The Calgary Flames set their opening night roster on Tuesday afternoon, naming 22 players to the team. Now they prepare to head to Denver for a Thursday night date with the Colorado Avalanche to kick off the season.
Now that the Flames have a roster, what’s the best way to use them?
Here’s a quick snapshot at how we anticipate the Flames lining up on Thursday night based on the last few days of practice.
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Lucic
Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik/Rieder
It’s not quite clear who gets bumped out of the lineup when Mikael Backlund dresses. It probably bumps Sam Bennett down to the fourth line, which in turn bumps either Austin Czarnik or Tobias Rieder out.
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson
Michael Stone is the extra right now.
What’s the ideal lineup?
For all the talk of trying Elias Lindholm at center during the pre-season, it didn’t really happen at all – aside from a bit during the last game when Backlund was hurt.
The top two lines are status quo. The next two lines are, to be honest, a bit in flux. Lucic and Ryan have been a constant duo during the exhibition games, while Ryan and Mangiapane were a consistent part of the fourth line for much of last season. The last trio is a bit of “who’s left?”
The defensive group is a rehash of what the Flames used for roughly two-thirds of last season. The only swap that seems like it could happen is Rasmus Anderson and TJ Brodie swapping, which would put Brodie on the third pair with Michael Stone.
How would you line the Flames up? Sound off in the comments!