The Calgary Flames dropped their second pre-season content in as many nights as they fell 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. The game was played in Abbotsford to celebrate the Canucks moving their AHL affiliate to the city, the same city where the Flames had their farm team from 2009-10 to 2013-14. Here are my thoughts on the game:
Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane were Solid
Dube and Mangiapane were the only two forwards in the lineup for Calgary that really figured to be key cogs in the Flames offense this season. Mangiapane especially brought a lot of energy to his game (which he always does) which was encouraging to see after an extremely lackluster showing from veterans the previous night against Edmonton.
Dube was rewarded with a powerplay goal in the second period and both players were creating all night long. For Dube, it was a chance to showcase himself as a center to the coaching staff and I thought he performed well in the role. Mangiapane looks like he’ll be picking right up from where he left off in June with Team Canada.
Oliver Kylington Performed Well
Often finding himself in the organization’s doghouse with little sensible reasoning from the outside observers, I thought Kylington had a strong game in his pre-season debut. He made a number of good plays with the puck on zone exits and zone entries while also doing a good job quarterbacking the powerplay in the absence of many NHL regulars. He was rewarded with an assist and really showed that he could play competently against a Vancouver lineup with no shortage of NHLers.
Not Much from Other Bubble Prospects
I wanted to give it another game before I mentioned them, but I simply don’t think we’ve seen enough from Matthew Phillips or Adam Ruzicka through the first two games of the pre-season. Both players were on the roster bubble heading into camp but they have failed to generate much of anything at even strength after being very good with the Stockton Heat last year. Given the veteran heavy surrounding cast, both will be even more hard pressed to work their way onto the NHL roster given two relatively underwhelming games.
Vladar Running Away with Backup Job
If there was any thoughts that there could be a competition between Dan Vladar and Adam Werner for the backup job in Calgary, they are getting squashed pretty quickly. With both goalies splitting the last two games, Vladar has looking steadily better than Werner and has really looked comfortable in the Flames net. Although Vladar did allow a goal last night that he probably wants back, he was absolutely stellar the rest of the night, turning away 14 of 15 Canucks shots. The Vancouver radio broadcast complimented him at least 3-4 times over his 30 minutes of action.
The Flames will next hit the ice on Wednesday when the Seattle Kraken make their first visit to the Scotiabank Saddledome.