Calgary Flames Hot Start to the Morning Vol 52


Apr 13, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne (8) checks Vancouver Canucks defenseman Frank Corrado (26) during the third period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s gameday!!  Our Calgary Flames prepare to play the Arizona Coyotes in front of a packed Sylvan Lake crowd of approximately 1000 people.  I’m not missing a zero folks, I’m just wondering aloud how players who are used to performing to near 20.000 people a night will react to playing in front of crowd so small?  With the effort and promotion the NHL has put into the “Kraft Hockeyville Game“, you can be assured that if there is a preseason game to watch, it’s this one!

Good morning Calgary Flames fans!  Have you started to wonder yet how the 2014-15 Calgary Flames roster will come together?

As little as one week ago, I would have argued that Calgary’s defence going into the regular was going to feature Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, Deryk Engelland, and Laddy Smid.  The 7th defenseman was simply going to be somebody who only played when someday needed a night off to heel a bruise from blocking a shot.  The happy problem here is that the 7th guy may be Raphael Diaz and he may be too good to play that sparingly.

So IF, Diaz continues to impress, who does Raphael send to the bench?  One has to believe after the contract Engelland signed this past summer that his ice time is safe until (if) a time comes he shows he’s not ready for the extra responsibility.  I’ve heard Dennis Wideman in many trade rumours, does the trigger on that trade get pulled?  Do the Flames punish Smid for his offensive inabilities and hope Diaz’s overall game compensates for Smid’s defensive zone prowess?  My opinion is that Kris Russell, who some believe is definitely a top 4 defenseman while others believe he is third pairing guy playing second pairing minutes, is the one who will lose playing time to Diaz.

I look forward to seeing how Coach Bob Hartley will use training camp sensation David Wolf in tonight’s game against the Coyotes.  With all due respect to veteran Flames enforcer Brian McGrattan, if Wolf is put on a line with “Big Ern” tonight then methinks Coach Hartley does not see Wolf’s offensive game as near NHL ready.  I never really thought Wolf would make the 2014 Flames but I am still hoping he spends some time playing with line mates that key into his offensive potential.  I want to see the offensive presence before he goes to Adirondack of the AHL.

The other player I’m really forward to seeing tonight – – Joe Colborne.  Adding 11 pounds of muscle to his 6’5″ body, Colborne is being moved back to his natural center ice position again for tonight’s game and the foreseeable future.  In the preseason opener Sunday, Colborne played with Johnny Gaudreau.  It’s a combination that didn’t make sense to me but a combination I hope to see again tonight.

Have a great day Flames fans!