The preseason finally comes to an end this afternoon in “scenic” Edmonton. The Calgary Flames play a matinee exhibition game against the Edmonton Oilers in a game that both teams hope will answer some questions about their rosters, and hopefully result in everyone getting to the regular season without any bumps and bruises.
The puck drops at 1 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. Every non-televised game thus far has been streamed on the Flames site, so it’s a decent bet that this one will be, too.
It’s the 10th and final preseason game of the season, and the Flames have some decisions to make. Who’s the backup goalie? Who will be the sixth and seventh defenders? Who’ll be playing on the fourth line (and who are the extra forwards)?
Lines for today from warmup (via Derek Wills):
Mike Smith starts,, with David Rittich coming into relieve him at some undetermined point. It’s the last chance for the bubble players to make an impression.
The neighbours to the north are 5-1-0 in preseason so far. Ty Rattie has really impressed in camp, but he’s not likely to play today due to some bumps and bruises.
Projected lines for today:
Reider – McDavid – Nugent-Hopkins
Lucic – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Aberg – Strome – Puljujarvi
Caggiula – Brodziak – Chiasson
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Garrison – Bear
Cam Talbot and Mikko Koskinen are the goalies. The extras are Jakub Jerabek and Jujhar Khaira. As with Rattie, Kris Russell is nursing some minor injuries and won’t play.
After today’s game, the Oilers trek off to Germany to prepare to open their season.
Things to Watch
Can the Flames continue to improve their defensive play? Can their power play look dangerous? Can their penalty kill stay dangerous? And can the fringe bodies on their roster – particularly Dillon Dube or Juuso Valimaki, if they play – continue to make a case for NHL employment beginning on Wednesday night in Vancouver?