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The Flames this Week

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames have a busy week ahead, playing four games in four days as the pre-season kicks off on Tuesday.

Here's a look ahead and a scouting report on the Flames opponents this week.

Tuesday, September 23
Calgary vs. Florida, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, FAN 960

The Florida Panthers are looking to their youngsters to bring an end to their eight-year playoff drought so look for new head coach Peter DeBoer, former coach of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, to give rookies a decent chunk of playing time.

Centreman Shawn Matthias is expected to play full-time with the club this year so the pre-season will give the coaching staff a good look at his talent.

Acquired from Detroit in the Todd Bertuzzi trade, Matthias played four games last season with the Panthers, notching two goals during the stint. He earned a career high in points in the 2007-08 season with the Belleville Bulls, posting 32 goals and 79 points.

Rookies Michael Frolik, Michal Repik and Keaton Ellerby will get consideration after having great seasons in their respective junior clubs.

Wednesday, September 24
Calgary vs. Phoenix, 6:30 p.m. at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, FAN 960

In early May, the Flames announced that they would be playing a pre-season game in Winnipeg. Last season, the club played a game in Saskatoon.

“We are proud of our strong and deep roots in Manitoba and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our western Canadian neighbors,” said Flames President & CEO Ken King. “It’s exciting to be part of an NHL game in Winnipeg, especially against Phoenix and the sentimental history they have with the city.”

The Coyotes picked up Olli Jokinen at the entry draft, sending defensemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton to Florida so all eyes are on him to see how much he can contribute offensively with captain Shane Doan by his side.

Kyle Turris will most likely get ample time to see if he’s ready to go fulltime with the desert dogs. He played three games with the team late last season and showed flashes of the offensive threat he can be.

Thursday, September 25
Calgary vs. Phoenix, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, FAN 960

The Flames meet the Coyotes for the second time in two nights so the teams will have a good feel for just what the other will throw at them.
Phoenix lost two of the star defensemen in the Jokinen trade so they’ll be looking to firm up defensive pairings before the regular season. Kurt Sauer and former Flame David Hale signed with the club during the off-season but there are still two spots available on the blueline. Hale is in the hunt for one of those spots, along with Keith Yandle, Matt Jones and prospect Jonas Ahnelov.

Goaltending prospects Al Montoya and Josh Tordjman are looking to make an impression during their pre-season stint.

Friday, September 26
Calgary vs. Florida, 7:00 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome, FAN 960

The Flames meet the Panthers once again on Friday for their last game of the week.
Injured Panthers Bryan Allen (knee) and Wade Belak (shoulder) didn’t take part in training camp scrimmages but DeBoar told media that they would be on the road trip.

They may not play early in the week but by Friday’s game, they’ll probably be ready to get in the mix.

With his last season cut short by a horrific accident, Richard Zednik is looking forward to the upcoming season. The team may use him a lot during the preseason to help him get rid of any rust he may have developed.

Florida’s goaltending is solid, with Thomas Vokoun starting and Craig Anderson as his backup, but Tyler Plante, David Shantz and Chris Beckford-Tseu will want to show that they’re making strides.

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