Good news! September is almost over, which means the new season is almost here.
Bad news…it’s still the preseason and rosters remain littered with PTOs, AHLers and unknowns. Sometimes it’s fun to see if a kid or a tryout can make an impression, but most of the time it means the hockey is shinny grade.
Tonight, the Canucks send their sad collection of hopefuls to the Dome to take on the Flames’ semi-AHL squad. While the outcome of this one doesn’t matter at all, losing to the Canucks in any form is never entirely acceptable. Vancouver is going to stink this year, so it would be nice start things off in what will be typical fashion for them (a humiliating loss).
Some regulars make their way back into the lineup tonight, but mostly you’ll see kids and fringe guys if you’re in attendance. Here’s the rumoured depth chart for this evening:
- Tkachuk – Bennett – Brouwer
- Higgins – Hamilton – Chiasson
- Ferland – Stajan – Shinkaruk
- Klimchuk – Jankowski – Hathaway
- Giordano – Hamilton
- Kylington – Wideman
- Wotherspoon – Engelland
- Elliott / Parsons
Kylington seems to be getting a long look so far. It will be interesting to see if sticks around with the big boys as camp matures. Also, Tyler Wotherspoon is looking to make an impact and stick as the 7th d-man to start the year. His runway as a prospect in this organization is running out, so he needs to have a stellar camp.
Are you ready to be completely underwhelmed? Take a gander:
- Bachman / Demo
That’s right – Tuomo Ruutu is still in the NHL. Tonight, you can watch him center a line featuring two guys you’ve never heard of before (and may never hear from again).
So yeah, not much here. Former Flames Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund might be the best of the bunch up front for Vancouver.
When Last We Met
Let’s skip over last season’s results and instead go back to when the Flames eliminated the Canucks in the first round instead. Remember this?
Sum It Up
Another round of cuts is expected after this game, so many of the hopefuls not playing tonight (and many who are) probably don’t to make it past Saturday. That said, Wotherspoon, Jankowski, Shinkaruk and Hamilton are the guys pushing to stick around, so keep an eye on them tonight.