Well that was enthralling. Or exactly what anyone who saw the line-up for the Flames before the game might have expected. Or something.
I'll keep this pretty brief tonight, because there really wasn't much to talk about in a positive sense, and bitching about AHL-level players looking like, well, AHL-level players is just piling on, really.
1) The good:
Anton Stralman looked OK. He's a smooth skater who can move the puck, and he didn't look too awful in his own end. David Moss and Dustin Boyd looked decent enough for the first time out, and Jamie Lundmark made a very nice pass to Jason Jaffray for the Flames' lone goal. The Flames as a team were good to start, and good for a short stretch around the Jaffray goal. For the other outfit, the Oilers' NHLers, particularly Comrie, O'Sullivan, Horcoff and Tom Gilbert looked solid, and the Oilers got pretty acceptable goaltending from Deslauriers and Dubnyk.
2) The not-quite-as -good
Matt Keetley made a few nice saves, but the first Oiler goal wasn't very good, and his rebound control wasn't what he might like. Nigel Dawes didn't seem very involved in the play, and for a guy who has designs on a top-six job, it wasn't the most exciting start. Adam Pardy and Matt Pelech were -2, although given the quality of the first goal, that's unfair by 1. Colin Stuart showed some decent speed, but late in the first period he forced Pardy into a penalty by making, as our man Mr. Wilson noted in the GDT, a cross-ice pass Todd Bertuzzi would have laughed at for its ineptitude.
Overall, it looked like a group of AHLers and fringe NHLers out for their first game. The group on ice tonight had enough try, and did muster 31 shots, but it looked like exactly what you'd expect from a hard working lineup without a lot of high end skill. Oh, well, Thursday is another day, and I don't think the Flames will put that sort of line-up out against the Islanders in two nights.