Archive for February, 2012

OMG! Moss back with Glencross and Jokinen

- February 29th, 2012

The Flames need a boost as they embark on their two-game road trip to Phoenix and Anaheim, and could get some in the form of David Moss, who appears ready to return for Thursday’s clash in the desert.

The winger, who has been out of action since November due to ankle issues — it was broken after he blocked a shot and then needed surgery when it wasn’t healing correctly — and skated on a line with Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross.

“When you miss that many games, it’s never fun watching. Hopefully I can bring a breath of fresh air to the team and some energy,” Moss said.

With Moss back in the lineup, coach Brent Sutter put Jarome Iginla on a line with Michael Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay.

Tom Kostopoulos  joined Matt Stajan  and Blake Comeau, making the fourth line Lance Bouma, Roman Horak and Tim Jackman.

Sutter said Miikka Kiprusoff will start in goal against the Coyotes, and was non-committal about whether he’d use him on consecutive nights or put Henrik Karlsson in the pipes against the Ducks the next night.

The Flames have a string of games all month — 17 in total — and return home for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Dallas Stars, so Sutter will have to turn to Karlsson at some point.

Desbiens due to be No. 38

- February 25th, 2012

No, Guillaume Desbiens is not wearing No. 38 on his sweater. It’s No. 26. The winger is due to become the 38th player to suit up this season for the Flames in a game.

Desbiens, who the club signed as a free agent last summer after he spent a few season in the Canucks organization, was summoned from the AHL Abbotsford Heat and — barring something unforeseen right now — is slated to skate on a line with Roman Horak and Tim Jackman in tonight’s clash with the Philadelphia Flyers..

The Flames also placed forward Krys Kolanos on waivers. Kolanos left Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes with what appeared an ankle injury. However, he can’t be injured when placed on waivers, so he must be OK. In 10 games for the Flames, he had one assist.

In other news, David Moss practised with the whole team for the first time since having foot surgery a couple of months ago. Moss, who has played only 15 games this season, is expected to be back in action around March 5. He is planning to go on the club’s road trip to Phoenix and Anaheim next week, so he may return sooner than that scheduled date.

The Flames lines this morning were:

Curtis Glencross – Olli Jokinen – Jarome Iginla

Alex Tanguay – Michael Cammalleri – Blake Comeau

Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Tom Kostopoulos

Guillaume Desbiens – Roman Horak – Tim Jackman

 

Krys Kolanos placed on waivers

 

 

Eighth place could be there

- February 16th, 2012

DALLAS — With a win tonight in Dallas and the right result on the out-of-town scoreboard — a Los Angeles Kings victory over the Phoenix Coyotes — the Flames will find themselves in a playoff spot for the first time in 11 months.

Plus, the Flames would pull a little further away from the pack of teams also trying to slip into those last couple of positions in the Western Conference’s elite eight, such as Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Anaheim.

However, it may even be better for the Flames to win and remain outside of the top eight.

Say the Flames win, Phoenix beats the Kings in regulation and the Chicago Blackhawks fall to the New York Rangers, the Flames would be ninth, but just one point back of sixth spot.

Isn’t scoreboard watching fun?

As for news from the skate,there isn’t much.

The Flames will go with the same lineup as the last game, meaning the club which doesn’t have any extra forwards on the trip, will only scratch defenceman Anton Babchuk for the 11th straight game.

The Stars will be without both captain Brenden Morrow and veteran defenceman Sheldon Souray due to injury.

Miikka Kiprusoff is tagged to be in the Calgary goal, while Kari Lehtonen is due to be between the pipes for the Stars.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Stars combat the Calgary line of Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla.

Since being put together, that trio has combined for 12 goals and 24 points in six games.

Jokinen is leading the way (6 goals, 3 assists), followed by Tanguay (2-6-8) and Iginla (4-3-7).

“Our big thing is to focus on our game, but with that line you have to be careful when you’re out there,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “You have to make them play from their own end. If you give them transition through the neutral zone and offensive zone time, with their creativity, all three can score.”

How low can they go tonight?

- February 8th, 2012

SAN JOSE — In two games this season, the Flames and San Jose Sharks have combined for three goals.

San Jose won the first meeting in a 2-1 shootout, and the Flames fell 1-0 in round 2 at the Saddledome a couple of weeks ago. It makes you wonder how low the over/under line could be in Las Vegas.

“That’s a good question,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan after his team’s morning skate. “I just looked at the number of goals Calgary’s given up the last seven games (12) and they’ve been very stingy. It’s the same thing for us, for the most part.

“Sometimes both coaches head into a game and anticipate a low-scoring tight one, like the first two games have been, and something else breaks out.”

In those seven games, the Flames have managed only 14 goals — six in one outing against the Edmonton Oilers — and have posted a 3-2-2 record.

So, the defence has been there but the offence hasn’t followed suit. The Flames simply have to score more goals to be a playoff squad, but head coach Brent Sutter isn’t panicking about that aspect.

“When you get to the final third of the season, everybody’s got to be committed to doing it the right way,” he said. “You want to have the puck to win games, and need to get it from the opposition, and the only way to do that is a good team game.

“There’s so much talk, ‘You’re not scoring,’ but you’re not hearing people saying we’re not getting a lot of scoring chances. We’ve had quality scoring chances. The chances are there, and we’ve just got to bear down on those opportunities.”

The Flames lineup will be the same, but Sutter made a bit of switch on the right wing with his second and third lines, flipping Blake Comeau and Krys Kolanos.

Here’s how they went in the morning skate:

Alex Tanguay – Olli Jokinen – Jarome Iginla

Michael Cammalleri – Blair Jones – Blake Comeau

Lance Bouma – Mikael Backlund – Krys Kolanos

Tom Kostopoulos – Matt Stajan – Tim Jackman

Miikka Kiprusoff is due to start in net and going for his 300th career win against his old team.

Must be California: Questions about Iginla being traded

- February 6th, 2012

ANAHEIM — Just when the rumour mill surrounding Jarome Iginla had quieted, it’s back up and running.

After the morning skate in anticipation of facing the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames captain was asked about the possibility of being traded, which hasn’t been broached in the Stampede City for a couple of months.

“I think we’re going to be a playoff team. I believe that,” said Iginla, who has a no-movement clause in his contract, so he holds the cards in that regard. “I don’t want speak about the Eastern Conference, but the Western Conference, it’s tight. I don’t think there’s any heavy, favourite front-runner. I think if you make it into the playoffs, you’ve got a shot.”

The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 27, so we probably should be bracing for more and more attention to Iginla and his future with the team — even though he has another year on his contract — if the Flames can’t pull into a playoff spot.

Iginla said he’s not even thinking that way.

“I believe we can make it here. We’re four points out but that can change very quickly. That’s where the focus is,” he said. “I haven’t kept up on (any rumours). I don’t know where I’m supposed to be going or who’s going where or what. The focus is totally been on getting better here and we need to put a streak together and get in the playoffs ourselves.

Otherwise, a very quiet morning skate.

The Flames will go with the same lineup as Friday’s 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

As for the Ducks, the most interesting thing is seeing former Flames castoff Niklas Hagman has been demoted to the fourth line.