrugged.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?
As with most nights this season, the Flames will be in tough against the Blues. I’m curious to see how Colborne and Raymond play tonight as both played very well against the Oilers on Thursday. Paul Byron continues to just be awesome in every way imaginable and I am considering just becoming his agent at this point.
I am also interested to see how Monahan does without Hudler. Those two have played quite well, at least in terms of production, with Monahan setting up Hudler for goals in each of the first two games. Setoguchi is quite a large step down from Hudler so let’s see if Monahan can elevate the play of his linemates.
Puck drops at 5pm MT on SNET 360