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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD: Swimming with the Sharks’ secondary players (7pm MT, Flames.com)

After an overtime preseason setback last night, the Calgary Flames are back at it against the San Jose Sharks. The home game is their fourth (and final) exhibition tilt at the Scotiabank Saddledome this season, as well as their eighth of 10 scheduled tune-ups prior to the season’s start on Oct. 3. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty in terms of roster battles, gang.

The puck drops at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. There are no TV options this evening, but the Flames site is streaming the game (within “their region”).

The Flames

We’re starting to get into the final stages of preseason (where the Flames are 2-2-3). The results don’t matter all that much, but the focus should be on some players attempting to force their ways onto the NHL roster.

Projected lines from Pat Steinberg:

Gaudreau-Monahan-Neal
Tkachuk-Backlund-Czarnik
Bennett-Jankowski-Frolik
Phillips-Gawdin-Lazar

Kulak-Stone
Hanifin-Andersson
Kylington-Prout

Jon Gillies and David Rittich will split the net tonight, with Rittich starting the game.

Notable players not dressed tonight include the majority of the NHL defense and hot-shot prospects Juuso Valimaki, Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane. They’ve had a chance to show their stuff, now it’s time to see if the likes to Rychel and Lazar can answer back.

The Sharks

San Jose, not surprisingly, has left most of their big guns at home. Here’s the projected lineup for tonight:

  • Goaltenders Aaron Dell (from Airdrie!) and Antoine Bibeau
  • Defensemen Ryan Merkley, Joakim Ryan, Radim Simek, Jacob Middleton, Tim Heed, Cavan Fitzgerald and Jeremy Roy
  • Forwards Dylan Gambrell, Marcus Sorensen, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, Vincent Praplan, Lukas Radil, Sasha Chmelevski, Rourke Chartier, Kevin Labanc, Melker Karlsson, Alexander True, Maxim Letunov and Jayden Halbgewachs.

The bad news: no Erik Karlsson. The good news: Melker Karlsson made the trip, along with Timo Meier, the reigning WHL scoring leader Jayden Halbgewachs and Barclay Goodrow.

Fun fact: nine of the Sharks players on the trip were recalled from the AHL camp specifically to go on this trip. Presumably they’ll be sent back to the AHL once they return to California. The preseason is weird.

Things to Watch

How does Kerby Rychel look? How does Matthew Phillips look? Can one of the Flames prospective backup goaltenders stand out? Can the Flames’ offensive players look better than they did against Vancouver, where many of them looked a bit jet-lagged?

  • Don’tlooseit

    A flamer and Oiler walk into a f_ag Bar. The oilers bends over and spreads his cheeks. The flamers bends over and spreads his cheeks. They both look at each other and realize they’re both b_itches

  • buts

    And I get trashed because I say we have no quality backup goaltending…….just watch the game…..I got trashed for saying Hamilton was no good. Maybe I have some valid points fall.

  • buts

    I’m cheering for Phillips tonight and I’m thinking the goalie that plays the best will have the best shot at #2. IF both goalies struggle I say pickup whomever Toronto waives. The backup goalie situation has to go to someone who you can rely on, not hope that they play well. Smith can not play more than 55-60 games.

  • Squishin

    Here is my Pacific Division preview. Prove me wrong, boys.
    1. San Jose 108pts
    2. Los Angeles 103 pts
    3. Las Vegas 100 pts
    4. Calgary 98 pts
    5. Anaheim 97 pts
    6. Edmonton 88 pts
    7. Arizona 84 pts
    8. Vancouver 82 pts

  • everton fc

    No way Rychel makes the team. Nor Kylington. Nor Phillips. But I’m glad the latter two are getting a final game – and I, too, can’t wait to see Phillips in this game.

    Not sayign I agree, but I bet the organization sees Lazar as a “safe” extra forward. Of course, he could be waived.

    Any interest here in Zack Smith?

  • Sea of Redd

    I’m guessing the cuts will be tomorrow morning. Probably won’t be any surprises. The last cuts will be after the last preseason game. My money is on Mangiapane making the team. Its betwern him and dube. But Mang has made less mistakes. No stupid penalties.

    • DoooieStevens

      How is that malarkey? Take your rose colored glasses off. Neither has proven to be a top 50 player. Really, who would you know off that list with either or?

          • The GRAND BALLSUCKER

            Honestly…and I am a huge Tkchuck fan so I may be biased here but I would choose both players over John Carlson, Mikko Rantanen, Roman Josi, Aleksander Barkov, and even Anze Kopitar. If I had money I would bet Monahan and Tkachuk do better than these fellows this year, but I have no money so I can offer up a shoe lace and a pack of tic tacs.

          • HOCKEY83

            If you think Gaudreau is not at least a top 20 player in the league then you don’t know hockey. I agree Tkachuk and Monny are considerably lower on the list because they haven’t proven anything else yet but I do believe Tkachuk will pass Monny and Johnny at some point. I just completed an 8 man draft I’ve been doing for the past 27 years and only Johnny was selected between 8 guys in the first 3 rounds of the draft….he was selected around the 20th spot.

