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Old 01-13-2021, 08:31 AM   #101
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Good team.

Let's roll.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:04 AM   #102
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I'm excited to see the lines at practice today.

I'm also happy with Ward's decision-making so far in training camp. He has been flexible and open-minded, willing to try new things.

I've got some specific lines I'm hoping for, but really I just want to see:
1) 3 F pairings: Tkachuk and Lindholm, Gaudreau and Monahan and Mangiapane and Backlund and
2) Bennett at centre (hoping for Ryan on his RW).

If they have that, they can fill in the rest around it. My personal favourite lines at this point would be:

Tkachuk - Lindholm - Dube (all situations)
Gaudreau - Monahan - Simon (o zone)
Mangiapane - Backlund - Leivo (all situations)
Lucic - Bennett - Ryan (d zone).

Overall, I think this might be my favourite forward group in recent memory. I feel that top 9 is very good. Although I've got them in the order I have them in, I think the Backlund line could easily be the second best line on the team. On some nights, it could even challenge for the best line.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:22 AM   #103
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Depth is what excites me on the team and what made them successful in the regular season a couple seasons ago. The 3rd and 4th line won some of those close games by chipping in as much as they did. Having multiple lines rolling will give opponents fits.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:00 AM   #104
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Assuming that's going to be our opening night roster, and comparing it to 2019 opening night:

Czarnik, Frolik, Jankowski and Ryan are replaced by Leivo, Simon, Nordström and Dubé.

Brodie, Hamonic and Kylington are replaced by Tanev, Nesterov and Välimäki.

Rittich is replaced by Markström.

Overall 7 new guys out of 20, or a 35% turnover, mostly in defense and goal. Can't disagree with that, considering I thought last season that it was our defense that was in biggest need of upgrades.

Gonna be weird without Brodie :/
Dube >> Frolik
Leivo >> Jankowski
Simon > Czarnik
Ryan = Ryan/Nordstrom

Tanev < Brodie
Valimaki >> Hamonic
Nesterov > Kylington

Markstrom >> Rittich

I would also add that Gaudreau and Monahan had awful seasons last year, and there is plenty of room for them to be better this year.

Also:

2021 Andersson > 2020 Andersson
2021 Mangiapane > 2020 Mangiapane
2021 Hanifin > 2020 Hanifin (hopefully)

Our forwards are better, our D is better, and our goaltending is much better
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:03 AM   #105
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If the Flames can muster consistent secondary scoring they will be one of the best teams in the league.

If they can't they will be a bouble team, the top line is potent enough to replicate what Colorado can do.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:17 AM   #106
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I'm guessing the lines will be this:

Chucky - Lindy - Doobs
Johnny - Mony - Simon
Mangi - Backs - Leivo
Looch - Benny - Nordstrom

Gio - Ras
Hanifin - Dad
Juuso - Nesterov

Marky
BSD

I think Doobs and Leivo were swapped at some point too.

I'll be honest, I was one for "TRADE TRADE TRADE show me a blockbuster move" after playoffs and during off season but just moving pieces around looks really promising. Seems like we have a better balanced lineup today.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:49 AM   #107
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Maybe it's just the typical optimism I feel at the beginning of each fresh new season...but looking at that lineup I really get a good feeling about this year. I think the Flames are going to be legit.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:04 PM   #108
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I think part of the problem with the Flames' top line - at least in theory - is that they were always the focus for the other team. The Backlund line had a focus on shutting down the other top line, as well as being buried, so they can only contribute so much.


These are the things that I am most interested in for this upcoming season:


1) The Transition - Will the Flames return to being a quicker-transitioning team? Can Ward implement a system that allows them to transition quickly while still playing solid defence? Again, I liked Hartley's transition game and how the forwards would come back hard, but I hated the collapsing defence. Peters seemed to have a fairly good transition game for a while, but still with a bit too passive of a defensive system. Ward has really slowed down the transition (which is maddening to me).


2) Two scoring lines + a shutdown line? If Lindholm and Tkachuk can provide legitimate scoring this year, while having Backlund as the their line centre used in a shut-down role (but still putting up decent points), this team will go far. There is no way that Backlund shouldn't be considered a bona fide 2nd line centre - he produces at that rate even though he is absolutely buried in usage. His minutes will go down a bit this year (and also part of his production, unfortunately), and I imagine he will still face the very toughest minutes on the team and come out shining. Hopefully this is going to allow for more consistent secondary scoring and a team that is more difficult to shut down. I am really hoping this works.


