After a long hiatus, I'm back to cover Calgary again.
What felt like an eternity, the summer is finally over and hockey is back. Calgary lost their opening night 5-4 to the Washington Capitals in a hard-fought game. There are a lot of positives to take away from last nights game. Calgary absolutely dominated the first period, and made the Capitals looks lazy.
The second period went to Washington, as Alexander Ovechkin took the game over. His stat-line for the game was impressive : 2G, 1A, 11SOG, and threw some huge hits.
The third period was split between the two teams, and outside of the late penalty from T.J Galiardi, it was a good period.
The overtime was dominated again by Calgary, as they walked all over Washington. Ultimately the Flames lost in the Shootout.
Quickly, there are a few good/bad things I'd like to point out.
- Sven Baertschi had a very solid game. He looked motivated - and after Burkes' comments, its not hard to see why. Although he didn't record any points, he had numerous offensive chances, and played well in his own end.
- David Jones impressed me throughout the game. Not only was his first goal a goal-scorers goal, but he drives the net hard and causes a lot of problems for opposing teams.
- Sean Monahan had his first career NHL point in his first game. He made a few minor mistakes, but overall had a solid game.
- Curtis Glencorss had another one of his famous lackluster games. His puck control is embarrassing, and he looked like he was out to lunch. I think someone forgot to tell him preseason was over.
- Chris Butler showcased again, why he needs to go. I can't count on two hands the number of times he made me scratch me head and wonder what he's doing.
- I thought that the best line was the Baertschi-Monahan-Jones group. By far the most effective in the offensive zone.
- Giordano/Brodie & Wideman had outstanding games. Were great in both ends. Brodie's development has been incredible the past few seasons. His skating is high end, and he's developing into a solid two-way defender.
Calgary vs. Columbus Preview
Puck Drop - 5:00PM MT/7:00PM EST
Season Record Columbus: 0-0-0
Season Record Calgary: 0-0-1
Last season series: Columbus won 2/3 of the games going 2-0-1.
Projected Starting Goaltenders: CGY - Joey MacDonald / CBJ - Sergei Bobrovsky
Projected lines for the Calgary Flames: *
Similar lines to last night, however, Joe Colborne could take the spot of another forward if unable to play.
Glencross - Stajan - Stempniak
Galiardi - Backlund - Hudler
Baertschi - Monahan - Jones
Bouma - Street/Colborne - McGrattan
Giordano - Brodie
Russell - Wideman
O'Brien - Butler
Injuries - Mike Cammalleri,
Projected lines for the Columbus Blue Jackets: *
Jenner - Dubinsky - Gaborik
Letestu - Anisimov - Comeau
Calvert - Johansen - Atkinson
Umberger - MacKenzie Foligno
Johnson - Prout
Murray - Wisniewski
Nikitin - Erixon/Savard
Injuries - Jared Boll and Fedor Tyutin(game-time decision)
*Lines subject to change
- I'm interested again to see how the grouping of Baertschi, Monahan & Jones does. Let's see if they can carry over their momentum from last night.
- If Colborne does play, I'd like to see him get some PP time. His vision is incredible and can slow the pay down.
- If Calgary can play the same as last night, I see a win tonight. Columbus isn't nearly as skilled as Washington, but they play a hard game.
- I want to see a great game from Galiardi. He was noticeably frustrated last night after his late-game penalty.
- Backlund has a good game, not including his face-off stats (he had 6 wins and 16 losses last night) which is obviously his weakest attribute.
Overall, I think it's important to keep expectations low. We can't expect 82 games like the game last night, as it's very taxing on a player to play that style. I liked Hartley's game management last night, and I applaud how he used rookie Sean Monahan. He was given defensive zone faceoffs, and played in all situations.
As long as the rookies are getting ice-time, it's a beneficial scenario for Calgary.
A bit of a sporadic post, but it's good to get one out after such a long time gone. Enjoy the game tonight!