The Calgary Flames lost last night, but they were back at it at the ‘Dome today for practice.
Yes, we’re talking ’bout practice. And a few other Flames-related things.
The Flames hit the ice bright and early today for a brisk practice. Most notable – outside of the weird baseball drill they keep busting out – was the absences.
Lines were thus:
Byron – Monahan – Hudler
Glencross – Jooris – Jones
Gaudreau – Setoguchi – Diaz
Bollig – Bouma – McGrattan
Giordano – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
Smid – Engelland
Now, if your first question is “Hey, Diaz isn’t a forward, what the hell?” then you are correct. He is not a forward. He’s a placeholder. I wouldn’t also put much stock in these lines, because there’s no Backlund (maintenance), Raymond (IR upper body), Stajan (lower body) or Colborne (upper body).
The expectation around the arena this morning was that somebody is coming up, and that both of Stajan and Colborne will be gone for a bit – at least a few weeks. I’m not a doctor, so that’s entirely speculation. Either way, expect a flurry of activity tomorrow morning as someone gets put on the IR and someone comes up from Adirondack. The Baby Flames play tonight at home against San Antonio, and I’d imagine the team may hold out whoever is getting recalled to avoid (more) injuries.
If they’re bringing up a center, perhaps it’ll be Markus Granlund. The upside of Calgary’s situation is that every single forward they may consider bringing up in the near-future (Granlund, Max Reinhart, Corban Knight, Michael Ferland, David Wolf, etc) don’t require waivers. So, if someone is out long-term, you can rotate bodies into the NHL and back to the AHL without worry.
In other news: Jonas Hiller gets the start on Friday against Nashville. Coach Hartley explained they were using the first 10-11 games to evaluate, and that Hiller was a bit better than Ramo. I’d expect to see a similar rotation pattern as we saw last year – Hiller plays for a bit (5-6 games), then Ramo plays for a bit, and so on.
Various Flames prospects have been in action in many, many leagues that aren’t the AHL. Here’s a quick glimpse at how the non-pro prospects have been doing:
- Sam Bennett (2014 1st round) is still injured. He’s technically on the non-roster list for Calgary, but as of last word he’s recovering at home.
- Mason McDonald (2014 2nd round) is 5-5-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .909 SV% in 11 games with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders. The team is not great.
- Hunter Smith (2014 2nd round) has 16 points in 14 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
- Brandon Hickey (2014 3rd round) has 1 point in 3 games with the Boston University Terriers, who are undefeated.
- Adam Ollas Mattsson (2014 6th round) has 0 points in 7 games with Djurgardens IF of the SHL. Then again, he’s third pairing and a stay-at-home defender, so that’s about right. He’s played a bit with the pro team and the junior team, and he’s expected to challenge for a World Junior spot as well for Team Sweden.
- Austin Carroll (2014 7th round) has 20 points in 14 games with the Victoria Royals of the WHL. He’s among the WHL’s scoring leaders, which is what you would expect from an overager, but it’s still nice to see. In the Royals games I’ve seen, he’s been their most impactful player.
- Morgan Klimchuk (2013 1st round) has 6 points in 6 games with the Regina Pats after returning from a wrist injury.
- Keegan Kanzig (2013 3rd round) has 4 points in 13 games with the Victoria Royals. He’s big. He’s physical. He’s not relied upon for offense much at all.
- Eric Roy (2013 5th round) has 5 points in 9 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who are doing well. He’s an overager, so you’d probably expect more offense out of him than he’s giving right now.
- Tim “Who?” Harrison (2013 6th round) has 5 points in 6 games with Colgate University. Granted, a lot of those points came against Sacred Heart – the Washington Generals of the NCAA – but it’s nice to see him get on the scoresheet after being an agitator for much of last season with the Raiders.
- Rushan Rafikov (2013 7th round) has 12 points in 17 games with the Superior Hockey League’s (think AHL to the KHL) HK Ryazan club. He’s been deemed too good (as a 19-year-old) for the juniors, so he’s in the VHL, but he’ll be part of Team Russia for the Super Series against the QMJHL, WHL and OHL next month. He has a strong shot at being on their World Junior roster as well.
- John Gilmour (2013 7th round) has 2 points in 2 games with Providence College. That’s pretty good for a college defender, though he is one of the older guys on the team (he’s a junior).
- Mark Jankowski (2012 1st round) has 1 point in 1 game with Providence College, although he’s missed their last few games due to an injury. He was injured and didn’t skate at development camp, so hopefully it’s nothing nagging.
- Jon Gillies (2012 3rd round) is 1-2-1 with a 3.15 GAA and .882 SV% through 4 starts with Providence College. The team’s a bit rusty lately, particularly with Jankowski’s absence, so I wouldn’t take these numbers as anything serious yet. In a few weeks, we’ll have a better idea of how Gillies is.
- Matt Deblouw (2012 7th round ) has 1 point in 4 games with the Michigan State Spartans. He couldn’t find the scoresheet with two hands and a flashlight last season – he really struggled – so it’s nice that he’s been able to play in every game and contribute positively. This is a big season in his development, even if his ceiling ends up being the AHL.