The Calgary Flames enacted some revenge on the Edmonton Oilers last night as they took down their provincial rivals by a score of 4-1 in their second prospects game. The rosters were more or less the same for both sides, but the Flames controlled the majority of play in the game.
Above all of the positives tonight looms the apparent injury of Connor Zary. A rocket of a slap shot caught a sprawling Zary in the interior ankle and leg area, and he never returned after this occurred in the first period. The 2020 first round pick is an outside, but plausible, shot to make the Flames this season so obviously any injury would be unfortunate right before training camp starts.
The Flames have announced that Zary is currently out Day to Day but haven’t said anything else yet. This seems like a positive because Zary was in a lot of pain and needed help getting down the tunnel last night.
Update (Sept 24): Flames announced that Zary has an ankle fracture and is week-to-week.
The 7 man unit of Ilya Solovyov, Yan Kuznetsov, Koltrane Wilson, Jeremie Poirier, Greg Moro, Colton Poolman, and Cameron Whynot absolutely smothered the Oilers all game, but especially the final two periods. The lone Oilers goal came on a fairly unstoppable one-timer on a 5-on-3 powerplay, and other than that tally it truly felt like there was a complete absence of Oilers offensive chances outside of that goal. Poirier really stood out at all aspects of the game tonight, but his puck carrying and movement inside the offensive zone is truly something special. Solovyov and Kuznetsov are very solid defensively and Solovyov especially stood out as a really sound player in all three zones. Whynot is certainly an interesting project now that he’s been tested against some higher competition, and didn’t stick out as an 18-year-old.
Pospisil Strikes Twice
While I already sung some praises for Pospisil after Game 1 of the prospects game, I thought he once again very solid in the second game, save for a couple of penalties. He scored twice in the game, including finishing a very nice passing play on the powerplay along with hitting the empty net. He seemed to always be involved in the play throughout the game and was into a few scrums as well. I wouldn’t be shocked if he sticks around deep into training camp.
Ryan Francis Could Be Really Good
I think it’s safe to say that the hype is steadily growing for the 2020 5th round pick. After scoring a goal in the first game, he picked up another last night, this time with a wicked wrist shot after rushing up the ice. Francis seemed to steadily be involved in the play all night long and looked like a real driver amongst the players in the game. He has drawn comparisons to Andrew Mangiapane which is a major compliment for him. He will certainly be a player to watch as this season progresses.
Dustin Wolf was Solid Again
While he had a significantly lighter workload in this game thanks to some very strong puck management and defending by the Flames, Wolf still answered the bell on a number of occasions with some great saves. The only goal to beat him was a cross-ice one timer on a 5 on 3, so you really can’t put any blame on him there. Going forward he will be in competition for pre-season ice time, but with the Flames playing eight games, hopefully they can get him into at least a couple. He will fighting with Tyler Parsons and Adam Werner to earn the starters net in Stockton.