The first day of on-ice action at the Scotiabank Saddledome was mired by discussion about the building’s future. The second day was much more focused, as the off-ice distractions were out of mind and 65 players hit the ice for some lengthy, up-tempo practice sessions.
Here are the main takeaways from Saturday’s action.
Due to some injuries on Day One of camp, Zack Fischer, Joel Lowry and Daniel Pribyl were absent from the on-ice sessions. As a result, some of the groups were shuffled around a bit to even out the number of forwards in each grouping.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 16, 2017
On the prospect side, Josh Healey, Dillon Dube and Brett Pollock were top three in fitness testing.
Tyler Parsons says he has a new mask coming.
There was seemingly an emphasis on pace throughout each session. There were a lot of transition drills, battle drills and puck possession (and retrieval) drills. Lots of attention paid to getting the puck, keeping the puck and making things happen with the puck – as you’d expect given the first season under Glen Gulutzan’s watch.
More complete lines than Day One
With no arena shenanigans to distract from the on-ice antics on Saturday, we have more complete ideas of what the lines are likely to be like for the first few preseason games on Monday and Wednesday.
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland
Mangiapane – Jankowski – Brouwer
Glass – F.Hamilton – Phillips
Cramarossa – Dube – Carroll
Brodie – Hamonic
Wotherspoon – Kylington
Healey – Doetzel
(Maggio rotated through many of the pairings on the right side.)
Versteeg – Bennett – Foo
Shinkaruk – Stajan – Lazar
Ruzicka – Pollock – Morrison
Findlay – Gawdin – Lomberg
Kulak – Stone
Valimaki – Andersson
Yevenko, Ruopp and Helgesen rotated.
Tkachuk – Backlund – Poirier
Klimchuk – Hrivik – Frolik
Gazdic – Pelley – Hathaway
Rassell – Dove-McFalls – Smith
Giordano – D.Hamilton
Bartkowski – Ollas-Mattsson
Olsen, Robak and Watson rotated.
Based on the lines presented in the first couple days of camp, there seem to be a clear demarcation between the players who are in camp to get their feet wet and the players who are in camp to complete for a job. Based on who’s playing with full-time NHLers, it seems like Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk, Marek Hrivik, Hunter Shinkaruk, Spencer Foo, Andrew Mangiapane and Mark Jankowski are being auditioned. There are about six lines of NHL-adjacent players, while the defensive pairings are arguably much closer to what will be used when game action begins on Oct. 4.
Sunday’s line groupings will give us a much better idea of which players are likely playing in the pair of split-squad games on Monday night – and which guys may be headed for cuts before too long.