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FGD: That’s it, back to Winnipeg (6pm MT, TSN GO/Flames.com)

After getting into the preseason win column on Wednesday in Vancouver, the Calgary Flames hit the ice for the fifth exhibition contest when they visit the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are playing for the third time, but they’re entering a very busy stretch and will be juggling bodies around to keep everyone fresh and healthy. The young Flames will be trying to make the mark before the players back from China start mixing back into the roster over the weekend.

The action kicks off at 6 p.m. MT on TSN GO, the Flames website and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. (If you don’t have TSN GO, it might be possible to watch via NHL Gamecentre.)

The Flames

The 26 players that went on the big trip to China got back in the late night of Wednesday night (Calgary time) and are off completely on Thursday and Friday as they try to adjust to the time change. That means they won’t play tonight and probably we won’t see any of them until Monday night’s game.

That means it’s time for the kids (and PTOs) to make their mark. Lines via our pal Pat Steinberg:

Mangiapane-Dube-Robinson
Rychel-Quine-Foo
Lomberg-Graovac-Brule
Pollock-Gawdin-Shaw

Valimaki-Sproul
Kylington-Ollas Mattsson
Falk-Siemens

Tyler Parsons and Jeff Glass are tonight’s goaltenders.

It’s a fairly typical roster for the Calgary-based Flames so far this preseason. As Sportsnet 960’s Peter Loubardias would phrase it, it might be the “last chance motel” for a handful of players tonight and tomorrow who may be booted to the Stockton Heat training camp as of Sunday. (I’m looking at you, Adam Ollas-Mattsson.)

The Jets

Winnipeg is on the second day of a stretch where they play six games in nine days. It’s going to be rough, and it began with them losing 7-3 to Edmonton last night. It might get worse.

Dressing tonight for the J-E-T-S:

  • Goalies Connor Hellebuyck and Mikhail Berdin
  • Defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Ben Chiarot, Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, Nelson Nogier and Peter Stoykewych
  • Forwards Seth Griffith, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine, JC Lipon, Mark Scheifele, Jansen Harkins, CJ Suess, Kyle Connor, Mathieu Perreault and Kristian Reichel

A nice mixture of NHLers and people whose names only sound vaguely familiar. And if you’re curious, Kristian Reichel is the son of former Flames sniper Robert Reichel.

Things to Watch

Tonight and Monday are potentially the last chance for some of the up-and-comers to prove to Flames brass that they could potentially be NHLers on Oct. 3. They will have other chances, but actual NHLers will be there so it will be tougher to stand out.

Most importantly, can Dube stand out once again after being the story of both prospects games and both domestic preseason affairs thus far. He’s continually upped his game and he’ll face a stiff test against a Jets team that’s dressing some good defensemen and some scary forwards.

    • Zalapski

      I’ve been a closet Foo hater, but the kid has proven he’s got what it takes to be an effective bottom sixer. I like his game and work along the boards.

      • Getpucksdeep

        I’ve been openly not high on Mangiapane guy and my tune has changed this pre season. Calgary has real depth as not just Dube, Mangiapane, Foo but Robinson, Lomberg and Pollock have all opened eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised to a see perennial lost in the wilderness guy like Brule rewarded with an AHL deal either. Falk had a pretty good game as well.

  • freethe flames

    So after 2 period we are up 3-2. I really did not like either goal against but I’m not going to dump on Parsons. What I have really liked has been the effort to execute the forecheck and the effort to get back when the Jets do get it out. The number of times that the Flames have double teamed the puck and come up with it has been great.

      • freethe flames

        I would assume so as it was what they started with on day one of practice. There will be some adjustments as teams make adjustments but based upon the speed a depth that the Flames have up front it is what I’m expecting. I hope the vets are watching tonight.

    • Smithwick

      The morning crew on 960’was talking about vets from all pro sports not caring for pre season. Could be a little of the Flames youth having something to prove and the Jets veterans not. That aside go Flames!!

    • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

      Although I’m guessing they are a bit surprised by the overall speed of this group of Flames. No more Brouwers, Stajans, Glasses, etc. bogging things down.

