Flames Open Preseason In Calgary With A Win


Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The split team squads took the ice for the first preseason game of the year with half the Flames in Edmonton while the other half were on home ice in Calgary. While Curtis Glencross tallied the lone goal for the Flames in Edmonton, I watched the game that was being played in Calgary, with Peter Loubardias on colour commentary. I’ve missed listening to Lou call the games as he’s always been the comic relief along with his knowledgable and witty repartee. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him again this season.

The first period looked like a warm-up as the pace was slow with few shots on net to begin the game. The Oilers looked like they were finding their skating legs while the Flames took practice shots on the opposition’s net.

The second frame was when things started to heat up a little more, with Calgary owning the shots on net 16-1 to start the period. With two minutes gone on the clock, Mark Giordano and Max Reinhart assisted T.J. Brodie’s goal to put the Flames on the scoreboard. Other notable chances on net came from Morgan Klimchuk and Johnny Gaudreau.

With the Oilers in desperate need of defense, the beginning of the third period was all in the Oilers end. The first chance that the Oil had in Calgary’s zone ended up in a Flames power play after a questionable hooking penalty on Matt Hendricks. Johnny Hockey was proving his worth once again as he picked up the puck in the Oiler’s end and passed to Giordano who then took a shot on net.

Giordano may have missed but he created more chances on net with a rush to the goal during the man-advantage. Mark Giordano, the quietly effective captain, was in top form again as he led the team in great set-ups and plays all night long. He is the pillar holding up a diverse and potentially powerful Flames team.

Devin Setoguchi played hard to prove himself during the last period. Corban Knight took a shot on goal that was initially called a goal but was called off after review due to the puck not crossing the goal line. In spite of the shot on an empty net at the end of the game, Reinhart missed and the final score remained 1-0 for the Calgary Flames.

I wasn’t sold on forwards Brandon Bollig and Mason Raymond, but it’s early and I’m willing to keep an open mind. Because Mason Raymond is a former Canucks player, I didn’t want to like him, but he’s part of the team now and I’ll be giving him the benefit of the doubt as I hope he progresses within the ranks. Considering that Bollig had more penalty minutes (92) last season than games played (82) with the Chicago Blackhawks, I was a little concerned that he may be too much truculence for an already feisty Flames team. But he played relatively well last night, keeping himself involved in key plays when needed. He seems like a good team player and I’ll be watching his contributions as we move into the regular season.

Deryk Engelland and Setoguchi seem to be doing well on the Flames and I’m looking forward to watching more from them. It’s a well-known fact that the Flames have needed to beef up their defense and I think Engelland will be a good fit on the blue line. Setoguchi has returned to his Alberta home and he seemed really comfortable playing with his new team last night. He looked eager to contribute and willing to help the team succeed.

Jonas Hiller stood tall in net yet played great down low as well. He was steady, confident, and proved to everyone that he is capable of getting the job done.

With a 1-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, the Flames have started the season off well. If this preseason action is telling of what’s to come in the regular season, Flames fans have a lot to cheer about.

My 1 Star
Sean Monahan. In his second year as a part of the Flames, he’s already proven in one game that he’s ready to face the season. He’s bigger and stronger and seems prepared to take his sophomore season as it comes. He was steady on his feet last night and utilized his ice time to his advantage. He seems to have chemistry with Ryan Culkin, who worked very well with every chance Monahan had given. Monahan is making it crystal clear that he’s ready to play and he’s prepared to do what it takes to be a pro hockey player on and off the ice. He’s adaptable and works with whatever he’s up against and he’s willing to take direction from his fellow veteran players and coaches. His leadership skills and intelligence on the ice make him a prime candidate for captaincy as a Flames veteran in the future.

Go Flames Go!