Flames look to shake up lineup

Coming off of giving up at least four goals in two straight games – the first one a loss, the second one a win – the Flames, before heading out on the road, appear to be experimenting with both their forward and defensive groups.

At forward, via Pat Steinberg, it looks like Mark Jankowski will be coming out for Garnet Hathaway, and Dillon Dube is going to get a turn at centre:

Gaudreau Monahan Lindholm
Tkachuk Backlund Czarnik
Bennett Dube Neal
Hathaway Ryan Frolik

Considering the newfound depth at forward the Flames have, it’s been a legitimate question to wonder who they could possibly sit in order to get Hathaway or even Anthony Peluso into the lineup. Apparently, the answer is Jankowski; averaging 7:59 a game, he’s getting the second least amount of ice time, ahead of just Sam Bennett (7:54).

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Jankowski may be the one out because the Flames want to give Dube a chance to play centre at the big league level, and as the centre with the least amount of ice time, it makes the most sense to scratch him. To my knowledge, Jankowski hasn’t been tested on the wing, which could explain the preference to keep Bennett in – and Bennett can, theoretically, play centre. (As in, we’ve seen him do it in the NHL, even if it hasn’t gone particularly well.)

This move also sees Derek Ryan move down to the fourth line, as Frolik gets all new linemates. The top six has been kept intact because they’re doing pretty awesome, while Dube and James Neal are staying together.

On defence, also via Steinberg, it looks like Rasmus Andersson will be making his season debut:

Giordano Brodie
Hanifin Stone
Valimaki Andersson

Dalton Prout comes out of the lineup, and with Travis Hamonic injured, the Flames appear ready to test out an all-rookie pairing – for however long that may last in-game.

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(For what it’s worth, Peters mentioned in his post-practice media availability that they might swap right side defenders to avoid an all-rookie pairing on the road, so Andersson might be with Noah Hanifin and Juuso Valimaki with Michael Stone.)

With Hathaway in the game, the Flames probably don’t feel the need to dress Prout.

The top unit powerplay also looks to be staying together – it did just score three goals, finally – while Hanifin gets a chance on the second man advantage:

Last point of order (seriously, thanks for all the information Pat) – with the Flames going on a three-game road trip and probably hyper aware of the fact they can’t run Mike Smith into the ground, David Rittich will probably be getting one of the next two starts. The Flames are in Nashville on Tuesday and St. Louis on Thursday. Nashville has won both its games to date, while St. Louis has lost one in regulation and one in overtime.

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The Flames close out with a night game in Colorado on Saturday before returning to the Saddledome for a two-game homestand.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Mark, I saw you hit the ice straight out of college in 2015/2016 season. When you returned for your rookie AHL season, you added muscle and looked like a player on a mission. You led the Heat to the playoffs and had an all-star season. Last year you lit up preseason but ultimately started the year back in Stockton. Did you sulk? No, you went out and played so good that you forced Calgary’s hand to bring you up.

    You have a new role now. No longer are you top line center. You may get there someday, but you need to constantly work to get better each and every day. You cannot relax on your past. This is an ever changing league. Time to show Rebar and the staff that you not only want to play but deserve it as well. Always earned, never given.

    I am one of your biggest supporters, and you have let me down so far. I have seen first hand the type of player you are. Now it is time to man up and show everyone else.

    I hope that you take this game to reflect on what you have done in the past, how you can improve for the next game, and how you are going to adopt to the role you have been assigned. If you are 4th line center, be the best 4th line center you can be. Make the case for more playing time with your play on the ice.

    I think it was Bill Murray in Groundhog Day that said to the rodent “Don’t drive angry”. You need to play angry and with purpose and grit. I know you have it in you; time to let it out.

  • 左翼二

    A little unexpected to see Janko out for Hath. Interested to see Dube at C.

    Glad to see Prout out. Hopefully that sticks long term. Happier to see Phat Ras in, and hopefully that lasts too. If he shows well, maybe Stone gets sat when Hamonic is back.

  • SeanCharles

    I saw a stat where Jankowksi only had 1 assist in the last 37 games last season.

    Maybe sitting and viewing from up top for a game will do him some good.

    • Luter 1

      Disappointed that he let up on 2 potential bone-jarring hits in the first game. If the coach wants him more aggressive and working on draws I’m Ok with it but he has big time potential still and if he would have scored on the shorty breakaway he wouldn’t be sitting. If he’s sitting because Ryan is taking his spot and icetime, big mistake. 30 some year old Stajan 2.0 so far.

    • cjc

      Yep, he had one assist between Jan. 11 and Apr. 7 (Had a respectable 9 goals in that span, though 4 in that throw away game 82 against Vegas. Anyway, that was a 36 game stretch with 5 goals and one assist to show. If he hadn’t put up a 4 spot against Vegas, imagine how cheap he would have come!

  • FlushedOut

    Whether you like the moves or not at least we have a coach willing to try some different things out I like Jankowski but sitting out a game or 2 here and there is not going to destroy his career All he needs to do is come back and play hard so sitting him again is not an option. Once we start getting injuries all bottom forwards will get a chance to show what they can do I’d rather the problem be which good player to sit rather than which mediocre player do we dress over another mediocre player on the bottom six like last year

  • MDG1600

    I am not surprised to see Jankowski out. I like him but have to admit he is looking too comfortable (in a bad way) this year. I am starting to worry he might be a tweener. He seems just that 1/2 step too slow to play the high tempo pressure game.

    • Chucky

      That’s why he had 3 hits in game 1. I guess he just couldn’t get there in time to be a spectator like Ryan so had to take the man. In game 2 he didn’t get any hist because he was on the ice for a grand total of 4 minutes and 50 seconds 5 on 5.

      • MDG1600

        Hey, I really do see potential in Jankowski but he can play better. Not disagreeing about Ryan – he looks like a typical UFA overpay. Treliving needs to quit burdening the team and the payroll with his UFA signings.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Ryan was 89% in faceoffs in game one. Bad in game two. Janko less than 44 and 40%.
      They could have just kept in Janko and let Ryan take the draws.

      • Chucky

        Win the faceoff and do nothing with it or lose the faceoff go get the puck and make something happen. Game 1 Jankowski and Bennett had 6 shots and 7 hits between them with 7 min 52 seconds and 8 min 1 second respectively in 5 on 5 play.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          So, what is Peters preaching. Win faceoffs.
          As I said, you could keep both in and just not play Hathaway.
          Ryan on the 4th line, so it’s not all bad.

  • Chucky

    The Anderson move is expected and positive. In St Louis he will move to the second pairing.
    The Hathaway move makes sense because they need to be a little bit more aggressive.
    If there is nothing wrong with Jankowski it is Peters first dumb move. Lets hope that it is a sore wrist from the slash or something like that.

    • Jobu

      Jobus guess is that Peters wants to see all his guys get 1 game in to see what he has. Janko will be back in next game no doubt.

      The shuffling is to see if here’s any chemistry with Neal and Dube.

  • Chucky

    That second power play unit does not have a chance. The set up is such that Dube and Czarnik effectively play the half wall point. Czarnik doesn’t get caught too near the boards so the puck keeps escaping out his side. To prevent that the defenseman needs to cheat to the right side and that results in odd man rushes.
    It takes a certain amount of toughness to play the point, this is something that we have not seen from Czarnik yet.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      I would suggest that Backlund should be covering the point, as a backup to Hanifin.
      Would love to see someone with a one-timer set up on the right circle (Neal?).