Johnson allowed three goals on 21 shots in the Flames’ win over the Sabres on Tuesday. Brian Elliott got the nod and the loss on Thursday, so it will be Johnson who faces Elliott’s former team tonight. St. Louis has lost each of their first two games on their Western Canadian road trip, but they remain a tough matchup for Johnson.
Elliott allowed four goals on 28 shots in the Flames loss to the Oilers last Friday. Elliott’s Flames career has not gotten off to the start that his owners hoped for. He has allowed a combined 10 goals on 55 shots for an ugly .818 SV%. The veteran will look to bounce-back against a Hurricanes team that is 0-1-2 despite scoring 3.00 goals per game to start the year.
Johnson stopped 30 of 31 shots in the Flames’ shootout loss in Vancouver on Saturday. It was a strong debut for Johnson, who will start a second straight game after Brian Elliott struggled mightily in his first two starts with Calgary. Johnson will start against the Sabres, who he played for last year—Buffalo is 1-1-0 with a terrible game and a great game to start the year.
Kulak, 22, sat out of the first two games of the season, but will be in the lineup for Dennis Wideman on Saturday. Kulak had 17 points (3G / 14A) in 59 games with Stockton (AHL) a season ago. He has no points in nine career NHL games.
WIdeman had one goal and six shots while averaging 19:56 though the first two games of the season. There is no word on if Wideman is battling an injury or if he is a healthy scratch, but he will come out of the lineup regardless. Brett Kulak will take his spot in the lineup.
Brian Elliott had a miserable start to his Flames career, so they will turn to Johnson tonight in their third game in four nights. Johnson was 22-16-4 with a 2.36 GAA and .920 SV% in 40 starts and five relief appearances with the Sabres last year. He is one of the more capable backups in the NHL and should step in nicely for Elliott. He draws a strong debut matchup vs. the Canucks.
Elliott was torched for six goals on 27 shots in his Flames’ debut on Wednesday. The Flames went on to lose 7-4 to the Oilers, but it can’t be pinned on Elliott. Calgary left their netminder hung out to dry on multiple occasions and one goal was a Connor McDavid penalty shot. With the same opponent tonight, Elliott looks like a risky start, but the Flames should be better in front of him in this one—they frankly can’t be worse.
Versteeg is expected to make his Flames’ debut on the top line.
Versteeg signed with the Flames on Tuesday and it looks like he will play with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan in his debut tonight. Versteeg has a chance to sting the Oilers right away after deciding to sign with their rival instead.
Elliott will start the Flames' season opener in Edmonton.
Elliott always split time in his five years with the Blues, never starting more than 45 games in a single year, but that will likely change this year. Elliott is now the Flames’ No.1 and should start close to 55-to-60 games. In the last five years, he has gone 164-104-46 while ranking first in the NHL in GAA (2.01) and second in SV% (.925). He draws a tough assignment on opening night, vs. Connor McDavid and an improved Oilers squad.
The Flames have signed Nick Grossmann to a one-year deal worth $575K.
Grossmann was with the Flames on a professional tryout and made the team as a depth defenseman. Grossmann spent last season with the Coyotes where he had seven points (3G / 4A) in 58 games. He will not have any fantasy relevance in 2016-17.
The Flames have reportedly signed Kris Versteeg to a one-year deal worth $950K.
Versteeg was in Oilers’ training camp on a professional tryout, but signed with the Flames one day before they are set to meet in the season opener. Versteeg split his 2015-16 campaign between the Hurricanes and Kings, amassing 15 goals and 23 assists (38 points) across 74 games. The Flames are fairly thin at right wing, so Versteeg could earn himself a top-6 role early in the year.
The Flames have sent Linden Vey to Stockton (AHL).
Vey worked in the Flames’ top-6 throughout the preseason, but was one of the last cuts after clearing waivers. He had 15 points (3G / 12A) in 26 games with Utica (AHL) last year and should post solid numbers in Stockton this year.
The Flames have signed Johnny Gaudreau to a six-year deal worth $40.5 million ($6.75M AAV).
Gaudreau and the Flames waited until the final hour to get a deal done, but it was worth it for both the player and the team. Gaudreau gets $6.75 million per season and the Flames get one of the most dynamic wingers in the league for under $7 million per seasons. In his first two years in the NHL, Gaudreau is 12th in scoring, having picked up 54 goals and 88 assists (142 points) in 159 games. He definitely a top-5 left wing heading into 2016-17, with the potential to be among the top-3 at the position.