The Calgary Flames finished off their pre-season with a highly charged 4-3 OT win over long-time rivals, the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. The game saw numerous penalties, an injury scare when Todd Bertuzzi was hit in the leg with a puck, Oilers coach Craig MacTavish ejected from the game and four fights in the second period. The emotion from the game is expected to stay high all season.
“We're going to see them a lot, they're going to see us a lot," Jarome Iginla
said. "I imagine that will be a similar game to what we'll see all year."
Bertuzzi’s injury scare came in the second period when Mark Giordano
’s shot hit him in the right skate. He immediately went to dressing room, putting no weight on the foot.
“Todd has got a bruised leg," said head coach Mike Keenan. "That's the extent of it. We were hoping for the best, that it wasn't a fracture, and it's not a fracture."
Former Oiler put the nail in the coffin for Oilers, who were up 3-1 at one point in the game, 2:22 into overtime with a breakaway goal.
The Flames didn’t fair so well on Wednesday night when they visited the Vancouver Canucks. They fell 6-1 to the Canucks, looking like a distinctly different team than the one that had beaten the Oilers 4-0 on Tuesday. A flu bug that had hit the club hard during the week looked like it had goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff
off his game. The netminder let in six of the 23 shots the Canucks sent at him and didn’t look all that comfortable in net.
The Flames are looking to put the loss behind them when they start off the regular season in Vancouver on Thursday.
Calgary at Vancouver, Thursday, October 9 at GM Place, 8:30 p.m. on CBC & The FAN 960
The Vancouver Canucks have had an incredible, and surprising, pre-season, with six wins in seven games. They came just shy of an undefeated pre-season on Sunday with a 4-3 OT loss to Anaheim.
After losing the likes of Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden and failing to pick up the highly sought-after Mats Sundin, the club wasn’t expected to have much success. The negativity surrounding the club hasn’t dampened the player’s spirits though and they’ve torn through their pre-season with ease.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo, who had a rough season last year, looked like he was back in top form when the Canucks beat the Flames 6-1. The Flames lone goal came from defenseman Robyn Regehr and while the team tested Luongo, he had their number.
The Flames didn’t dress most of their top forwards for the game, including former Canuck Todd Bertuzzi. Depending on the state of his injury from Friday’s game, he could be in the lineup against his former team. If so, the reception to his return to GM Place may be less than pleasant.
Calgary vs. Vancouver, Saturday, October 11 at the Pengrowth Saddledome, 8:00 p.m. on CBC & The FAN 960
The second of the Flames and Canucks home and home opener will see Vancouver come to town to visit the C of Red.
With the intense rivalry between the clubs, the emotion will be high in the Dome.
Fans are anxious to see how the Flames newest additions – Bertuzzi, Mike Cammalleri, Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross and Andre Roy – will perform so they will have the eyes of Dome on them. Glencross is the only Flame to have a point, an assist, against the Canucks during the pre-season.
Eyes will also be on the defense to see who ends up staying. Veterans Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson battled with rookies for their jobs during camp and the pre-season and it’s yet to be seen who has made the cut.
This Week’s Key Numbers
The Flames trimmed their roster by three this week. Forward Mikael Backlund
has been sent back to Vasteras in the Swedish Elite League and forward John Armstrong and goaltender Matt Keetley have been reassigned to the Quad City Flames (AHL). Calgary now has 26 remaining players from camp: 15 forwards, nine defensemen and two goalies.
Calgary’s pre-season record is a respectable 5-2, with youngsters Dustin Boyd and David Moss
leading the team in points with seven each.
The home and home opener with the Canucks is the start of a six game series between the rivals this season