At the end of the day, pre-season games have very little bearing on the rest of the season. They're a chance for players to get their legs back and become comfortable on the ice, to practice some training camp set plays, and for some outside shots to prove a point and become part of the furniture (see Josh Jooris as proof).
That said, it will be awfully nice to welcome back the Vancouver Canucks tonight to the scene of the crime from April, where the irrelevant Micheal Ferland and Matt Stajan were influential in the Flames winning their first post-season round since 2004.
Indeed, expect the team tonight to look a lot more like the one which downed the Canucks, as opposed to the younger side that sneaked a 1-0 win in Colorado last night.
Here's the projected lineup (subject to change; it is being speculated Markus Granlund and Drew Shore may replace Austin Carroll and Blair Riley down the middle):
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Johnny Gaudreau||Sean Monahan||Jiri Hudler|
|Lance Bouma||Austin Carroll||Michael Frolik|
|Ken Agostino||Bill Arnold||Garnet Hathaway|
|Morgan Klimchuk||Blair Riley||Paul Byron|
|Bryce Van Brabant|
|Left Defence||Right Defence|
|Mark Giordano||Dougie Hamilton|
|Kris Russell||Dennis Wideman|
|Patrick Sieloff||Deryk Engelland|
|Oliver Kylington||Tyler Wotherspoon|
Ones to watch
- The Flames are bringing back the big guns tonight, which means another chance to see the excellent beauty of Dougie Hamilton in red.
- Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo will get to put their arguments across to be a part of the Flames' goaltending situation. Three into two won't go - as Ari explains here. Joni Ortio made his case last night with a 35-shot shutout, so whichever of Hiller or Ramo gets the nod will have to bring his "A" game.
- It looks like Paul Byron could play his first preseason game tonight. It will be his first on-ice action since March 27 of this year.
- The lines will be worth looking at tonight. Naturally, we all expect Hudreaunahan to carry on, but below that? Nothing will be set in stone, but it'll be interesting to see who ends up with who.