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Flames shake up lineup

- November 6th, 2011

It’ll be a much different looking lineup against the Colorado Avalanche Sunday in Denver, with the Calgary Flames sitting defenceman Cory Sarich in favour of Derek Smith and Anton Babchuk, and inserting wingers Niklas Hagman and Pierre-Luc Leblond over centre Brendan Morrison and winger David Moss.
Moss took a shot in the ankle Friday night in Buffalo and Morrison didn’t see the ice in the third period because of his play — his second major knee surgery seems to have slowed the veteran down this season. He has yet to register a point.

Olli Smokes! Jokinen and Iginla reunited

- November 3rd, 2011

Olli Jokinen was first brought to the Flames as a top centre the team hoped with mesh with captain Jarome Iginla.
It never worked out.
But after a brutal outing against the Canucks this week, the duo will be reunited a couple of seasons after that first experiment officially ended.
Jokinen will centre Curtis Glencross and Iginla against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.
“I think it’s just kind of a jolt thing after last game,” said Iginla. “For myself, getting paired with them, they’re playing really well. They’re quick players, they’re fast, and I’ll work to get my feet going and keep up to them.”
That may be the biggest motivating factor for head coach Brent Sutter, who hasn’t seen much from his captain early this season. Iginla has two goals and four points through 10 games and hasn’t been moving too quickly on the ice.
“Jarome will have to adjust somewhat to his new linmates and the way they play. That’s what we expect,” said Sutter, who also suggests the evolution of Jokinen from a selfish offensive player to a two-way centre will mean different results for the duo this time around.
“Olli’s a different player than he was two years ago when Jarome and him played together,” Sutter said. “His role has changed. He’s playing a different brand of hockey for us than he has, and he’s being rewarded for changing his game.
“He’s playing well.”

Here are the lines and pairings for the match against the Red Wings.

Glencross-Jokinen-Iginla
Tanguay-Morrison-Stempniak
Bourque-Horak-Moss
Kostopoulos-Stajan-Jackman

Bouwmeester-Butler
Giordano-Sarich
Hannan-Babchuk

Miikka Kiprusoff starts in net.

Flames open to 7/11

- October 28th, 2011

It looks like Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter will go with seven defencemen and 11 forwards again.

Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman appear to be the healthy scratches, and despite their positive words over the past few days, they can’t be happy about it. It would mean a combined $7.5 million of actual salary in the press box, with Stajan making $4.5 million this season and Niklas Hagman earning $3M.

The Flames rolled with the 7/11 roster Wednesday in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche, inserting Anton Babchuk into the rotation and mixing up his forward lines at different times during the game.

“It worked well. Tonight, there’s a good chance it could happen again,” said Sutter after Friday’s morning skate. “We’re goin’ with it.

“It’s been good for the forwards in the sense it keeps them on their toes.”

Projected lines …

Alex Tanguay-Brendan Morrison-Jarome Iginla

Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-David Moss

Rene Bourque-Roman Horak-Lee Stempniak

Tom Kostopoulos-Tim Jackman

Flames ready to burn

- October 8th, 2011

Hours before game time and the Calgary Flames are excited to hit the ice for the first time in more than a week when the puck drops on their season opener against the Penguins Saturday night at the Saddledome.
“More anxious than anything to get the game going,” said defenceman Mark Giordano.
“There’s going to be a lot of intensity, a lot of emotion in the game. The main thing is to try to keep that in check and play the right way.”

The Flames will ice a lineup that looks like this …

Tanguay-Moss-Iginla
Hagman-Horak-Bourque
Glencross-Jokinen-Stempniak
Kostopoulos-Stajan-Jackman

Bouwmeester/Butler
Giordano/Hannan
Babchuk/Sarich

Kiprusoff gets the start in net of course.

Two cleared, but many vets still hurting

- September 27th, 2011

While Cory Sarich and Raitis Ivanans both shed their yellow no-contact jerseys for Tuesday’s morning skate at the Saddledome, plenty of veterans were absent.
Mikael Backlund (undisclosed) is “resting” according to Flames head coach Brent Sutter.
Rene Bourque (undisclosed) is dealing with some “nagging” issues.
Tim Jackman (groin) is inching closer to practice.
Brett Carson (back) is the least likely to return for the start of the regular season.
And captain Jarome Iginla (back) could skate as early as Wednesday, although you likely won’t see him in game action until the opener Oct. 8 against the Penguins at the Dome.

Lines for Wednesday night look like this …

Tanguay/Horak/Stempniak
Glencross/Jokinen/Moss
Hagman/Byron/Kostopoulos
Bouma/Stajan/Desbiens