The Calgary Flames return to the ice for competition, albeit of a fairly meaningless sort, tonight at the Centrium in scenic Red Deer, Alberta. The Flames’ prospects face the Edmonton Oilers’ prospects in the first of a quasi-home-and-home series. The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on YouTube and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Here are the projected lines for this evening, via our pal Pat Steinberg:
Dillon Dube – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Jakob Pelletier – Adam Ruzicka – Eetu Tuulola
Martin Pospisil – Luke Philp – Dmitry Zavgorodniy
Mason Morelli – Milos Roman – Jeremy McKenna
Andrew Nielsen – Corey Schueneman
Rob Hamilton – Alexander Yelesin
Christopher Merisier-Ortiz – Montana Onyebuchi
Artyom Zagidulin starts in net and is slated to go the distance. It looked like Tyler Parsons will be backing up based on morning skate, but Dustin Wolf could also slot in (and it would make no difference). The extras are James Malm, David Kope, Jackson van de Leest and Zach Osburn.
For a group that only has a single first round pick involved, the Flames’ forward combinations are pretty interesting and could be a lot of fun. You would hope that the top trio stand out and that Pelletier, playing his most meaningful outing to date in a Flames sweater, can manage the emotions of the game – he noted after practice that the key is to focus on playing his game.
Lines, via Reid Wilkins:
Tyler Benson – Cooper Marody – Cameron Hebig
Nolan Vesey – Ryan McLeod – Kirill Maksimov
Raphael Lavoie – Steven Iacobellis – Ostap Safin
Jakub Stukel – Beau Starrett – Liam Keeler
Dmitri Samorukov – Evan Bouchard
Ethan Cap – Logan Day
Brendan De Jong – Vincent Desharnais
Dylan Wells and Stuart Skinner are the goaltenders dressing, and they’re expected to split the game. Kailer Yamamoto, Jaxon Bellamy and Olivier Rodrigue are Edmonton’s extras.
Edmonton’s defensive group is much better than Calgary’s, especially that top pairing.
The Flames took both parts of the prospect Battle of Alberta last season; they won 7-3 in Calgary and 6-3 in Red Deer. Granted, the Flames had the likes of Juuso Valimaki, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington available to them.