FGD #17: Flames and Bolts

Okay, you’ve had time to digest the Kevin Poulin acquisition and I know we are all a little fired up about it. I am too. I think it’s definitely safe to say that from here on out, the Flames problems in net are solved and brighter days are ahead. Or perhaps not. Either way, it’s gonna be winter soon and death comes to us all!

On a terrifying note, the Flames better bring their A+ game tonight because, despite their mediocre record to start, the Lightning are very dangerous team. I think we can all agree if the Flames play like they did against Florida, this one might get ugly.

There were some changes from that game against the panthers, let’s check it out after the jump!

THE FIGHTIN’ FLAMES

I vividly remember this game. Back when teams scored goals. LIKE MEN.

Here is a look at the Flames’ roster tonight with a few minor changes from what was largely a hockey-tastrophe against Florida. Big thanks, as always, to Daily Faceoff for just being themselves. Which is great.

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Tonight, the Flames are parking Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris in the press box, which are two reasonable choices as long as two forwards have to sit. I’m a fan of Jooris but frankly I’m not sure what choice Hartley has anymore. 

I think you have to play Raymond and hope he can put the puck in the net at some point even though Jooris has proven himself to be a useful bottom-six player throughout this season and last. Basically, there’s just too much dead weight at the moment. Also, I mentioned this on twitter a couple days ago, doesn’t Jooris remind you of Shean Donovan? 

Unlike Jiri Hudler, David Jones is off to a pretty good start in his contract season, a fact that may come in handy if the Flames are attempting to fetch something for him in February. I like Jones and I think the Flames do too, but if a team is willing to part with a reasonable asset for him, I don’t think the Flames would hesitate to move him when the time comes. In the meantime, he’ll continue playing with Stajan and Colborne on what should be a reasonably effective 3rd/4th/WhoEvenKnowsAnymore line. 

On the back end, Bob Hartley must have read and loved our piece on Deryk Engelland from earlier this morning so much that he decided to play Smid tonight to preserve him for tomorrow night’s game! How thoughtful! A pairing of Smid and Wideman is assembled for tonight in what I can only guess is an attempt to incrementally boost NHL goal scoring. 

In net is the much-maligned Karri Ramo. I feel for this guy. Every time it looks like he is starting to turn a corner, he has a stinker of a game. Not that he was solely to blame against Florida but he certainly didn’t win the Flames that game. Tonight, Ramo is going to be facing some pretty damn good shooters from Tampa and I would bet that he’s going to have to be real good if the Flames want a prayer. 

THOSE CUP STEALIN’ JERKS

I did not know Rob Ramage was an original Tampa Bay Lightning?! That’s pretty cool I suppose. What is cooler is that amazing guitar lick playing throughout the whole intro. Anyways, here is the Tampa lineup tonight thanks to our buds at Daily Faceoff:

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First of all, yikes. That is a ton of skill up front for the Lightning. Even their fourth line, which lists natural centremen and sasquatch man Brian Boyle as a winger, has the ability to skate and score. The Flames cannot get into a run-and-gun style of game tonight, though it feels like I have been saying that for the past 12 seasons in a row.

On defence, the Bolts are pretty stacked too with Stralman and Hedman rivaling any top-pairing in the NHL at the moment. With Coburn and Sustr, the Lightning also have some serious size as well to go with a shooter like Jason Garrison.

In net for the Lightning is Ben Bishop who has boasted a .920 SV% through 13 games this season. Despite the relatively strong save percentage, Bishop is 5-7-1 this season. Man, what the Flames wouldn’t give for .920 goaltending… 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL

Even with all the star-power up front for Tampa, the Lightning haven’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball to start this season. Shockingly (GET IT?!), the Lightning have struggled to score goals this season, in fact, the offensive Titans known as the Calgary Flames have actually out-scored the Lightning so far this season (yeah, okay, it’s only by one goal but with one fewer game too!).

That being said, the Lightning have been a top-ten team in terms of goals allowed while the Flames sit, you guessed it, dead last in the NHL averaging 3.9 per game. Ouch. Let’s hope that the Flames are not the tonic to the Lightning’s goal scoring struggles so far this season and here’s hoping Ramo can spurn the team that drafted him. 

