The big line sat out tonight, so there were alot of players fighting for jobs, and they preformed quite well. It was a slow start, but the team as a whole got better as the game went on. It was a 4-1 final by the way, and the Canucks sat their #1 line as well.
Goal- McLennan let the first goal in(that he really had no chance on), and was not spectacular, but solid. Made the saves when he had to. Sabourin didn't get tested much, but he looked ok. Nice stop on a breakaway.
Defence-Regehr and Leopold were solid again. Leopold looks very confident carrying the puck. Regehr even chipped in with a goal and an assist. Gauthier and Commodore played a strong, physical game, which should be a surprise to nobody. I think Commodore will make it as the 7th d-man. Only concern with him is too many penalities. Montador played very well tonight, getting a pair of assists and the second star, but Wallin again, I found did not play very well. I think the #7 job comes down to Montador and Commodore, and though I would give the edge to Commodore, I'd say it's a toss up right now.
Forwards-The lines were mixed up a few times, so i'll just list names. Josh Green has made the team IMO. Scored a goal, played it physical, and seemed to be all over the ice. Yelle and Donovan seem to have some good chemistry going. Donovan might bump Clark to the 4th line, despite the fact the Clark himself had a good game too. Nice pass to Betts for his goal. Betts was the best player on the ice tonight. He is a lock to make it too. Kobasew scored again, and his physical play continues to impress. Saprykin was all over the ice, forechecking, creating turnovers. Dome has played very well the last two games. He's very involved in the play, and seems to have a nose for the net. He was robbed point blank of a goal late in the 3rd. Lombardi will be an NHL, just probably not this year. His offensive creativity stands out, but he still needs to round out his game.
"I couldn't care less about the team struggling"....A very drunk Joe Namath
2011-12: The start of a new making the playoffs streak!
Davidson hasn't done anything spectacular, but he has played well, especially on the PK, and he will probably be one of the first call up's should one get hurt. Dome has had a really good pre-season so far, but is reamains to be seen if he will make the opening night roster. The Flames will likely have some good reinforcements on the far this season by the looks of it.
One question though. How was Matt Davidson? With all the names you mentioned, it seems to me he's going to find it tough to make the roster come opening night.
Davidson just has never really stood out. Not in practise, not in scrimmage and not in exhibition. To me he hasn't shown enough to make the squad. He'll be sent to Lowell. Nice size and skating though. He's certainly a better option for a 13th/14th forward than a lot of the guys we've had in the past but with the increased depth he doesn't make the team unless we suddenly experience a rash of injuries up front.
this could be one of the more difficult decisions sutter faces as the final roster is developed.
dome is a former first rounder gone wrong, but his attitude is such that he's not ready to quit. he has publically acknowledged this could be his last kick at the show, and has demonstrated a unique maturity and committment to the organisation and situation that few 'busts still trying to make it' have emulated. he spent last year on the farm, and had an excellent showing - i believe he led the team in pts.
last nite was a great example of why i believe dome's future is a difficult one to project. on the one hand, he displayed great puck poise all game, great energy and play/puck anticipation, and a knack for delivering deft passes. he is the type of skill player that the flames have been sorely lacking the last 7 or so years (sigh). on the other, he is not the prototypical sutter package. he doesn't shy away from the body, but is by no means a punishing hitter. there's plenty of players who can match his grit - they've shown in camp already - and thus dome's future is a cloudy one IMO, particularly given that offensive players such as him often find it difficult to maintain their 'game' when forced into more defensive, checking positions.
i wont project whether he'll play or not, but i think the issues highlighted above will justify whether he makes the team or not.