Final week for Flames' bubble boys

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

As the NHL pre-season enters its final full week -- the regular season begins a week tomorrow -- there are only a few more days for Flames players to make a positive impression. Here's how the battles are shaping up:

CENTRE

LOCKS: Matthew Lombardi, Daymond Langkow, Stephane Yelle.

ON THE BUBBLE:

- Jamie Lundmark -- Fourth-line centre is his job to lose but he hasn't been overly impressive in camp.

- Byron Ritchie -- His inexpensive contract and versatility makes him a more ideal fourth-liner than Lundmark. Could move to wing.

- Andrei Taratukhin -- Has steadily improved during camp and could be worth a roster spot if he continues to progress this week.

- Dustin Boyd -- He's probably going to be a top playmaking centre one day but a year in Omaha is in his short-term future.

WINGERS

LOCKS: Alex Tanguay, Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius, Chuck Kobasew,Tony Amonte, Marcus Nilson, Jeff Friesen, Darren McCarty.

ON THE BUBBLE:

- Eric Godard -- Could be the ideal part-time candidate to replace McCarty should he become injured or need a rest. His two-way deal may mean a trip to Omaha for starters.

- Brandon Prust -- One of the most impressive prospects during camp. A little ball of energy. A future third- or fourth-liner.

- Eric Nystrom -- His stock has likely fallen behind Prust.

DEFENCE

LOCKS: Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Zyuzin, Roman Hamrlik, Andrew Ference, Rhett Warrener.

ON THE BUBBLE:

- Mark Giordano -- Has made a case for a full-time job but it's hard to picture him with the big club all year unless someone else is moved or suffers a long-term injury.

- Brad Ference -- Could start the year as a seventh defenceman.

- Richie Regehr -- A concussion sidetracked his development. Seems more mobile than Ference.

GOALTENDERS

LOCKS: Miikka Kiprusoff, Jamie McLennan.

ON THE BUBBLE:

- Brent Krahn -- Could force his way into the NHL as a backup next season after a strong camp.


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