Also, just a helpful hint for all readers, don’t search Flames-Lightning on Youtube unless you have a paper bag, tub of ice cream, and a picture of Oleg Saprykin handy to get you through it. Just don’t. Puck drops at 5:30 tonight on SNET West.

  • Rockmorton65

    I’m always amazed when Flames and oilers fans get arguing on these boards. It’s like each side is expecting to convince the other…
    “You suck”
    “No, you suck, dumbass”
    “I didn’t agree with your statement,but since you called me a dumbass, NOW I agree with you ”

    Hilarity all round.

    • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

      What “kids” aren’t playing? Monnie, Johnny H and Bennet are huge parts of the team, as are Bodie and Hamilton, are you thinking Poirier? Kylington? Fat Rass?

      • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

        Granlund, Nakladal, and Kulak, I would argue.

        Not that Nakladal is a kid, exactly.

        But moving Russell and Wideman would allow the Flames to put Nakladal up and Morrison could actually play in Stockton. As it is, our two recent D free agents are not likely to tell their friends about the great situation in Calgary.

    • MontanaMan

      Bob doesn’t have it going on this year . With several better players, h continues to make bad lineup decisions and definitely seems to be unable to keep his mojo going.

      I think he needs to go

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Though as has been pointed out we were all treated to a ahead of schedule season last year.

        Maybe a bad season of learning, let Hartley play out the string this year. Get a nice top pick and than csn him would be fine by me but its obvious his broken English cutesy sayings aren’t cutting it anymore with me at least

  • MontanaMan

    There’s a number of players who have disappointed me this year but Giordano and Monahan lead the list. Neither are playing near their capability and both have underperformed. Both lack confidence with the puck on their stick. Bennett and JG are two of the very few positives right now.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Monahan concerns me the most. He just doesn’t appear to be working on every play. Time to move him out of the top 6. He needs to earn his minutes back.

  • cgyokgn

    Has anyone kept track of Reto Berra’s stats? His GAA are 1.50 and SV% .952 in six games. He was worse than Ramo when he was in Calgary. So what has changed? Coaching?

  • RKD

    I know we are still rebuilding but I don’t like losing or the possibility of missing the playoffs. This team not only needs a legit #1 goalie they badly need finishers. The Bolts have a goalies and they have been struggling to score but their guys found a way to cash in on their chances. Way too many passengers right now.

  • MontanaMan

    Wideman is complete dogshit. Time for a solid healthy scratch. Brodie doesn’t cover the most dangerous guy on the tampa power-play….”you had one job!”.

    Our posession stats are getting better, we’re getting great chances offensively. It’s getting clear though that team defence is our biggest issue. Wideman and Russell are completely to blame.

    Sigh. I hate wideman so much. We played well. We deserved this win.

  • Captain Ron

    Wideman.

    Wideman.

    WIDEMAN.

    WIDEMAN.

    This guy is awful. Just awfulness. He needs to be a healthy scratch. Needs to.

    Brodie loses coverage on stamkos. Wideman coughs up the puck. Gio takes a penalty.

    Our possession stats have been getting better, we’ve been getting alot of offensive chances, but it’s clear what’s missing.

    Defensive lapses by our top defenders and Finishers. We need another elite talent in our top 6. We need our defenders to perform up to their capabilities.

    No point in trying to make the playoffs anymore. We’re going to come short. We need a top draft pick, we need a drouin, we need a stamkos, we need an “auston matthews”. And hope that our defencemen get back to themselves next season. No matter how many “Pittsburgh” type games we play this season….last year was a fluke. This is the true Calgary Flames.

    I’m not discouraged. I’m looking forward to our bright future. We just need to make sure we exercise proper asset management and hope to get another elite talent in our top 6.

  • McRib

    Time to trade Wideman/Russell while they still have even some sort of trade value for some pieces and call up Kulak/Nakladal full time. This start is good for us in the grand scheme of things it’s time to stop relying on aging veterans and give a couple young players a chance.

    Why is Joe Colborne getting power play time….. Actually for that matter why is Joe Colborne in the NHL…. Oh because he is a first round bust and the Flames can’t get over that he busted. Man I would love to see an Agostino, Poirier, Arnold in his place in the bottom six. While we are at it give Michael Ferland some of that Power Play time Bob.