FGD #16: Taming the Panthers (1pm; SN West)

The thing I like about the new Sportsnet TV deal is because of the rights agreements, we have precious few games this season at weird and wacky times. However, today is an exception.

I say “today” because the Flames visit the Florida Panthers at 1pm MT this afternoon. It’s on Sportsnet West (and Sportsnet 960 The Fan), as this game isn’t part of the fancy national package. For a game featuring last season’s #27 and #30 teams in the NHL, I can’t say I disagree with the logic.

The Flames (8-5-2) are off one of the rare occasions where out-working the opposition (in Tampa Bay) didn’t allow them to overcome the talent disparity. But the team worked hard and had a solid 60 minutes, they just got out-played by a deeper, better team.

An effort like they had on Thursday against the Florida Panthers (4-3-4) will probably result in another two points for the visitors. (And since it’s in Florida, there’s probably going to be dozens of people in the arena. Dozens!)

THE FLAMES

Lines, via our chums at Daily Faceoff (and via our traveling media pals in Sunrise, FL):

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The BIG NEWS is that Karri Ramo has been handed the proverbial goaltending ball. He’s been off for two weeks while Jonas Hiller has been the go-to guy, but now he’s back in-between the pipes. And to be honest, Florida and Carolina are two great opponents for him to face first to get his mojo back.

Ladislav Smid slots back in for Raphael Diaz after missing a game nursing some bumps and bruises. Diaz and Brian McGrattan are your healthy scratches, while (deep breath) Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, Michael Ferland, Joe Colborne, Mason Raymond and Matt Stajan are on the injured list.

THE PANTHERS

Lines via Daily Faceoff!

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Aaron Ekblad, he of “Play bad for Ekblad” fame, anchors a defensive group that’s beginning to resemble that of an NHL team. The forward group also has some interesting names for prospect honks, including Huberdeau, Barkov and Trocheck.

The Panthers have exceeded expectations this year, mostly because everyone – as with the Flames – expected them to be dirt-worst. But the Panthers have trouble scoring and haven’t gotten an offensive push from any group like Calgary has. To be blunt, the Panthers are Calgary, except with no Giordano and Brodie to anchor them.

Goaltending? About the same. Roberto Luongo is off tonight, while Al Montoya gets the start (per Roger Millions). David Bolland and Brandon Pirri remain out of the line-up.

SUM IT UP

It’s afternoon hockey, which just feels strange. But at least once the game’s over, you still have the entire night to do stuff.

And for the Flames, an afternoon game against these opponents is an excellent chance to get back to their winning ways.

  • RKD

    Not the greatest of games for the Flames but they come up with another win, tough night for Ramo. Hope is next outing treats him a little better. Giordano is superhuman, he went into beast mode with 3 points. 3 points for Johnny hockey! He’s going to be on Forsberg’s tail for the Calder. He’s up to 12 points now!

  • RKD

    I didn’t see the entire game, but I saw a couple of Florida goals where Sven was the last guy back. It might be time to sit him in the press box and tell him to spend the entire game watching Gaudreau. Not only did Johnny pick up the three points, but he was defensively responsible and back checked really well.

  • MonsterPod

    I feel sad for Baertschi. I don’t understand him. Just grateful Granlund and Johnny from that draft have developed into solid NHLers.

    Sounds like Poirier is ripping it up and Ferland will eventually recover from his concussion. The clock is ticking on both Seto and Baertschi.

    Ramo was surprisingly brutal today. Flopping all over the place. Some unlucky bounces, but out of position too much. Hope he bounces back strong.

    Gio is blowing my mind. I see a lot of excellent development and a lot of it has to do with Hartley. I see no reason not to extend his contract.

    GFG

    • everton fc

      Just getting home. Heard the game on the FAN. Read the comments. A few “random thoughts” and one, still unanswered question from earlier in this thread:

      1. Everyone wanted to cut Jones loose. I am glad I felt different. As a fan. As long as he’s healthy, he’ll give 110%, like Bouma. He’s a good guy to have around the kids. And he’s a decent guy, in general. Lots of character.

      2. Ramo may not be a dependable backup. Perhaps he has to play more often to be more effective. Just a thought.

      3. My feeling about Baertschi is his turning into one of the many Flames first-round draft failures. Another Zach Boychuk. Again, a feeling, and one I’ve had since draft day. Let’s hope Jankowski’s not a similar bust waiting to happen.

      4. I found myself thinking about Feaster this afternoon. He may have blown it bad on Baertschi (we’ll see about Jankowski) but he also gave us a lot of the youth that is pushing this team to compete out of it’s league. This includes Hartley, Feaster’s pick to manage the rebuild. I was never a fan of Feaster’s here, but I think he does deserve some serious credit. Not sure what the new guys have done, except give us Hiller (great move) and Setoguchi (bad move). I could as Westgearth, but Feaster gave us PL3, so I’ll digress.

