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Flames vs. Avalanche game preview: Wait this almost looks like a real NHL lineup

Three! Three more preseason games. Ah, ah, ah.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

The Avalanche aren't bringing their big guns to town - no Gabriel Landeskog, no Matt Duchene, no Ryan O`Reilly, no Nathan MacKinnon and, most importantly, no Jarome Iginla - but they don't matter. It's not their game. The Flames defeated them in their own barn 2-1 courtesy of Michael Ferland and Karri Ramo, but now they're the ones hosting, and boy, for preseason, this looks like a really nice lineup.

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Jiri Hudler Joe Colborne Curtis Glencross
Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Sven Baertschi
Lance Bouma Bill Arnold Brandon Bollig
Michael Ferland Max Reinhart Josh Jooris
Left Defense Right Defense
TJ Brodie Mark Giordano
Rafa Diaz Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak Sena Acolatse
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

  • Sorry I'm just really excited about a Gaudreau - Monahan - Baertschi line.
  • Like, that could be a real NHL line. This season. I'm never going to find this article again, but Baertschi definitely once said he could play both wings. Considering how full the left side is and empty the right, that could very well be his saving grace. He also said he wanted to be the new face of the franchise. What position did the last face of the franchise play? Does this mean anything? No, of course not. I just want a Gaudreau - Monahan - Baertschi line to be a thing forever.
  • Mikael Backlund is injured, but skating. Markus Granlund is undergoing concussion protocol. Colborne is a natural centre. That's the benefit of having so many centres: it's easier to shift a centre to wing and then, when injuries strike, shift him back to centre rather than make the winger play out of position. It's only Colborne's sophomore season, and he bounced around all throughout the lineup last season, but he's got great wingers tonight to continue his audition with.
  • That bottom six looks fun and relatively capable. See what happens when you don't have goons? Don't have goons. Have players who can actually play. Chances are your team's going to be better off if your fourth line can handle more than five minutes a night.
  • Brodie - Giordano: the greatest defence pairing of all time? Sure, probably, why not.
  • Diaz and Wideman are both right handed shots, so it's weird to see them paired up together. Also, when is Diaz going to get his contract already? Please give Diaz his contract already.
  • Hiller goes the distance tonight. It's like a real NHL game!
  • (Except for the opponent. The Avs' highest profile players are, like, Alex Tanguay, Daniel Briere, Max Talbot, Jesse Winchester, Jan Hejda. Uh...)
  • (Also Reto Berra is starting. Uhhhhh...)
  • Sam Bennett is a no-go tonight. Apparently he's suffering a minor injury. That's his second this month. He's skilled and fun to watch, sure, but maybe he shouldn't be playing 82 games against fully grown men just yet.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. MT tonight. The game won't be on TV or streamed, so it's just Sportsnet 960 The FAN's radio feed for us... That is, unless you're actually going to the game.

UPDATE: Aaaand the game is officially being streamed! As long as you're in the Calgary region, you should be able to watch online or via the app.