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Calgary Flames Game Day: Kicking off the pre-season against Vancouver (6pm MT)

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Photo credit:David Moll/Calgary Wranglers
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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After several days of practices, it’s time to see what everybody has learned! Sunday night kicks off the pre-season schedule for the Calgary Flames, and they begin their eight-game exhibition sojourn with a home date against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Games between these clubs tend to get spicy, even when they’re so-called “friendlies,” so this might be a nice way for the clubs to start off sharp against a regional rival.
The puck drops shortly after 6 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on television on Sportsnet (with Vancouver’s broadcast crew) and hear the action on Sportsnet 960 The Fan! It’s the first game for the new radio broadcast team of Derek Wills and two-time Olympic gold medallist Meaghan Mikkelson.
For a look from the other side, check out Canucks Army!

The Flames

Projected lines via Sportsnet’s Pat Steinberg
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Yegor Sharangovich
Adam Ruzicka – Nazem Kadri – Dillon Dube
Dryden Hunt – Ben Jones – Matt Coronato
Martin Pospisil – Connor Zary – Adam Klapka

Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Jordan Oesterle – Chris Tanev
Ilya Solovyov – Dennis Gilbert
Jacob Markstrom is slated to start, with Oscar Dansk as his backup.
This lineup is cobbled together: the top two lines and two defensive pairings are taken wholesale from the first three days of training camp, while the bottom two lines and third pairing are fairly new and built up from a bunch of different combinations from both groups.
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Players to watch: Among the forward group, the Flames are dressing two recent first-round selections and mixing them in with their bottom six. Matt Coronato gets a pair of experienced AHLers in Ben Jones and Dryden Hunt as linemates, while Connor Zary is between a couple familiar Wranglers faces in Martin Pospisil and Adam Klapka. On the blueline, Ilya Solovyov gets paired with another familiar face in Dennis Gilbert.
If nothing else, head coach Ryan Huska is setting his youngsters up with some good partners and linemates, and we’ll see if that results in a strong first-game impression for these fresh faces.

The Canucks

Projected lines via Sportsnet’s Brandon Batchelor:
Vasily Podkolzin – Pius Suter – Jack Studnicka
Nils Höglander – Nils Åman – Linus Karlsson
Aidan McDonough – Max Sasson – Danila Klimovich
Dakota Joshua –
Aatu Räty – Sheldon Dries
Jack Rathbone – Jett Woo
Akito Hirose – Noah Juulsen
Matt Irwin – Cole McWard

It sounds like Arturs Silovs will start in net. (It would be neat to see WHL and USports product Sawchenko, who’s from Calgary, get some time on Saddledome ice.)
Most of the Canucks roster are guys battling for depth spots, but that composition likely means that the Flames face a bunch of guys willing to battle to prolong their NHL camp stays a little longer – and to potentially force their way into a main roster job – so the Canucks group should be high on feistiness and battle level, even if they may be (on paper) a little lower on skill than the home side.
Players to watch: Aidan McDonough has been a Flames killer lately, between his first NHL goal last season and his play in Penticton.
Stay tuned to FlamesNation for a full post-game breakdown of each Calgary Flames pre-season game!

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