3) The new faces - will Tanev come in and really contribute? He will not fill Brodie's shoes in terms of his transition and shot suppression game, but will he a strong defensive presence that can also move the puck? Will Leivo find chemistry with a line (and stay healthy)? How good is the PK going to be without Jankowski (underappreciated from that standpoint) and Frolik (though it seemed to be fine without Frolik after the trade). Gone are Frolik, Jankowski, Brodie and Hamonic - all of which were part of the PK. Hopefully the new faces and contribute there and save the more offensively capable forwards of putting in big minutes into the PK. Of course, Markstrom - really curious to see how he does on the Flames, and how the Flames play in front of him. That's the biggest change by far.


4) Ward's learning curve - I don't want to be negative on Ward. I am trying to be optimistic here. This will be his first full season as an NHL head coach. I am curious to see how he does, and what he has learned from last season. Will we see more in-game tweaks and adjustments? I really felt that with Peters in the Colorado series, he just wasn't able to make any adjustments or get that team to 'settle down'. I hope Ward provides both the strategy (systems, adjustments) as well as the leadership (I have always felt that coaches provide the most leadership, and serve as the team's resident shrink). Hopefully he has figured out how he wants this team to play given the changes and relative strengths and weaknesses, and is up for the challenge.


There are other things that I am really interested in seeing as well of course, but those are what I am most curious about. I think the Flames are built fairly well for what is essentially 10 game playoff series against each divisional opponent - enough skill and toughness to go around. These games are going to be emotionally charged (if not off the bat, then by game 3 or so).
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:01 PM   #109
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#Flames final practice before leaving for Winnipeg:

Tkachuk-Lindholm-Dube
Gaudreau-Monahan-Leivo
Mangiapane-Backlund-Ryan/Simon
Lucic-Bennett-Nordstrom

Giordano-Andersson
Hanifin-Tanev
Valimaki-Nesterov
Mackey-Kylington
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:07 PM   #110
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Tkachuk-Lindholm-Dube
Gaudreau-Monahan-Leivo
Mangiapane-Backlund-Ryan
Lucic-Bennett-Nordstrom
I'm very good with that.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:19 PM   #111
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@DarrenWHaynes

Dillon Dube (still with Tkachuk-Lindholm) and Josh Leivo (with Gaudreau-Monahan) are today’s big winners in Geoff Ward’s daily right wing lottery*.

* Must be 18 or older to participate
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:28 PM   #112
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Poor Bennett, finally gets free from Jankowski, and now he has to play with Lucic and Nordstrom.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:30 PM   #113
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Poor Bennett, finally gets free from Jankowski, and now he has to play with Lucic and Nordstrom.
More likely whoever of Simon or Ryan doesn't play on the Backlund line.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #114
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More likely whoever of Simon or Ryan doesn't play on the Backlund line.
I really hope so. I think Simon and Ryan are both better than Nordstrom.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:52 PM   #115
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Maybe it's just the typical optimism I feel at the beginning of each fresh new season...but looking at that lineup I really get a good feeling about this year. I think the Flames are going to be legit.
Last year opening day I was not this excited. I felt like they brought the same team back that sputtered out to Colorado. It felt stale and really needed a shake up.

This line up has hope to be a top team.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:55 PM   #116
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The lineup looks better than last year, but this team is going to hinge on which Johnny Gaudreau shows up this season.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:05 PM   #117
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A return to form from Johnny/Monahan, and inserting Gio from 2 years ago, and that's a cup contender.

More likely it's a good team that has a shot to win a round and then you never know.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:09 PM   #118
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I really hope so. I think Simon and Ryan are both better than Nordstrom.
After only limited viewing of Simon in the second scrimmage, it appears both he and Lucic have strong corner work and passing skills; a Lucic-Bennett-Simon line could be quite effective.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:09 PM   #119
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I really hope so. I think Simon and Ryan are both better than Nordstrom.
Maybe, but i think Nordstrom is going to surprise many.

Make no mistake, he is here because of his PK abilities because he is really really good at it, but he can play a regular shift too.
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Old 01-13-2021, 02:10 PM   #120
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Top line looks like a solid all situations group. Feed that second line offensive zone starts.

I think Mangipane will eventually find his way on to one of those 2 lines.

Team looks really deep and I am pumped to see them in game action. We need our stars step up back into that elite tier and if that happens they will win the North
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