The Calgary Flames closed their 2011 pre-season 9 days before the October 8th season opener. Phoenix visited and provided the stiffest competition yet in pre-season action. For their part, the Flames had most regulars in less the top line.
The game itself was sort of back and forth (a way to say boring) in the first period. Things turned around with a couple of second period goals on the powerplay.
David Moss and Anton Babchuk potted goals in the second period. Calgary dominated play and looked solid on defense through 40 minutes. The OMG line were on the ice for three of the Flames’ goals. Good to see them clicking because with a questionable Iginla for opening day we’ll need other lines to step up.
Apart from a 4 minute lull late in the third period where Phoenix made it close scoring twice, Calgary was in charge. The leaves the Flames to make some decisions in their prep for the season opener.
Paul Byron, Roman Horak, Guillaume Desbiens, and Lance Bouma are all playing for what may be one spot on the big club. None really stood out to give the Flames brass a reason to keep the around, but you may see one of the smaller centermen with skill stick to give Matt Stajan a reason to up his play. He was noticeable on the ice but still hasn’t shown why he’s getting 3.5 million.
Kiprusoff looked good in his full 60 minutes, hopefully we’ll see his GAA and SV% decrease this season. The defensive corps without Robyn Regehr look surprisingly solid. Albeit we haven’t seen them against high quality teams, but so far defence is clicking.
Notes: Iginla has yet to skate with the team since opening day of training camp, he skated for 20 minutes today. Calgary opens at home against Pittsburgh Saturday.