Flames look to sweep Avs in home-and-home

- September 30th, 2014

Flames vs. Avalanche
TIME: 7 p.m.
TV: None
RADIO: RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN
THE MAIN STORYLINE:
Thanks to great goaltending by Karri Ramo and a two-goal game by Michael Ferland, the Flames came up with a 2-1 upset special in Denver on Sunday in the first half of a home-and-home series with the Avalanche.
The Avs are bringing a considerably weaker lineup to the Stampede City, without Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Nathan MacKinnon.
LINEUP NOTES:
Sam Bennett has a slight undisclosed injury, so he won’t play. The team is hoping he’ll skate in the last couple of pre-season games. Coach Bob Hartley said it wasn’t his groin again, saying, “all over body.”
Jonas Hiller is pegged to play all of this game and Karri Ramo is slated to mind the net all of Thursday’s game.
The Flames are icing a pretty strong line up, with Sven Baertschi on a line with Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler and Curtis Glencross, Joe Colborne and Johnny Gaudreau another trio.
Former Flames goalie Reto Berra could be minding the net tonight.
BURNING QUESTION:
At what point do the Flames finally sign D Raphael Diaz to a contract? It’s obvious he’s the best choice to be on the big-league roster at this moment.
PLAYER TO WATCH:
Bill Arnold, the other guy from Boston College, has had a quietly effective camp and could push for a fourth-line centre job in Calgary, maybe even to start the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“In the end, you want to be around the puck. That’s the kind of player I am. I need my touches, I need my early touches to really get going. Then I’m not worried about my skating. My skating’s gonna come. The last few games, I was involved physically and I feel that helped me out, too.” – LW Sven Baertschi

Flames Lines
FORWARDS
Sven Baertschi-Sean Monhan-Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross-Joe Colborne-Johnny Gaudreau
Michael Ferland-Max Reinhart-Josh Jooris
Brandon Bollig-Bill Arnold-Lance Bouma
DEFENCE
TJ Brodie-Mark Giordano
Raphael Diaz-Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak-Sena Acolatse
GOAL
Jonas Hiller
Karri Ramo

Flames without Kiprusoff for at least two more weeks

- February 12th, 2013

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff will be out of action at least another couple of weeks due to his knee injury.
Kiprusoff was on the ice before Monday’s morning skate and reported some pain afterwards and was sent for a MRI.
The results are a “slight” Grade 2 MCL sprain, according to GM Jay Feaster.
“It is not, we were told, the same type of Grade 2 MCL sprain that was suffered by Mikael Backlund, so it’s not a four-to-six week projection, but the doctors have told us he will most likely miss another two weeks,” Feaster said Tuesday.
Kiprusoff was injured last Tuesday.
The Flames added well-travelled goalie Joey MacDonald via waivers from the Detroit Red Wings Monday, but Feaster said that move was a result of a veteran goalie being available. Feaster said the 33-year-old was on their target list, having more than 100 NHL games under his belt for four teams.
“If this player had been on waivers three weeks ago, we would have submitted a claim three weeks ago. If he’d been on waivers one week ago, we would have submitted a claim one week ago,” Feaster said.
In turn, the Flames placed Danny Taylor on waivers Tuesday, with the intent to send him to the AHL Abbotsford Heat.
The roster moves didn’t end there. Feaster said Mike Cammalleri, who missed the last three games due to a hip flexor injury, will be taken off the injured list and will play Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.
As well, the club has sent centre Ben Street to the minors and summoned Paul Byron from the AHL.
The goaltender moves put 2006 first-round draft choice Leland Irving in an interesting spot.
He’s started the last three games, but MacDonald’s addition leaves the backup job when Kiprusoff returns up in the air.
Feaster said the backup is not “written in stone.”
“When Kipper is ready to go, then we’ll determine who’s going to be the backup goaltender on this team,” Feaster said.
“I think Leland Irving, thus far, has acquitted himself, very, very well.”
randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak

Flames claim goalie Joey MacDonald via waivers

- February 11th, 2013

The Calgary Flames have beefed up their goaltending further while Miikka Kiprusoff remains on the injured list.
The Flames claimed netminder Joey MacDonald via waivers from the Detroit Red Wings Monday.
MacDonald, 33, was cleared to play, having been out of action since March 14 due to a bulging disc in his back.
MacDonald, who was an undrafted free agent signed by the Red Wings, has spent time with the Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.
MacDonald had a 8-5-1 record last season with the Red Wings, along with a 2.16 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
Kiprusoff has been listed as being day-to-day with a knee injury suffered last Tuesday in Detroit while facing the Red Wings.
Leland Irving, the club’s 2006 first-round draft choice, played third period of Calgary’s 4-1 win over the Red Wings and started the last two games.
He recorded a 4-3 overtime win in Columbus and a 5-1 loss Saturday in Vancouver against the Canucks.
The Flames also have Danny Taylor in the fold, and he served as backup the last two games.
The Flames return to action Monday night against the Minnesota Wild.
MacDonald, who hails from Pictou, NS, has a one-way contract worth US$550,000 this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
The Flames also have placed Michael Cammalleri on injured reserve (hip flexor), retroactively to Feb. 5. He could play Wednesday if OK by then, but can’t play Monday against the Wild.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak

Baertschi is in

- January 26th, 2013

The smile told a huge story.

