Pre-Season FGD: Mile High Tune-Up (7pm MT)

After a couple days off, it’s time for another pre-season match-up for the Calgary Flames.

For what’s technically the third of eight exhibitions for the gentlemen in red, they head down to Denver to take on Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche. And given the recent injury news regarding T.J. Brodie, pay particular attention to the blueliners making the trip south.

The game goes at 7pm MT and you can hear it on Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

THE FLAMES

Per your pal (and ours) Pat Steinberg, lines and pairings from yesterday’s practice (and since confirmed by the Flames site today):

Ferland – Stajan – Jones
Raymond – Bennett – Jooris
Elson – Granlund – Poirier
Colborne – Shore – Bollig

Wilson – Andersson
Kulak – Nakladal
Morrison – Stevenson

Ortio
Simpson

It was apparently unclear yesterday which pairing wouldn’t dress. My guess is Sieloff/Kanzig, but I am just guessing. Wilson, Kulak, Nakladal and Morrison are all contenders to get NHL games in now that both Ladislav Smid and T.J. Brodie are on the shelf for a bit.

One of three contenders for two jobs in Calgary in net, Joni Ortio is slated to go the distance tonight in net. And he’ll do so with an AHL defense. Good luck, Joni. Beyond that, it’s a (mostly) NHL roster in terms of forwards.

THE AVALANCHE

There’s not a ton of details regarding Colorado’s line-up tonight, but Sportsnet’s Derek Wills tweeted out the roster sheet.

Goalies: Reto Berra (starting) and Calvin Pickard

Defense: Nick Holden, Chris Bigras, Erik Johnson, Duncan Siemens, Brad Stuart, Zach Redmond, Francois Beauchemen and Mat Clark

Forwards: Jack Skille, John Mitchell, Matt Duchene, Ben Street, Marc-Andre Cliche, Mikhail Grigorenko, Andreas Martinsen, Andrew Agozzino, Nathan MacKinnon, Cody McLeod, Patrick Bordeleau and Borna Rendulic

So, it’s a pretty NHL-esque group, aside from Reto Berra in net. No Jarome Iginla tonight, as apparently he’s nursing a minor injury of some kind.

Colorado’s quietly amassed a really good group of prospects. You always hear about Nathan MacKinnon, with good reason, but Grigorenko, Bigras and Pickard are also pretty good.

SUM IT UP

The Flames have already lost two (close) pre-season games. But they’ve gotten some good performances out of their younger players. With a roster mostly full of younger players tonight, hopefully they can continue to get those good performances and that playing against NHLers forces them to pick up their games a bit.

That said, it’s entirely probable that Joni Ortio will be facing a lot of quality shots this evening. Good luck, Joni.

    • MattyFranchise

      As far as the other dmen, Nakladal got effed up by from what I understand is a goon, Anderson has been feeding the forwards all night, Kulak has been good as his partner and that’s about it.

      They haven’t really mentioned the other D.

  • Dan the Drunk

    Bollig didn’t sound awful though. He had a couple shots on net with half the ice team of his peers.

    Maybe he was sending a message for the John Mitchell body slam.

  • everton fc

    So anyone think, with Brodie and Smid out, and now maybe Nakladal… Rasmussen gets a few NHL games come the season’s commencement?

    You never know…

    Laoubardias saying Ortio’s had a very good night. Good news.

    Any mention of Elson this game??

    Morrison with the most ice time…

  • Craig

    I listened to most of the game, it sounded like the defencemen were getting a lot of attention from the announcers.Sounds like Wilson, Andersson, and Nakladal all played very well. Hard to judge goaltending over the radio, but Ortio made 35 saves for a shutout against a really good game from Mackinnon and other NHL talent like Duchesne. Not to mention he did it behind an AHL calibre defence squad.

    Didn’t hear too much from Bennett, but it sounded like Ferland was running around like crazy, hitting and shooting and going nuts.

    I really think that Wilson is going to get a contract, especially now that Nakladal might be injured. It also sounded like Wilson had a pretty good game, big shot, and played well defensively. Maybe Andersson will get a few games as well although I think he gets sent down in the end. But hey, heres hoping the kid can take a spot from Engellend!

    • MattyFranchise

      I agree with you for the most part but Bennett was matched against the Duchesne line most of the night.

      I think that Bennett is going to get cancelled out by legit NHLers some nights. It’s gonna happen. Roy was playing power vs power it seemed.

        • MattyFranchise

          That would be a good starting point, ala Crosby, to get used to pro game before he moves to his natural position. He will get great advice from Stajan, Backlund and to a lesser extent Monahan on what he needs to do to succeed as an NHL center.

          As much hype as there is about Bennett, he’s only played 11 NHL games as a winger, 0 as a center and he’s still only going to be 19 at some point this season.

          As a 4th overall pick he’s going to have a target on his back as soon as the regular season starts and Roy’s deployment tonight clearly illustrates this.

    • MattyFranchise

      Nice to hear…My first reaction was WHO?

      Previous post my Mike Caderette in March:

      “At 6’5” 220 lbs, Stevenson is everything you’ve missed since Rhett Warrener retired. No, I’m not comparing an ECHLer to Warrener, but their styles are similar. He’s a nasty, mean, extremely physical player who has no problem dismembering your legs if you want to try and screen his goalie. Most notably are the enormous hits he dishes out at least a couple of times per game.”

      Ogie Oglethorpe? lol

      A lumberjack could come in handy versus Pac Division teams!

    • everton fc

      He won’t. Neither will Shore. Some decisions to make, for sure. No pun intended. Perhaps…

      Raymond might clear, though, due to his price tag. But I think they’ll keep him on the left-side this season. Give him a chance. He did have two shots this evening…

      We shall see, soon enough.

      • everton fc

        We talk about guys like Bollig being made redundant by players like Ferland but to me it’s Raymond and of course a goalie who really don’t seem to fit. What’ if Raymond were sent down but decided to sign in Europe. Are we off the hook?

  • RedMan

    Bollig sure got a lot of ice time, including power play time. I wonder if he could play his way in to the AHL, or if the youngsters can play their way into his spot. Last year Hartley seemed pretty loyal to him and Engallend, but I am wondering how far they take the “always earned never given”. They did after all bury Big Ern in the AHL, even though they respected him.

    By the sounds of the radio broudcast Ferland had an excellent game and is on his way to making a case for top six if he continues. Bennett on the other hand has been somewhat underwhelming, although last night he was matched most of the night against the Avs best line.