Florida Panther @ Calgary Flames
Game Time: 7:00 pm
Opposition: Litter Box Cats
So last night wasn't the most engaging affair (sorry Saskatoon) featuring yawn-worthy line-ups from both teams and a lackluster effort from the Flames besides. I didn't listen to the match (being engaged in a keeper draft), so all I can do is direct the curious few to the Sun's recap and grading of the players. The only items of interest for me are Matt Keetley giving up another groaner and Adam Pardy playing another mediocre game against nominal competition. Both guys are fighting for their lives (albeit at different levels of the organization), so it would behoove them to get things turned around in short order.
If one hangs about water coolers or takes a gander at Flames messageboards, you might encounter some dissatisfied rumblings about Calgary's performance in the pre-season thus far. Which is ridiculous. The Flames have a giant, unwieldy roster (50+), more than half of which is made up of non-NHLers. In addition, the "team" is playing for a brand new coaching staff which is trying to overhaul the club's entire one-ice strategy. On top of that, almost nothing can be taken from a three game sample size, especially in terms of team-wide evaluations. In short: don't sweat it folks.
No rosters have been posted as of yet and I'll endeavor to update the post when they pop up. That said, I'm assuming we'll see a few more vets and stars this evening, given the cast of fringe players and hopefuls that appeared yesterday. The Panthers line-up is also a mystery at this point, but here's the cast they dressed in Edmonton on Friday. Despite a fairly decent mix of vets and rookies, Florida was obliterated by the Oilers 4-0 (shots - 38-18). If the Flames go with the stronger roster and the Panthers don't bring more to the rink than what they showed a few nights ago, it could be a long evening for Florida fans and players alike.
Instant update - Rob Kerr has this morning's practice lines posted. Things may change come game time, but it's better than nothing:
Dawes Langkow Glencross
Prust Jaffray Nystrom
Sutter Germyn Fleury