Posted 10:56 AM ET | Comments 0
The season is upon us. In 12 hours time, the puck will be dropped to kick off the 2010-11 season for the flames.
This pre-season has been both a good and a bad one for the flames even though they end it with a perfect 7-0 record.
- TJ Brodie
He was considered to be one of the better defense prospects for the team, but was also considered to be a year or two away from playing in the NHL. His phenomenal play, both offensively and defensively, in the pre-season has earned him a spot on the blueline beating out Pelech, Negrin and Kronwall to be the 8th defenseman. This is a tremendous feat considering that the flames are already stacked at defense with 1 way contracts. He is on the roster for opening night, though let us see how many games he gets.
- First line
So far, the first line has seen some chemistry and all the three players seem to be jelling decently well. Tanguay and Iginla have seemed to rekindle their connection, which was the backbone to both of them having successful seasons in 06/07. Jokinen has had good nights, but he still seems to be missing the net on various occasions and he needs to work slightly on his accuracy, but this line has the makings of being successful. Then again it was only the pre-season and one can only completely judge once the line is played against the top defensive pairings of the other teams.
Henrik Karlsson has been solid in net with what I believe to be under 1.00 GAA. He seems ready for NHL and is a big fella which can never be a bad thing for a goalie. Let us hope he is the answer for the perennial search for a backup and can atleast play 15 games or so to give Kipper much deserved rest. Kipper has also had a really good pre-season and has seemed to be in mid-season form with the saves he has been making.
His play in the pre-season is backing the fact that last season wasn't a fluke. He has been a presence all around the ice and let's hope this spills into the rest of the season.
With Stajan, Langkow, Moss and Kotalik out, the scoring depth that the flames had, is now solely on the shoulders of Glencross and the newly signed Morrisson. Beyond the top two lines, the flames are thin, and one has to hope that the injured players have speedy recoveries since once they return, the flames will be capable of rolling out 3 potential scoring lines.
The player most thought would make the jump this season and displace one of the veterans on the team ended up being waived. This was partly due to an average pre-season and Brodie's emergence also played a huge factor. The first year of Pelech's waiver eligibilty saw him being one of the later cuts and pass through the waivers. Here is to hoping that the bruising defenseman takes this as a motivational boost and has the desire to prove himself. The way the injury situation has haunted the flames, it is possible that Pelech will be up and play for the flames as the season progresses.
- Inability to trade
The flames were close to the cap ceiling and were paying veteran players such as Staios and Kotalik 2.7 and 3 million respectively. Many fans believed that the flames will find a way to make these salaries dissappear but this hasn't happened as yet. The slow recovery that Langkow is going through has enabled both to be on the roster but once the team is fully healthy, Darryl Sutter will have some tough decisions to make.
With puck set to drop at 8 MT tonight against the oilers, let us cheer on our team.
GO FLAMES GO