Connect with us

Calgary Flames

Jetting off: Flames @ Winnipeg Jets pre-season preview

With just six days left before the start of the season, there's still two pre-season games to go before we get there. Both of these are against the former Atlanta Thrashers.



To introduce, here's a quick quote from the official Flames preview.

It’s expected the Flames will ice a roster for Saturday’s contest at Scotiabank Saddledome which will mirror that of the one on opening day so for a crop of Calgary youngsters, it’s a chance for one last audition.

Which means tonight, we may get some answers to the few remaining questions we have left.

To further borrow from the Flames’ preview, Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Michael Frolik and Matt Stajan are amongst the “safe” spots that won’t travel to Winnipeg tonight.

Other less sure starters, including the recalled Pat Sieloff and Kenny Morrison, as well as Micheal Ferland, Mason Raymond, Sam Bennett, and Deryk Engelland – among others – are making the journey. Some are more likely to be in the side come Wednesday, and are likely just playing to find their role. Others? It’s a bit more complicated.

Calgary Flames Projected Lines
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Joe Colborne Sam Bennett Micheal Ferland
Mason Raymond Mikael Backlund David Jones
Lance Bouma Markus Granlund Josh Jooris
Brandon Bollig Drew Shore Garnet Hathaway
Left Defence Right Defence
Jakub Nakladal Deryk Engelland
Tyler Wotherspoon Brett Kulak
Ryan Wilson Patrick Sieloff
Joni Ortio (S) Jonas Hiller

Ones To Watch

  • The third defensive pairing is definitely to play for. T.J. Brodie’s injury opens up an opportunity for somebody to likely be Deryk Engelland’s partner, as this suggests:
  • Although, an outstanding performance from two others could force him out of the side. It’s likely Ryan Wilson’s last chance at impressing, and at this point you have to wonder what else he has to do to earn a deal. Could another be the man? Tyler Wotherspoon, maybe? What about Jakub Nakladal?
  • There’s questions at the top end, too. Will Bennett flank Mikael Backlund, or will he centre his own line? Will Ferland do enough to become this year’s Lance Bouma? Where does Bouma himself fit? Does Raymond have a future? Can Drew Shore turn his awful pre-season around in time to avoid being cut? Could Garnet Hathaway make enough of an impression to earn a shot?
  • The biggest question has to surround the goaltenders, though. Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio are making the journey, with Ortio getting the start. Will Ortio be able to make another big impression, or will the headache facing Bob Hartley last another two nights?

All these, and more, to be answered in the next 72 hours.

Tonight's game is live on TSN3, with a 6PM faceoff time. Failing that, join us in the gamethread.

by Liam McCausland