Here is my offering regarding game two of the prospects tourney.
Flames lineup was changed for this game, with more of a ‘B’ team look on both defense and up front with the tryout guys getting a shot:
This game was a lot different than the Oilers tilt which saw the Flames dominate for most of the game. In this game it was all Vancouver for the first period.
The period started off fairly evenly but within minutes you could see that the Flames were not playing at the same level they were against Edmonton. Vancouver’s forecheck smothered the Flames and the new guys were struggling. Perhaps because they did not play in the previous game.
There was one positive for the Flames however, and that was the play of Joni Ortio. Ortio was, in a word, spectacular.
As I watched Ortio warm-up I was stricken by how much his warm-up routine resembled that of Mikka Kiprusoff’s. After the game started I was stricken by how much his play resembled Kipper.
Ortio made 18 saves in the first frame, some of them were of the very difficult variety, and a couple of them were highlight reel material. The only goal that got by him was a screen shot on the PP that he didn’t even see. Subjective letter grade A++++.
The game turned on a dime in the second period after Michael Ferland pumped up the team with a spirited scrap. From that moment on it was all Flames for the remainder of the second.
The third period was pretty even despite the Flames spending 6 minutes shorthanded, while the Canucks avoided the box. When it was five-on-five the Flames dominated every shift but two, by my count.
The players who I singled out for kudos last game were basically the same this game. Once again it was Ferland, Granlund, Reinhart and Poirier who caught my eye up front and Ramage, Kanzig and this time Culkin who stood out on the back-end.
Ramage has been great both games but really showed his stuff last night with a laser beam goal and a helper. Frankie Corrado who was up with Vancouver for a cup of coffee last year was good too, but Ramage was better.
One of the new faces caught my eye on d' as well. He is 2013 5th round draft pick Eric Roy. He looked out of his element for the first 1/2 of the game, but once he got his feet under him he showed great offensive instincts.
Eric had 55 points in 69 games in 2011-2012 as a seventeen year old, but his production fell off in his draft year and he dropped all the way to the fifth round. Early previews have me hoping theis kid was a steal. Although he needs a lot more seasoning and has to find a way to use his 6'3" frame to his advantage.
Sean Monahan is somewhat enigmatic to me. He always seems to be in great defensive position, not very noticeable in the offensive zone yet always hits the score sheet.
Baertschi and Corban Knight have been underwhelming. Part of it is because they are on the 4th line and not getting much ice time, but they seem to be floating a bit as well.
I had high hopes for Knight, but if he doesn’t show more in main camp he will be in Abby to start the season.
Factoid: Jonio Ortio plays for Mikka Kiprusoff's team in Finland.
Thanks for reading.