          • The GRAND BALLSUCKER

            I picked those players because as I looked down the TSN list they were the ones I feel that Monahan and tkachuk will be better then this year. If you disagree put up a shoe lace and a pac of tic tacs and I will glady accept your bet.

          • JoelOttosJock

            Potential maybe, but Rantannen is a stud. So are the other players you mentioned. Tkchuck is a 60 point player right now. If and when he takes the next step, well that’s a different story. Kopitar has proven it. So gas Carlson. So has Josi. So has Barkov. I believe you are biased. Gaudreau being so low on that list is a little interesting. I’d have him around 22 to 25.

    • MDG1600

      Gotta make room for Maple Leafs players ya know. Haven’t you heard that they won the cup already? No much has changed since Doug Gilmour miraculously become the most valuable player in the league as soon as he put a leafs jersey on. Apparently he was just another hockey player when he was winning a Stanley Cup in Calgary.

    • Derzie

      Toronto Sports Network blows. Funny how Sportsnet pays the NHL for coverage and somehow TSN still has regional Leafs, Jets & Sens (i.e. teams the play where most of Canada’s hockey fans live). The rest of Canada is not on their radar.

      • oilcanboyd

        Funny how sports fans predicted the demise of TSN when SN paid those big bucks for Regional games of Flames, Oilers and Nucks along with CBC Saturday Night games and Sunday Hometown Hockey. Not worth the price they paid unless SN was guaranteed to take over broadcasts of Jets, Habs, Leafs and Sens games when the TSN contract runs out.

    • Flaming moe

      I seen that. TSN and Sportsnet never do stories on the flames. Even when they do they don’t stay up long before they are replaced with another article. Yet it’s story after story of every other Canadian team. I don’t get it. Are we that bad???

      • Zesty14

        I get the pleasure of listening to the radio on my drive into work. When sports news comes on. I know calgary played the night before. I know the score. Every time they skip calgary’s game. “11 NHL games last night.” Calls the scores of 10 games. Then goes into Australian cricket scores!!!!! Wtf is the calgary score!?! Who here follows cricket to need announcements? We have superstars. We are in the playoff race. TELL ME THE D@MN SCORE!!!

    • The Doctor

      The Toronto Sports Network has become even more insufferable than usual with the Tavares acquisition. It really is astounding how egocentric they are. Some Leaf has a cold and misses practice and it’s the lead story on TSN, being a matter of National importance.

  • somewhereoutthere

    Going to get ripped for this but should the flames make a push to trade for Duchene. He isnt signing there and the sens want to keep Stone so…..send his brother and Bennett for sure then deciding who to send with that if it isnt enough…don’t think we can send anymore picks. Cap room goes to virtually nothing but you get yourself a dominating top 6 and bottom 6. One can dream:
    Johnny Mony Lindholm
    Thachuk Duchene Neal
    Dube Backlund Ryan
    Frolik Jankowski Czarnik
    Now this deal hinges on the team being in the race and Dube being as good as hes looked. Also its a short term gain long term pain potentially as we probably dont re sign Duchene and Bennett can still be a top 6 guy if he gets his game figured out. I hope the team sits Bennett beside Neal that seems like a guy Sam should model his game after……trash away lol.

    • Chucky

      It might be an interesting place “out there” but some times you need to come back to reality.
      Giving up Stone, Bennett and somebody else for a guy that they cannot sign without waiving goodbye to Tkachuk next year is like going all in on a inside straight flush . Treliving is just not that high risk gambling type of guy, no successful GM is.

  • Speed Kills

    The Barracuda are crushing and laughing at the Flames tonight!
    I’ve always had Rittich’s back, but now?… Nope! I can’t have your Back if you can’t stop a Puck. Trade him for a Now back-up( Sparks or Picard would do) what a disappointing Gong Show tonight turned out to be… (Usually when I do a post like this during a game I end up having to eat my words… Hope that is the case again tonight)… I’m actually glad the streaming feed went dead! Time for the cuts to come!

  • Dougiefred

    Was very high on the Flames outlook a couple of weeks ago, as I find out more about the opposition some doubt is beginning to creep in. Can’t get past disappointments out of my mind. Let the games begin.

  • TKO

    I wonder if lomberg and Climchuck have the inside track for the first call up or the last spot available because of the roles that they play on the third and fourth lines?
    I sure hope Anderson makes the team

  • Puck Head

    Nice to see Stone finally earning a spot on the first line that is more fitting of his pay grade. Sorry but I had to say it when I saw him on the top D pairing.

  • cjc

    Hopefully Phillips gets a look with better players than Lazar and Rychel at some point tonight. Would like to see how he keeps pace with the big names.

    Also, does the San Jose lineup actually meet pre-season roster rules? Yikes!