FGD #4: A Trip to Music City (6pm; SN360)

After two days off to give thanks for the points they have already received – two, via the Oilers – the Flames are in the Music City of Nashville, Tennessee tonight to visit the Predators.

The Flames have had three games worth of good third periods, but haven’t really played a full 60 minutes yet this year. That’s bad, as playing a good 20 minutes will only apparently beat Edmonton – and that took Edmonton rolling over in the third. Granted, it’s early, but the Flames really need a full 60, especially if they’re going to bail out their goalies; Hiller and Ramo have been good-to-excellent thus far, but the club has just a single win to show for it. In the midst of a six-game road trip, the team will need a more complete effort to survive.

The puck drops at 6pm, and you can catch the action on Sportsnet 960 The Fan or on Sportsnet 360.

THE FLAMES

Calgary is now in the meat of their six-game road trip (with three games left after tonight). They beat Edmonton in Dumpsville on Thursday, then were out-played soundly by a better Blues team on Saturday. Now, after two days off, they face Nashville. Nashville won two of the three games against the Flames last season, with Calgary’s lone win coming in that thrilling 5-4 shootout. They also had that excellent 6-5 game in March (when they received a standing ovation from the Saddledome crowd despite losing). The game in Nashville was more one-sided and had Carter Hutton in net.

The Flames used four different goalies in their three games with Nashville, while the Predators used three.

Lines, from our pals at Daily Faceoff (via Derek Wills and the Flames media troops in Nashville):

Hudler – Monahan – Setoguchi
Glencross (A) – Backlund – Byron
Raymond – Colborne – Gaudreau
Bollig – Stajan – Bouma

Giordano (C) – Brodie
Russell (A) – Engelland
Wideman – Smid

Ramo
Hiller

David Jones (upper body) remains out, but is not on the IR, but Jiri Hudler is back from the flu, so the lines get shuffled and Brian McGrattan sits. Ramo starts in Nashville, while Jonas Hiller hopes to repeat Reto Berra’s Swiss magic from last season and win when he starts in Chicago on Wednesday.

THE PREDATORS

Nashville is 2-0-0 and have been off since Saturday, like the Flames. They have wins over Ottawa and Dallas under their belts. This is the final game of their season-opening three-game homestand, after which they hit the road later this week. Peter Laviolette is their new coach this season, replacing long-time coach Barry Trotz. So far, it’s going well.

Lines via Daily Faceoff:

Bourque – Ribeiro – Neal
Forsberg – Roy – Smith
Wilson – Jarnkrok – Jokinen
Beck – Gaustad – Nystrom

Josi – Weber
Volchenkov – Jones
Ekholm – Ellis

Rinne
Hutton

Mike Fisher (achilles), Victor Stalberg (lower body) and Matt Cullen (upper body) are all on the IR for the Predators. The good news is that Cullen was the Preds leading scorer against Calgary last year. The worse news is that the Predators are a lot deeper than last year’s version, so I doubt they’ll need Eric Nystrom to score four goals in a game again.

That defensive group looks pretty damn solid. And let’s welcome back Nystrom and Olli Jokinen, two fine former Flames.

SUM IT UP

The Flames have had a tough time winning in Nashville recently, as they haven’t won in that town since 2011. With how they’ve been playing – and how good a start Laviolette has the Predators off to – it will be tough for them to break that streak.

Unless they bust out their first real 60-minute effort of the season. If they play how they did against St. Louis, they likely will lose once again.

  • Brent G.

    Only hrudey would pick Ribeiro as first star in a flames win. What a joke. G__damm hrudey . I’ve always said he hates the flames and he proves it time and time again. Believe it. How do we get stuck with these drips calling our games. Lubeo you are a joke too. Hopefully your balls drop before the season is over

    • piscera.infada

      They had Friedman on the Fan earlier today and he was also talking about that. He said the only semi-concrete offer has been from the Wings, Buffalo wanted Anthony Mantha, +. So you’d have to think a Baertschi/Gaudreau, draft pick(s), maybe another prospect would be the acceptable offer.

      Myers is one of those players where his potential sounds very, very nice, but he’s not very good in reality. Sure, arguments abound about the quality of team, but he’s just never really lived up to that first season/prospect pedigree. I wouldn’t be selling anything near what Buffalo would likely be asking for him.

      • Burnward

        I dunno…he’s big, young and can play. Counting stats suck last couple years, but is that chicken or egg?

        I’d take a shot at him and move Sven + a little bit extra to do so. I imagine I’m in the minority though.

  • RexLibris

    Gaudreau looking more comfortable tonight. He needs to get that first bounce his way.

    Glencross looks terrible again. Another useless penalty. I was optimistically hoping for a deadline first for him. Now, not sure if we could get a third for him. Just bloody terrible.

    • Purple Hazze

      Not often I agree with Doug McLean, but his take on JG was very accurate. Once he deciphers this level a little more he’s going to be great, but he’s already showing he can create offence while playing a strong two way game.

  • Brent G.

    Seto actually looked good the last half of the game.

    Not to sound biased in terms of Gaudreau, but does anyone else watch him and think that his line mates just aren’t smart enough to play with him?

    Wideman is terrible. Out of position on that 2nd goal and a suicide pass to Gaudreau.

    Yup, Lambert definitely needs to rethink his stance on Ramo, the dude looks very bit a legit starter so far. It’s very early, obviously, but his saves are not of the desperation, fluke variety. He’s just looking very solid, great athleticism with great positioning.

    Bollig looks alright when he’s going to the net. Otherwise, he’s awful.

    Engelland is an awful, awful defence man who has no place in the NHL, IMO.