like huey lewis once said "this is it." the flames hit the ice at the 'dome tonight for their first pre-season game against the panthers and i must admit i'm pretty excited about it all. it feels like eons since i had a pocketdawg and a beer for dinner.... ;)
i'm not really sure what to expect as far as lineup; i find that, historically, the top guys will alternate nights during the exhibition period. this year, however, i think backlund could feasibly play every night, allowing the staff to get an accurate assessment. i think he's the only rookie with a realistic shot to crack the lineup, and i'd imagine the coaches/brass wanting to give him ample opportunity to prove his readiness against actual competition or, alternately, his need for another year in the SEL.
in saying that, backlund has been playing with cammo & bourque, so i presume they'll play tonight. a sutter team rarely exhibits their top line in the first game, so i presume iggy, bootuzzi & langkow will get the night off (though, in saying that, i could definitely see them throwing big bert to the wolves in game #1).
this is pure guesswork, folks.
my presumed lineup for tonight's game (which i will be attending with my pops):
cammo - backs - bourque
moss - lombo - boyd
glenX - connie - DVDG
nystrom - primeau - prust
dion - gio
eriksson - negrin
warrener - pelech
the actual lineup has been posted here. i was right about backlund AND bertuzzi, i just couldn't possibly have forseen that combination.... ;) i picked dion & gio as a "real line" but chose the wrong one, as regehr & sarich draw in for tonight. i'm also fairly sure that warrener & pelech will lineup tomorrow night, as tonight aucoin will skate with adam pardy....
i'm sad about DVDG.