155Jakob Pelletier
Photo Credit: Rob Wallator/CHL Images

Pre-FGD: Let’s play two! (7pm MT in Calgary, 8pm MT in Victoria)

The Calgary Flames begin their pre-season calendar with the annual split squad games. This year, they open up with a pair against the Vancouver Canucks. They’ll host the Canucks at the Saddledome at 7 p.m. MT (streamed on the Flames site inside the local area) and head to Victoria to face the Canucks at 8 p.m. MT (broadcast on Sportsnet TV). Sportsnet 960 The Fan will be carrying the Calgary game on their air waves.

The game in Calgary

The Flames

Projected lines:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Bennett – Backlund – Frolik
Lucic – Ryan – Pelletier
Rinaldo – Gawdin – Smith-Pelly

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
MacDonald – Hamilton

Rittich
Talbot

It’s largely a star-studded roster for Calgary, as expected, with both NHL goalies, four of six NHL defenders, and eight of 12 NHL forwards.

The Canucks

Projected lines, via Brandon Batchelor:

Schaller – Beagle – Virtanen
Bancks – Hamilton – Keppen
Perron – Graovac – MacEwen
Baertschi – Camper – Motte

Stecher – Sautner
Fantenberg – Biega
Woo – Eliot

Jake Kielly and Richard Bachman are expected to share the net, with Bachman starting. There’s a distinct Calgary flavour to this group: Virtanen is an ex-Hitman, Woo is a current Hitman, Bancks, Fantenberg and Baertschi are ex-Flames, Graovac was formerly a Flames farmhand, while Schaller attended a Flames development camp prior to his pro career kicking off.

The game in Victoria

The Flames

Lines via Pat Steinberg:

Rieder-Jankowski-Czarnik
Dube-Quine-Phillips
Lomberg-Froese-Robinson
Kirkland-Ruzicka-Zavgorodniy

Kylington-Andersson
Davidson-Stone
Nielsen-Yelesin

As noted above, Artyom Zagidulin starts in goal for the Flames and will split duties with Tyler Parsons.

The Canucks

Lines via Brandon Batchelor:

Goldobin-Horvat-Miller
Gadjovich-Focht-Bailey
Eriksson-Gaudette-Leivo
Boucher-Jasek-Lind

Teves-Rafferty
Brisebois-Tanev
Benn-Chatfield

DiPietro and McIntyre will split the net.

What to watch for

In Calgary: It’s our first look at Milan Lucic in a snazzy red sweater. But a bigger focus should be on the fourth line, as Rinaldo, Gawdin and Smith-Pelly are all very much in the mix for roster spots. Gawdin was superb during prospect camp and looks to keep that momentum rolling, while Smith-Pelly looks to cement himself in a fourth line role moving forward.

In Victoria: Zagidulin was superb in prospect camp, but the quality of the opposition will be ramped up here. Can he maintain his high level of play? Similarly, here’s a chance for Dillon Dube to continue his fine work from last week against better opposition.