Pre-Season FGD: Three-In-Three (8pm MT)

Arguably the most rigorous portion of the pre-season schedule will be polished off tonight in Vancouver, as the Calgary Flames complete a stretch of three exhibition games in three nights (in three cities) when they face off against the Vancouver Canucks for the second time in two days.

The Flames dressed a mostly-NHL roster last night and beat the Utica Comets, er, Vancouver’s third and fourth lines and a bunch of good AHL kids by a 4-1 score. Tonight, the shoe’s on the other foot as the Flames send their Not Ready For Primetime Players to the lower mainland to face the NHL roster of the Canucks.

Catch it all on Sportsnet West (with Vancouver’s broadcast team) or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias) starting at 8pm MT.

THE FLAMES

Lines for tonight, per Derek Wills:

Bollig – Stajan – Jones
Raymond – Colborne – Poirier
Jooris – Granlund – Hathaway
Klimchuk – Elson – Riley

Wilson – Andersson
Kylington – Kulak
Wotherspoon – Morrison

Ramo
Ortio

(Karri Ramo probably goes the full 60 minutes.)

Big test tonight, especially for Calgary’s young defensive group. Can Ryan Wilson look like an NHL defender on a blueline full of AHLers? Can Brandon Bollig look like an NHL regular with Stajan and Jones? Considering that the entire second line is fighting for NHL jobs, who stands out there? Can Garnet Hathaway continue his impressive play?

And with nary an NHL top-flight player to be seen, do the veterans take charge offensive (or defensively) like you’d hope they would? Or will Karri Ramo need to stand on his head in order to capture a win tonight? With more cuts likely coming on Monday as AHL camp opens, it’s a big game for quite a few fringe players.

THE CANUCKS

After losing with a rather thin group last night, Vancouver has made some cuts and will be suiting up with a much more veteran-laden group tonight.

Per our pal Pat Steinberg, projected lines:

D.Sedin – H.Sedin – Grenier
Jensen – Cassels – Burrows
Hansen – Horvat – Vrbata
Friesen – McCann – Cracknell

Hamhuis – Tanev
Edler – Corrado
Biega – Hutton

Ryan Miller is expected to start and go the distance tonight.

The good news? It’s only two-thirds of the Canucks projected opening-night line-up, but the bad news is it’s a lot better than last night’s crew. The Sedins are celebrating their 35th birthdays and will probably be as motivated as veterans ever are for a pre-season game.

ELSEWHERE

If you’re in town and want to catch a game, Pavel Karnaukhov and the Calgary Hitmen kick off the home portion of their season tonight at 7pm when they host the Kootenay Ice. The Hitmen look to be a pretty decent team this season, even if Jake Virtanen stays with the Canucks, and they boast projected 2016 first round pick Jake Bean on the blueline – along with a bunch of players in Layne Bensmiller, Beck Malenstyn and Jordy Stallard that should factor into the draft, too.

And if you just wanna stay home and watch junior hockey, newly-signed Flames prospect Nick Schneider and the Medicine Hat Tigers host the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Shaw TV starting at 7:30pm.

SUM IT UP

It’s a big, big test for the bubble players on the Calgary Flames tonight. For those that want to stave off a trip to Stockton, or are worried about possibly falling onto the waiver wire on Sunday, a big performance tonight could change some minds in Flames management.

  • piscera.infada

    Bollig scores two, always good to see Ari eat crow.

    Hey Walter White, I’m still waiting…where you at you lightweight troll, you cant dodge me and hide forever.

    RG

  • piscera.infada

    Is Bollig going for the Rocket Richard trophy or what, even getting some time out there in 3-on-3 Overtime.

    Good to see him playing well early on.

    I never thought I’d say it but being a Canucks fan might even be more of a pathetic thing this season than being an Oilers fan.

  • The Fall

    Will be interesting to see if/how many cuts are made tomorrow.

    Do they go light and only send down the locks (Kanzig, Riley, Elson, Van Bravant etc.) at this point or do they send home 15-20 guys to get down to around 30 people left in camp like the Oilers did tonight so they can really focus in on the guys with a shot at making the team over the last 3 pre-season games.

  • Rockmorton65

    Lots of flames trolls on ON tonight for absolutely no reason?

    Next time you ask to ban people from your site, look at all the trolling on ON. This is a never ending thing.

    • Cfan in Vic

      OK, so I scanned yesterdays ON posts for Flames trolls. 2 posters contributing a total of 3 trolling posts, on one article only. Not condoning it, but in an article with over 60 posts, that’s hardly detrimental.

      Also, I tried logging on over there to encourage a homophobic bigot to stop being offensive, and wasn’t allowed to leave a message. So I guess ON must be blocking all log-ins from FN, regardless of trolling or not. It’s time for FN to start pulling the weeds as well.

    • MattyFranchise

      That’s interesting, because I just went onto ON to find this atrocious non-stop trolling that you speak of and the only single post I can find last night by a Flames fan was “Keep it classy Mullet and sweatpant nation”, which was in response to for no reason whatsoever an Oilers poster saying “Fu*k the Flames”.

      Talk about the pot calling the kettle black