When asked whether he would be playing in Saturday night’s clash with the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames rookie responded with a huge grin.

“I am,” Baertschi said as the pearly whites came out. “I am, on the fourth line.
“I’m excited about it.”

It looks like Friday’s practice was just a warning shot for Baertschi to pick up his game.

On Friday, Baertschi was the odd-man out during drills.

During Saturday’s morning skate, though, he skated at left wing on a line with Blair Jones and Blake Comeau.

“Many people cut way too many trees in this area for nothing,” head coach Bob Hartley said of the media firestorm set off at the possibility the team’s lone young star would be sat against the Oilers.

For his part, Baertschi — whose mom and older brother came to Calgary from Switzerland — received the message.

“I’m happy to have it (happen) now, and not later,” Baertschi said. “It was a bit of reminder. Sometimes you forget how good you actually have it. There are people out there who have it worse, worse problems than I have. I’m still playing.

“Yesterday, I was a little upset, but after, I realized there are 23 guys in Calgary that play for the Flames, ‘You’re one of them and should be excited about it.’ I want ice time, but have to do something for it.

“The last couple games I kinda forgot about it.”

Tagged to sit against the Oilers were forwards Tim Jackman and Steve Begin and defenceman Chris Butler.

Another reason Baertschi was amped at the thought of facing the Oilers was the opportunity to see how he measures up against Edmonton’s collection of young guns.

However, of bigger importance will be to see whether he can use the situation as a step to a bigger role.

“I think I’ll probably have a talk with him before,” Jones said. “I know we’re playing on the fourth line, but it doesn’t mean he has to necessarily play like a fourth-liner and try to change his game. As long as he’s being responsible defensively, I don’t think his creativity has to be minimized.”

As Baertschi pointed out: “Who knows, last year I was on the fourth line and I scored a couple of goals.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak

Baertschi likely scratched, Hudler-Cervenka to face Oilers

- January 25th, 2013

This is the 411 after Flames practice Friday, written up by Ian Busby.

I can’t help but think sitting out Sven Baertschi when the young Oilers come to town won’t go over big in the C of Red.

IAN BUSBY
Calgary Sun
The Edmonton Oilers are bringing all their young guns down the highway this weekend, but it looks like the Calgary Flames are keeping their only one in the holster.
During Friday’s practice at the Saddledome, Bob Hartley did a line shuffle with Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka available for the first time.
Pushed back into a fourth line rotation, 20-year-old Sven Baertschi looks like he will be the scratch for a tilt Saturday night against the Oilers on CBC.
Baertschi was the last Flames skater off the ice on Friday, a telltale sign he isn’t going to dress, but the 2011 first-round pick hopes the roster isn’t set just yet.
“Maybe he changes his mind tomorrow,” Baertschi said Friday about Hartley’s decision.
“I hope to play because my family is here now (his mother and brother are due to arrive later Friday from Zurich). I was really looking forward to it. I don’t want to be sitting in the stands with them.”
Baertschi has no points in three outings and is a minus-1 with four penalty minutes. He’s fired three shots on goal, but had a defensive zone giveaway in Vancouver during the third period of Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Canucks.
Hartley could just be playing coy, and he could just be tinkering with line formations, but he was noncommittal about whether Baertschi would play or not.
“We have two extra guys right now. We have a healthy lineup up front,” said Hartley, confirming both Hudler and Cervenka will both dress.
“It’s gonna be a competitive lineup. Everyone has to fight for his ice time. Whether it’s Jarome Iginla, whether it’s Alex Tanguay, whether it’s Sven Baertschi, this is the NHL and only one thing matters, it’s to win hockey games.
“We will make the decision (Saturday) what is best for he hockey club.”
This could be just sending a message to the youngest player on the team that some of his rookie mistakes won’t be tolerated.
But in a high-profile game against the Oilers?
“It’s his decision and I have to take it,” Baertschi said. “Maybe he’s right and I looked at it wrong. He has a really good feeling for the game. If he sees a bunch of things, maybe I will see it too on a second look. Maybe he’s right.
“It’s been a long long time. I can’t remember. The only time I haven’t dressed is because I was injured.
“I would love to play. This is my game. If it gets taken away from me, I’m going to work to get back on track. I will go out there and compete and be back in the lineup as soon as I can.
“I’m a competitive guy and I’m going to compete. That’s the way it is. There are a lot of young players in here. Maybe they played better than me and that’s what happens. If you play well, then you play. If you don’t play well, you aren’t playing.”
Baertschi was looking forward to facing the Oilers, who are bring first overall picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall, rookie blueliner Justin Schultz and rising star Jordan Eberle into the Dome.
The only Flames youngster that could even reasonably compare to that quintet is Baertschi.
“I wanted to play them,” Baertschi said. “That’s what you are looking for as a young player. They have so many players my age. It’s a really young team.
“This would be a chance to see where I’m at. I know I can compete with them. I know I can beat some of them. It would be a great chance for me. I hope I’m going to be in the lineup tomorrow.”
“I just have to make sure in the next couple of days, the next couple of weeks, that no one steals my jersey.”
ian.busby@sunmedia.ca
On Twitter @SUNIanBusby