Preseason FGD: Going to Winnipeg

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.

THE FLAMES

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

Johnson
Rittich

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.

THE JETS

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

Comrie
Hutchinson

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.

  • everton fc

    Ferland on the RW. That must mean something…

    Hamilton and Vey at centre… That may mean something…

    Weak lineup, overall. Should be interesting! Glad to see Ferland gets a chance to play in front of his family, at home.

  • redhot1

    Jays fighting for a playoff spot, Team Canada in the World Cup final.

    Sorry Flames, but missing out on this one (especially with the lineup) is an easy choice.

  • Pizzaman

    Actually the question is why are they icing such a weak line-up? Arguably worse than Edmonchuck last night. Is it because they expect this to be Stockton and want to see how they play together? Some of these guys get their one pre-season game before being sent down or released? At least Chad Johnson get some action.

    • piscera.infada

      Keep in mind, it’s also the second night of back-to-backs, with an extended roster as well. It’s probably a little bit of rest for the veterans and evaluation for the farm-hands before a round of cuts.

  • Sanintarious

    I’m attending the game tonight in Winnipeg. Knew I wouldn’t get to see much of a Flames line-up when I took this game late in my ticket draft. Will be a much better line up when I come to Calgary for the Oct.22 game vs the Blues (GAUDREAU HAD BETTER BE SIGNED BY THEN).

    Guys I am anxious to see play tonight:

    Jankowski- Lets see what this kid can do. I don’t suspect he will be playing in the NHL to start the season, but I do expect to see him up off and on as the season goes.

    Poirier- This guy had a rough year last year, no denying it. Hopefully he can come out with a strong camp and build off that for being a future call up.

    Korpikoski- While he was bought out by the Oilers, and hasn’t looked too great the past couple years, he was a very serviceable player in Arizona. He could be a decent PTO guy who has a small chance to fill the bottom 6 and play some PK should he impress in the pre-season.

    Mangiapane- Excited to see what this kid can do live. Could be a big player in the AHL for Stockton this season.

    Morrison- Hope he has a strong game and shows off his great skill set.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’m excited to see the continuation from Penticton with guys like Janko and Culkin but maybe moreso from Dyukov. He was quietly effective at the young stars tourney. He played a real steady game, as did Culkin. I wish Dyukov was playing with someone a bit more offensively minded, like Rasmus or Kyl as he was good at backing up his partner.

    I would have preferred a fwd O line of some top offensive guys like possibly Janko with Mangi and Poirier but it should be interesting with Ferland.

    And last but not least, I hope we get our 1st look at Rittich for at least a period.

  • freethe flames

    Based upon who we are dressing tonight I would have preferred to see either a Mangiapane/Janko/Poirier line or Ferland/Janko/Poirier. Either of those would be interesting.

  • everton fc

    Anyone have anything on Ferland – how’s he look?

    Kulak has to make this team out of camp. I can see this kid wearing a letter someday, down the road. And Freddie H. continues to impress.

    How’s Culkin/Morrison look?

    And yes, the tandem of Elliott/Johnson will be a good one, this season.

    • Craig

      Ferland has been the best Flames forward in my opinion, he’s entering the zone really well, making moves, taking shots, setting up his no finish linemates.
      Culkin looks good, Kulak looks better, Morrisson had been ok.
      Kanzig sucks
      Grossman sucks
      Jankowski has looked Colbourneesque in that the play dies on his stick constantly.

      Chad Johnson looked really good and confident.

      Haven’t really noticed others good or bad.

      • cberg

        Opinion doesn’t seem to jive with radio announcers…

        Kulak just ripped in a shot for his second goal of the game, after some good work by Poirier. Flames 3-0 late in the third period.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Just my observations, but the following looked good:

        Kulak – good offensive position.

        Culkin – looked really slow on one shift but was smart in his play overall.

        Kanzig – didn’t notice any real bad shifts, and when I did see him he was playing the man pretty well.

        Morrison – very steady out there, and I thought he was one of the better D.

        Grossman – shouldn’t be out there; no foot speed, can’t defend except by hitting a player on boards.

        Ferland – by far the best player on the ice.

        Poirier – many chances, looked good on all but maybe one shift where he was backchecking.

        Johnson – as good as Elliott, but had Kipper-esque saves.

        Rittich – very composed, not much work but strong.

        Janko – smart player, but not much offense. Good faceoff guy again.

        Korpikoski/Bouma – about the same; nothing special.

        Other guys – Angelidis, Adam, Frattin and Smith mostly just ok. Angelidis probably the best of the bunch.