After their counterparts in China kicked off the preseason schedule on Saturday, the domestic side of the Calgary Flames will kick off the exhibition calendar tonight as they welcome the Edmonton Oilers back to the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames are icing a roster that’s equal parts untested youth and professional tryout players, but after a successful prospect camp that saw the rookies beat the Oilers prospects twice (by a combined 13-6 score) the gentlemen in red will likely be motivated to keep their momentum going. The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT and you can catch the action in-person (no television tonight) or on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
The locals have been skating since Friday in two groups, and tonight’s lineup is primarily comprised of members from Team Berezan.
Lines for tonight, via our pal Pat Steinberg:
Andrew Mangiapane – Alan Quine – Spencer Foo
Kerby Rychel – Dillon Dube – Buddy Robinson
Brett Pollock – Tyler Graovac – Matthew Phillips
Ryan Lomberg – Logan Shaw – Scott Sabourin
Oliver Kylington – Duncan Siemens
Juuso Valimaki – Justin Falk
Viktor Svedberg – Ryan Sproul
David Rittich is getting the start tonight, part of what’s expected to be a fairly hefty audition for the 26-year-old Czech import. He’ll be backed up by Tyler Parsons. The lineup features a healthy mixture of the projected Stockton Heat lineup, but with a hefty among of defender PTOs.
The gents from up Highway 2 are sending the Bakersfield Condors roster to Calgary (for the most part).
Projected lines for tonight via Jason Gregor:
Backup goaltending hopeful Mikko Koskinen gets the start.
Things to Watch
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Dillon Dube has generated the most fan excitement based on prospect camp. Simply put, he and Tyler Parsons were superb during that week and very effective in the two games they played against the Oilers prospects. So it’s incumbent on Spencer Foo and Andrew Mangiapane to make something happen tonight to generate some momentum of their own. Meanwhile, can Dube stand out (a) playing with AHL regulars and (b) playing against a somewhat older group of Oilers players than he saw previously?
It would also be nice to see a strong performance from Rittich in net, given that he’s waiver eligible this season and therefore contractually probably has the inside track on the Flames’ backup job for that reason.