FLAMES TRAINING CAMP
|Home at Last Rookie Jordan Leopold, the local hero, plays his first NHL road game in familiar company.
Training Camp Notes
Minnesota Wild 4 Calgary Flames 0
September 26th, 2002
Now that's better!
No ... not the score, but the venue. Better to drop preseason games in far off places like St. Paul than at the Pengrowth Saddledome during a season ticket drive.
The Calgary Flames dropped their second straight game to the Minnesota Wild last night, this time by a score of 4-0.
Though the game was played under obscurity, we'll do our best to summarize the performances of players fighting for jobs.
Roman Turek - Faced his first action of the preseason, and came away with solid performance, turning away 14 of 15 shots.
Jamie McLennan - two nights ago it was Levente Szuper giving up three second half goals to pace the Wild to a 4-3 victory at the Saddledome, but tonight his rival, Jamie McLennan had a similar result yielding three on 15 shots of his own.
Jordan Leopold - back in his home state, Jordan Leopold faced his greatest challenge of his young NHL career, as the Flames tested his durability, tossing him on the ice for a total of 22:56 of ice time. Only Derek Morris was on the ice more for Calgary. Leopold had a spirited game, registering three shots on goal, taking a penalty, and playing a lead role on the point of the powerplay with Morris. Leopold was not on the ice for the Wild's even strength goal.
Steve Montador - Steve Montador, one of two rivals to Leopold for the seventh spot on the Flames blueline, didn't see nearly as much ice. Montador logged 14:58 of ice, and was -1 on the night. He played a key role in the Flames penalty killing efforts.
Micki Dupont - the third of the three combatants for the seventh defenceman role, played a total of 19:23, and also saw time on the powerplay and killing penalties. The diminutive rearguard has come a long way from a ninth round draft pick in 2000 to a principal bubble player in September 2002.
Blair Betts - Betts logged just over 12 minutes of ice time, and was extremely effective in the face off circle once again, going 8 for 10, or 80%. He was one of the leading forwards for short handed duties. Blair Betts wasn't on the ice for a single Minnesota goal.
Chuck Kobasew - Kobasew only had 11:24 of ice time, was a -1 and only registered one shot in a game not considered banner for the Flames offensive forwards. Kobasew got his share of powerplay time.
Mattias Johansson - Played just over 14 minutes through the game, including almost six minutes of time killing penalties. Johansson was 53% in the face off circle and registered two shots on net.
Martin Sonnenberg - Logged twelve and a half minutes of ice, mostly even strength. Registered one shot on goal.
The Flames powerplay unit has continued to struggle through the preseason, going oh for six on the night. Unlike other exhibition tilts however, the game featured a wide disparity in chances with the Wild going on the powerplay a dozen times, scoring three times. The Flames penalty killing units that were victimized were as follows; Iginla-Conroy-Morris-Gauthier, Iginla-Conroy-Montador-Dupont, and Johansson-Berube-Gauthier-Regehr. (Note to coach Gilbert, if you want to test Johansson's penalty killing prowess you may want to keep Berube off the ice).
face-offs - The Flames took 68% of the draws on the night, taking 46 of 68 chances.
Shots on Goal - The Wild out shot the Flames by a margin of 30 to 24 on the night, making good use of six additional powerplay chances.
Shots (Individual) - The Flames were led by Derek Morris with six shots, followed by Jarome Iginla with four, and Leopold and Regehr with three. The Wild had five shots from Cliff Ronning and Marian Gaborik.
What to take from a 4-0 preseason loss?
Very little on a team standpoint, but a lot of movement was made in the battles for jobs.
On the blueline, Jordan Leopold had his most energetic effort of his young NHL career, possibly forging into the lead of the blueline battle for the seventh spot.
Within the forward ranks, Blair Betts continues to display the attributes necessary to fulfill a fourth line center role on the big club. Betts is ready, they may have to clear a space for him. Mattias Johansson put in another strong, but unflashy defensive effort, a style very much expected of him. Chuck Kobasew's performance fell into line with the rest of the team's skill forwards - not desperate enough, not creating much, very little by the way of scoring chances.
Jamie McLennan will be the back up goaltender in Calgary this season, but giving up three goals to Minnesota in half a game may keep Levente Szuper in camp for a longer look.
Next Up: Vancouver on Friday