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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FGD: One more (preseason) game for the road (1pm MT)

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.

The Flames

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):

Gaudreau-Dube-Lindholm
Tkachuk-Backlund-Frolik
Bennett-Jankowski-Czarnik
Mangiapane-Ryan-Peluso

Giordano-Andersson
Hanifin-Hamonic
Valimaki-Prout

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 Oilers

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?

  • Flaming moe

    We didn’t look very good out there today. Oilers wanted it more. Tkachuk and Johnny were giveaway machines. Hanifin looks better defensively than Hamilton by a mile. But it is vice versa on the offensive side of the puck. Hopefully he comes along offensively.

  • Theo 14

    Can someone explain why Dalton Prout is here? And on a 1 way conttact. The poor guy handles the puck like it’s a grenade and his skating makes Lucic look Mcdavid fast.

  • buts

    PP could have driven a nail into the coffin, a true momentum killer. What’s with all our goalies so deep in the net? Smith did not look good, Hamonic couldn’t box our Yamamoto….seriously? Lots of work to do.

  • The Doctor

    Peters needs to sit these guys down and tell to be way more realistic and less ambitious with their passing. There were a number of times today, especially in the Oilers’ zone, where Flames players tried cross-ice feeds that consisted of trying to thread a pass through two Oiler players on its way to a Flames teammate. What are the odds that you are going to succeed with that in the NHL? It’s just stupid and results in turning the puck over 95% of the time.

  • aye

    Despite losing, I still thought 5-on-5 they were better, but pp was bad, and Smith almost look like he didn’t care to be in this game, and can’t wait to get the preseason over with.
    Dube absolutely solidified his case for opening night spot.
    Hanifin looks very good at both ends of the ice. Flames should be stronger defensively this season.

    • The Doctor

      I didn’t think Bennett really stood out one way or the other – but he scored a goal. He made some dumb plays, but he had a lot of elite company in that regard (see Gaudreau).

  • C-of-Dread

    OK. Pre-season is over and now it’s time for the decision.

    Gillies will be Stockton bound leaving 27 on the roster. Who else gets a ticket out of Calgary? 4 guys have to go.

    1)Prout
    2)Lazar
    3)Peluso
    4)Valimaki

    That wasn’t so hard; was it?

  • Crash

    Not a bad showing… hey it’s pre season. I HATE making excuses but shots were 43-21 and I’m sure the possession stats were just as lopsided, and you’re missing your Franchise leading SNIPES (who’s gotten there at the ripe old age of 23) not to mention your prized off season SNIPES accusation. What 1/7 on the PP including 0/2 on 2 lengthy 5 on 3 (lol… Peters SPECIFICALLY mentioned prior to the last game that they haven’t had a chance to practice the 5 on 3 yet, and it showed) and only 2/3 on the PK? Yeah, a lot of stuff to clean up but not a bad body of work as a whole.
    Here’s what I took away from the game:

    1. “Welcome to the Calgary Flames Dillon. Your stall is going to be right next to BING’s”

    2. For all of you analytic geniuses out there, when Anthony Paluso was gently serenading Milan Lucic into dropping his gloves, and Lucic politely DECLINED his invitation, is the reason you need a guy like that on your team; suffice it to say, no one will be using smith’s face as a punching bag this year if Paluso’s on the team. AAAAAND he looked pretty good out there. Paluso will be one of the 14 forwards that stays with the big team. Period.

    3. After watching him in the preseason, and watching him against the worlds greatest player McMuffin today, I will boldly predict that we have won the trade of Hanifan versus “stupid penalty taking machine.”

    4. How do you send Valimaki down after what he’s shown? The kid’s a stud. “I’m here to steal a job”. Bravo. That’s the attitude I’m looking for from a young gun.