      • aye

        Nothing wrong with trying to force plays in Pre-season, after all, they really should be trying to get noticed, making the safe play won’t get you noticed. I rather see the kids try to make things happen than just play safe the GG way.

    • aye

      Agree that Valimaki starts in the AHL, but I don’t think it’s because he is not NHL-ready, in fact I believe he is, just too much depth on D and he could benefit from more seasoning. He is as NHL-ready as any 19/20 year-old rookie D-man will ever be, and will make rookie mistakes like everyone else, but love his style of play and his aggressiveness in trying to make things happen every time he touches the puck.

  • Off the wall

    I loved the high tempo, forechecking system. When you can double the Jets in shots on goal, it’s a great sign from our prospects.

    Well done, I’m proud of these boys!

  • freethe flames

    A tough loss but I come away from this game with some very good thoughts about this team. I really like the system they are trying to play and the work ethic it requires. I thought the the Graovic/Lomberg line did some really good things. Actually thought most of the forwards were pretty good all night and the D was pretty solid. If BT signs some of these guys to AHL deals and maybe even a couple of two way deals the Heat could be very solid. I really like the Dube/Mangiapne duo too bad Mangiapane did not get a clear handle on the puck at the blueline. Their speed is built for how BP wants this team to play.

  • Toma41

    Valimaki has been average. Nothing special. Kind of dissapointing. I was expecting way more. He doesnt seem to have any emotion to his game. He will go to the AHL and lets hope he improves A LOT. I expected Dube to be good but not this good. He belongs in the NHL. Mangiapane not far behind.

    • aye

      Totally disagree with that assessment, he was the best D-man tonight, all over the ice trying to make plays, he needs to play with someone like Gio that can complement his game, or Hamonic.

    • Agree on Double D and Yeastmode. Dube seems like he could play anywhere in the lineup and make his linemates better. Mang may require better(more offensive) linemates to reach his full potential. On Valimaki I’ll just stay sample size. A couple defensive miscues in a game can really skew your perception of a player. Give him the rest of camp and don’t be surprised if he’s looking significantly better. As aye previously mentioned there is something to be said for being aggressive and perhaps even trying too hard in preseason…at least he’s not holding back or playing it safe. Gulutzan tried to play a safe system.

  • Speed Kills

    Well… I know its Preseason and you have to see what everyone can bring or Not… But I think its Easy to say Our Rookies & Prospects are > than our PTOs…. Some/Most of the PTOs shouldn’t even be in the conversation about going to Stockton and taking ice time away from the guys already there.

    • everton fc

      I listened on the FAN, and Falk’s name came up in the positive a few times.

      Tough to send Dube down. Some will say he’ll get treated like Jankowski, which wasn’t a brutal move. But he’s having a better camp than Jankowski did, last fall. Good to here Mangiapane/Robinson/ Foo/Lomberg/Graovic/Pollock had good games. We have some decent players to call up, if we get hit by injuries. Pollock will be a player in Stockton I keep dibs on.

      • freethe flames

        Falk would be a solid 2 way contract to add and the organization could use some depth on D.

        Pollock has taken a couple of years of pro hockey to begin to figure it out and good for him; he has had some really good moments this preseason but has been a little inconsistent; that goes for Gawdin as well. The Heat should be able to play some pretty solid lines regardless of who stays up and who goes down.

  • Speed Kills

    I know I should Know this… But does the AHL use the 3 on 3 OT??? Mangi looked a little lost out there on the OT goal. A real heart breaker after such a great effort.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Same rules.
      Dube was cheating out of the zone after he got a piece of the puck. That left Mangiapane skating with Big Buff. It wasn;t well played and was over before they got adjusted.

    • Off the wall

      I think the clearing puck hit Scheifele or Wheeler and Dube left the zone thinking that Mangiapane was going to spring him on a breakaway.

      It would have been pretty if that happened, but it didn’t.
      Dube was a little late getting back, hence the Byfuglien goal.

      That’s how I saw it..