Just 20 hours after losing a pair of pre-season games to the hated Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames leap back into the fray (in an exhibition sense) with another friendly against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
The Flames did some good things in both Calgary and Edmonton yesterday, and they’re focused much more on the learning and adaptation process right now than actual game results. That attitude probably won’t persist too far into the exhibition calendar, and the coaching staff likely hopes that winning ways will follow if they stick to the program.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 6pm MT. You can catch it on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Peter Loubardias and Derek Wills, who hopped a plane after the game in Calgary) and TSN3, if you get it.
This group kicked off their Rogers Place odyssey with a 4-2 loss, but they played fairly well against a veteran-laden Oilers crew. They’ve swapped out a few pieces and are back at it tonight, albeit with Glen Gulutzan at the helm rather than assistant coach Dave Cameron.
Lines via the Flames site:
Korpikoski – Jankowski – Ferland
Adam – Vey – Poirier
Bouma – F. Hamilton – Hathaway
Mangiapane – Angelidis – Smith
Culkin – Morrison
Kanzig – Dyukov
Grossmann – Robak
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Johnson get a couple periods in, similar to how the Flames used Brian Elliott last night in Calgary. Keep an eye (and/or ear) out for Jankowski, who had an assist on a nifty feed to Kenney Morrison last night, and Culkin, who is likely in the mix to replace Ladislav Smid as the team’s left-handed utility defender.
Projected lines via Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun:
Matthias – Lowry – Spacek
Howden – Copp – Lipon
Petan – Roslovic – Armia
Tanev – Harkins – Peluso
Morrissey – Postma
Strait – Kichton
Melchiori – Nogier
So it’s effectively the Stockton Heat against the Minnesota Moose for all intents and purposes. This is the pre-season curtain-jerker for the Jets, who are trotting out a very veteran-light club with the hope that some of the kids will impress.
Keep an eye on Adam Lowry, Dave’s kid, and the excellent Eric Comrie, who starts tonight and impressed in his first pro campaign last season.
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Flames and Jets met up twice in last year’s pre-season. The Flames lost both games by 3-1 and 3-2 scores respectively, telegraphing their regular season struggles in the sense that they weren’t very good in their own zone and it hurt them thoroughly.
SUM IT UP
It’s the second game in as many nights (and in as many cities) for much of the Flames group, playing against a very green, energetic Jets team. The hope is likely that the Flames will stick to the program and utilize their newly-learned systems to keep the Jets in check. At this point in the pre-season, the Flames are likely looking for some progress from the gentlemen in their line-up. A win would be nice, too.