The Calgary Flames complete a very odd split-squad “two games in two continents in the same 24-hour period” doubleheader tonight in Vancouver when they visit the Canucks. The Flames (0-2-1) haven’t won a game yet in the preseason, but since there aren’t any points up for grabs until Oct. 3 there really isn’t any reason to get grumpy about it. Instead, let’s focus on how some of the club’s younger players look as they aspire towards NHL jobs – or in some cases merely NHL contracts.
The action kicks off at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Via our pal Pat Steinberg, lines for tonight’s visitors:
It sounds like David Rittich and Tyler Parsons will split this game. Rittich gave up six goals on Monday evening against Edmonton.
Plan, according to Cail Maclean ( Stockton Heat head coach/Flames acting head coach tonight), is to start with Rittich tonight and then evaluate. May put Parsons in as the game progresses.
— Kristen Anderson (@KdotAnderson) September 19, 2018
In terms of skaters, it’s the exhibition season debut for Gilbert Brule, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Glenn Gawdin, Yasin Ehliz, Adam Ruzicka, Philip Samuelsson and Josh Healey. Dillon Dube gets another chance to impress, while the young defenders get a mulligan after a fairly dodgy first outing against the Oilers.
Vancouver lost 4-2 at home last night to Edmonton. Elias Pettersson was very good, as we’ve been told to expect from him.
We don’t have projected lines for the Canucks, but here’s who is suiting up tonight:
- Goalies: Thatcher Demko and Michael DiPietro
- Defensemen: Jalen Chatfield, Alex Edler, Erik Gudbranson, Olli Juolevi, Derrick Pouliot and Ashton Sautner
- Forwards: Carter Bancks, Reid Boucher, Jonah Gadjovich, Adam Gaudette, Brendan Gaunce, Wacey Hamilton, Lukas Jacek, Brendan Leipsic, Kole Lind, Zack MacEwan, Petrus Palmu and Brandon Sutter
Former Kelowna Rockets star Lind gets to play opposite his old teammate Dube. Otherwise, it’s an interesting mixture of established NHLers and Utica Comets players.
Things to Watch
There are several questions we may get answered tonight:
- Can Dube continue to stand out against a relatively veteran-laden Canucks squad?
- Can Rittich bounce back from a pretty blah outing on Monday?
- How will the lone 2018 pick, Zavgorodniy, look against quasi-NHLers?
- Can the Flames produce offense when three of their four forward lines may be reliant on small, small men (Mangiapane, Phillips and Zavgorodniy) to drive offense?