      5. Bouma should be given a letter next season. And if they move Glencross, this season.

      6. Imagine when Ferland gets back, not to mention Backlund, who may find himself outside looking in unless we make some roster moves. I don’t think he will, but Backlund would replace Byron as centre, if Stajan remains “long term”. And I haven’t even mentioned Colborne. What do you do w/Granlund when Colborne returns – he played 20 minutes today.

      7. I’d like to see Ferland replace Setoguchi on the right side soon, Byron move into Baertschi’s spot, and move Glencross to make room for Poirier. I think this is might be the makings of line up that could really score some goals. But again, when Colborne, Raymond and Backlund return, we have a log jam. And I’m not even thinking about Stajan. This is Sven’s last chance, me thinks. But he should spend a full season, maybe two, in the AHL. Why trade him? He’s got limited value, and deserves the same. (Might I add Hartley keeps winning, regardless of the roster? Mighty impressive. Again, kudos to Feaster. We all owe him a pint for signing Hartley)

      8. Keep Engelland as #7 d-man. Dispatch Diaz. Smid’s an acceptable, albeit lower-end 6th man. We need an experienced #5 d-man to replace Engelland/Diaz. That could be an Achilles heel if we really can push for a playoff spot. This fan’s a believer.

      9. Brad Thiessen is outplaying Ortio on the farm. Interesting. Our current depth in goal is thinner than we think. See comment above about Ramo. Thiessen’s played in the league. If he keeps it up, perhaps he gets a look? (he’s only 5’11”. Small goalie)

      10. I hope Elson gets a look. And Van Brabant. Ditto Knight. Possibly Hanowski.

      11. Jooris is the scouting coup of the season. Second only, perhaps, to Gio. Man, he’s a real good find.

      12. Unanswered question: what’s Ferland’s status? Day-to-day? I/R?? Long-term???

      We have some challenges ahead with our roster once guys come back from injury. Very good problems to have. Makes practice more competitive.

      Go Flames!!

  • everton fc

    Nice game today. I figured it was done early but you can’t count this group out. The nhl game seems almost too quick for sven. I can’t understand why he’s having so much trouble. I was thinking the other day, for all his detractors, you know it was d Sutter who brought Gio, Brodie, Bouma and Backlund to this team.

  • KiLLKiND

    Fucking love this Flames team! Bouma is a beast out there, someone had commented a while back as Bouma perhaps progressing into a more power foward and not just a PK/shot blocking specialist and I can see that happening now. One other guy perhaps deserving of a call up in the future is Hanowski he seems to be putting up points in the A and is a natural RW to perhaps replace Seto.

  • ngthagg

    One bad game and suddenly Ramo’s a lost caues? Yeesh, why weren’t people that fickle about Joey MacDonald? At least in his case they would have been right.

    • stumblintrucker

      I was just at the Bulldogs/Baby Flames game. Good win. Reinhart looked solid. Poirier didn’t stand out. Not good or bad. Good defensively but didn’t get to see a lot of that speed. I really liked Ortio. Stood his ground well on the 20 third period shots he faced. Especially on the 6 on 3.

  • Burnward

    Soo…fully healthy. Not in any set lines, persay.

    Gaudreau/Monahan/Colborne

    Hudler/Backlund/Jones

    Raymond/Stajan/Bouma

    Glencross/Granlund/Jooris

    Bollig/Byron/Big Ern/Setoguchi

    Something’s probably got to give eh?

    • Kybb79

      How do you know he doesn’t fit in with this team? Have you been in the dressing room on a plane with them? Even though he is not playing as well as we might want him to he is averaging almost .5 pts a game. He ha shad nights where he contributed but did not get points, I can think of at least 2 Wides goals where it was Glencross in front of the net and he did not get a point. He plays against the other teams top players on a nightly basis. If you want to complain that he is not playing well fine, but that he odes not fit in show some proof.

      • Kybb79

        Well what i meant to say is Glencross is useless on the ice! If he looks like that against the other teams top players maybe he is in over his head.The Flames have some injuries and guys are going to come back plus we have Poirer in the AHL im just saying there is no room for Glencross! The Flames have better,younger,faster players than him Just Saying!

        • Kybb79

          Agree, he’s Ben invisible all season, but right now it’s cool to hate on Sven, not Glenn.

          If Hartley didn’t have it out for him and he was given the same opportunity Jooris, Gaudreau, Granlund and Ferland were given he’d at least match Glencross. Last season proves that.

          For now, send him down and get him some ice time before we move him and he becomes the next Savard, St. Louis. Fans dumped on them back then too, “prove it, earn it, no excuses, it’s all his fault, the team is faultless, etc.”

          Depressing that some things never seem to change and that people refuse to learn from history.