The Calgary Flames are getting some reinforcements, as their established National Hockey League players are finally leaping into game action. It’s a good time for it, too, as the Flames play their second of four games in five nights – and second of six games in nine nights – as they host the Vancouver Canucks. It’s potentially the final chance for a few bodies on the cusp of getting sent down to make one last good impression.
The action kicks off at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West, Sportsnet One and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
It’s the Flames’ sixth of 10 preseason games this season: they’re 1-2-2 in their previous five, with the North American (AHL) bodies going 1-1-1 thus far.
Lines via our pal Pat Steinberg:
David Rittich and Jon Gillies are slated to play goal tonight, with Gillies starting and Rittich joining in relief. It’s the first North American game action for… well, everybody except Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane, Juuso Valimaki, one of the defensemen and Rittich. It’s pretty telling which non-established bodies are getting a look-see here.
In other news, the Flames have sent goalie Nick Schneider to Stockton of the AHL.
This is the Canucks’ fourth preseason game: they beat Los Angeles in a shootout on Thursday night. The Flames beat them 4-1 in Vancouver earlier in the week, but that was with both teams dressing a less-than-NHL lineup.
Projected #Canucks Lines in Calgary tonight:
Demko and Nilsson the goalies.
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) September 22, 2018
It’ll be a good test for a Flames group that’s trying to get the rust off after spending many, many hours on planes recently.
Things to Watch
How does Dube (and Mangiapane) look on back-to-back nights with NHL linemates? For that matter, how does Valimaki look with an NHL partner. Can Rittich and Gillies respond to a pair of pretty solid outings from young Tyler Parsons?