Game Time: 7PM MT in Calgary, 8PM Pacific in Vancouver
The Opposition: Nucks Misconduct
A partial rendition of the 2010-11 Flames makes their long-awaited return to Saddledome ice this evening when they face off against the Canucks in split-squad games to kick off the pre-season for both teams. Team White traveled to Vancouver for tonight's second game after coming out on the losing end of yesterday's Red vs. White scrimmage, and the roster is as follows:
Carter Bancks, Lance Bouma, Rene Bourque, Craig Conroy, Cam Cunning, Ryley Grantham, Niklas Hagman, Tim Jackman, Gaelen Patterson, Jon Rheault, Matt Stajan, Brett Sutter, Mitch Wahl
T.J. Brodie, Keith Seabrook, Steve Staios, Staffan Kronwall, Cory Sarich, Mark Giordano, Adam Pardy
A decent mix of prospects and vets, as one would expect from a pre-season roster, however it appears the Canucks have opted to sit the likes of the Sedins, Alex Burrows, and Mikael Samuelsson for both of this evening's contests.
The Canucks squad staying behind in B.C., including one familiar face in former Heat 'tender David Shantz, courtesy of Canucks Hockey Blog:
Peter Schaeffer – Rick Rypien – Victor Oreskovich
Raffi Torres – Manny Malhotra / Alex Friesen – Guillaime Desbiens
Bill Sweatt – Brendan Morrison – Sergei Shirokov
Prab Rai – Stefan Schneider – Shawn Weller
Aaron Rome – Lee Sweatt
Kevin Connauton – Kevin Bieksa
Evan Oberg – Chris Tanev
Taylor Ellington – Sawyer Hannay
Cory Schneider – David Shantz
Most eyes will likely be on the first of the two games tonight, as the first line unit of Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla will see their first game action after impressing onlookers in practice. Here are the lines and defensive pairings for tonight's game at the 'Dome, as per the Flames official web site and Twitter feed:
Other points of interest are the club's decision to slot David Moss in at centre, a position he hasn't played for four years, in place of Daymond Langkow and the defensive pairing of Bouwmeester and Pelech, one attempting to finally break through to the bigs after a career-threatening health scare and the other, trying to right the ship after a disappointing season. I don't know what to make of the fact that Backlund is set to begin the evening on a the fourth line with Chucko and Ivanans in favour of a third line of Nemisz-Armstrong-Cameron; without reading too much into it, I'd say it's either because the coaching staff wants to give the younger kids more playing time or they want to see how far Mickis stands out against the scrubs, because they're certainly not putting him in the most favourable position. John Negrin will also be interesting to watch, as the last time I saw him at prospect camp he was still recovering from a knee injury and noticeably labouring on the ice. Kiprusoff will supposedly get the start for two periods while Leland Irving will take over for one.
Vancouver's lines and pairings for the game in Calgary are as follows:
Jeff Tambellini – Joel Perrault – Jannik Hansen
Tanner Glass – Alex Bolduc – Jordan Schroeder
Aaron Volpatti – Mario Bliznak – Pierre-Olivier Morin
Darcy Hordichuk – Marco Rosa – Steven Anthony / Matthew Fraser
Keith Ballard – Nolan Baumgartner
Shane O’Brien – Travis Ramsay
Sean Zimmerman – Andrew Alberts
Tyler Weiman – Eddie Lack
Not a whole ton of veteran presence there; most eyes will probably be on prospect Jordan Schroeder and newcomer Keith Ballard for the Canucks, however someone will have to be around to drag Shane O'Brien out of the nearest bar and keep track of how many trips defenceman Andrew Alberts makes to the penalty box.
That's it for now, add any musings of interest or anything else I may have forgotten in the comments and enjoy the game(s)!