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
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Bennett – Backlund – Frolik
Lucic – Ryan – Pelletier
Rinaldo – Gawdin – Smith-Pelly
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
MacDonald – Hamilton
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.
Rittich starts in net in Calgary. Talbot will play the second half of the game.
Zagidulin starts in Victoria and will split with Parsons. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) September 16, 2019
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
Lines via Pat Steinberg:
As noted above, Artyom Zagidulin starts in goal for the Flames and will split duties with Tyler Parsons.
Lines via Brandon Batchelor:
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.