32Rasmus Andersson

WWYDW: Would you rest a player to play Rasmus Andersson?

Rasmus Andersson hasn’t played a game since being emergency recalled and subsequently being listed as a regular recall now. There was that one really close chance of him playing… but then it didn’t happen. We know that the third pairing isn’t exactly the most glamorous or incredibly agile pairing on the team with Matt Bartkowski and Deryk Engelland so there’s an opportunity there for Andersson possibly: the rationale being, you’re adding another puck-moving defensman with an offensive upside to give you an added punch down this final stretch. To contrast that, the unhealthy enamored feelings Glen Gulutzan has for handedness on each pairing probably quells that.

Yesterday on Sportsnet 960, Will Nault and Pat Steinberg were briefly discussing the concept of resting regulars after clinching. It’s not a new technique by any means, nor is it exclusive to hockey as we’re starting to see more NBA teams sitting stars to prolong their performance. It’s also notable that there is some evidence to suggest that resting NBA players on road game back-to-backs helps eliminate the risk of injury. A team like the San Antonio Spurs, coached by Gregg Popovich, has been doing it for years and it’s been a huge part of their success with an aging, talented core.

For Andersson to crack the lineup and get some time in with the Flames, it might be hard given the schedule ahead of the team is a mess of California teams all jockeying for points to solidify playoff positions. This is the most obvious and easy to assume detraction from this concept. Couple that with Gulutzan’s habitual decisions in nearly every game during their miraculous point run to keep things as status quo and it makes it harder to see this as a reality.

All that said there is an incredible opportunity for the hockey teams to potentially utilize this approach more and more. An 82 game season, in this sport, often with some egregious decisions in scheduling is damaging enough for keeping players as close to 100% as possible.

So, if the Flames clinch tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, would you rest someone to play Rasmus Andersson for a game or two? If so, when and for how many games?

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I’d rest Engelland for Andersson given Engellands’ age. Would do the same for Gio if we had a good young lefty like Kulak to throw in his place.

  • Justthateasy

    We will clinch so what’s the point in waiting. Let’s sneak him in and give him a peek. Nobody is winning every game of the last bunch anyway so what’s the point in killing ourselves. No matter what we do, we can’t predict where we finish, so we finish where we finish.
    Do we wait until there’s an injury and then we play him? After he is good and rusty… Besides he needs to play in very meaningful games and others need a rest.

  • Parallex

    Yeah, wait until they clinch. Once that happens start rotating in all the spares (Yes, even Wideman) to give the playoff roster guys some extra maintenance days.

  • Lets Get Something Clear

    I think the only way that he gets into the lineup is if the Flames have clinched and 1) they’ve secured home ice or 2) they’re stuck in a wildcard spot. And that’s fine. This isn’t the NHL equivalent of the Spurs, a juggernaut that is going to make a deep run regardless of their seeding. And Andersson isn’t, at least as far as we know now, a Sam Bennett tpye prospect who is definitively better than a replacement level NHL player. It’s not exciting, but it is the low-risk kind of approach that management loves.

    • McRib

      I agree with what you are saying, but both Engelland and Bartkowski are in the bottom 1-3% of NHLers by most metrics already. How do we know what Andersson is until he gets in a game or two? Can he really honestly be any worse than those two?

  • kid presentable

    i’d play him over bartkowski/engelland even without the pretence of rest. our third pairing gets destroyed every game. andersson would have to be an improvement at this point.

  • Azim

    Would love to see him get in … but not holding my breath. Unless Wideman is only on the team on paper at this point, we have eight healthy D-men up. What’s the point of having Andersson up sitting in the press-box being Wideman’s popcorn buddy, rather than having him play big-minutes in meaningful games for Stockton?

    • Avalain

      Honestly, I think that the experience is good for Andersson. Sure he misses a handful of games. But the big issue that he had last season was conditioning. For him to be around the main Flames team and see everything that they do to keep themselves in peak condition is huge. Plus, it can show him how close he is to making it, which can help keep him motivated.

      • Azim

        I guess I do see that side of it … the off-ice benefits of being around NHLers is tough to measure. Though you would think he (along with other Flames prospects of note in the AHL) would be the doing the Black Aces thing during the playoffs anyways. Perhaps Treliving and GG have a plan to play him a game or two after all, once they officially clinch a spot.

  • Thumper

    For sure. He can’t have much of a negative impact as a third pairing guy and may help the team out. Definitely worth it to give him some big league experience!

  • Kevin R

    Absolutely. Clinch the spot tonight & start rotating Johnson in every other game, & I wouldn’t play Gaudreau or Monahan against the Kings in LA as they can be dirty, frustrated & a cheap shot could seriously hurt our playoffs like when Regehr slashed Hudler & he wasn’t the same thereafter. Rest Dougy & Gio & get both Andersson & Wideman in the games. So what where we place. We are one of the wild card spots & whoever we play is going to be tough. A healthy Flames team is going to be very dangerous for any WC team we meet in the first round.

  • cjc

    If it’s a case of managing egos, then yeah, wait until the spot is officially clinched to play Andersson. If they wait for home ice to be clinched, that is going to come down to the final day of the season. Andersson has to be given a chance before then.

    • Burning Ring of Fire

      He can play anytime – the Flames used one of their 4 recalls on him. Another was used on Hathaway who they since sent down. They can pull up 2 more players

  • Upkeeper

    When can the team expand the roster? Maybe Stockton not making the playoffs would be a good thing. I wouldn’t mind getting a few guys some game action this last week or so. Playoff injuries happen and happen a lot. Organizational depth is key to a long run, we need to see what we have in a few guys in case someone gets hurt. A good playoff showing by a young kid may stop a crazy July 1 signing.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am not sure how having one of your top defensive prospects not playing in either league during playoff pushes helps the organization. There has to be a better process in place to utilize prospects. Stockton has 2 players on ATOs so they are forced to sit some regular players. Despite a mass exodus of players leaving BU, Hickey is not jumping to sign with the Flames. IMO the game to play Rasmus was against Colorado.

  • Burning Ring of Fire

    They should give him a spin, he might be a pleasant surprise, and they could keep him in the rotation. Some of the comments worry me when it comes to rotating goalies and resting players. It’s one thing to clinch a playoff spot but to finish in the last wildcard spot would suck. Not to be pessimistic but it would be nice to get through the first round.

  • The Penn

    Easy answer is yes once a playoff spot is clinched. Time to bring up our black aces .Hopefully our youth can inject some enthusiasm into the line up Replace some dead weight so that we can really do some damage in the post season GFG

  • Jessemadnote

    As much as people hate Wideman around here, you can’t justify Rasmus Anderson jumping him in the depth chart. I would be shocked if Anderson plays a game while Wideman sits.

    However, if there was a left handed shot such as Kulak called up, I would be all for him taking over for Bartkowski. I’m starting to see some terrible warning signs with Bart and sitting a game may be the best thing for him and also Kulak has demonstrated his level of talent in the show.