Flames Today: 01.02.13

Friday, 01.02.2013 / 4:21 PM
Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)

TOP LINE RE-MODELLED

Coming off a 6-3 setback to Colorado Thursday and in an effort to jumpstart some of the team’s bigger offensive threats, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley tinkered with his lines a little in Friday’s practice.

Mike Cammalleri saw a promotion to the top line alongside Calgary captain Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay – who shares the team lead in goals and points.

“The obvious stuff is that we’ve got to provide some more offense here,” said Cammalleri, who has two points this season. “We’ve had some good offense through the lineup but some of us need to definitely need to contribute. When you lose games, usually things get mixed up and that’s probably the case.”

It’s a combination Tanguay envisions having great success.

“For me playing with Cammy and Iggy right now, it’s going to be about the work we put in,” he said. “If we put in tons of work and we outwork the line we’re going to play against, with the skill level we have we feel like we should be putting the puck in the back of the net no problem.”

NO CONTROVERSY IN KIPPER

Though the Flames aren’t off to the start they desired, Calgary’s confidence is unwavering in starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

It was the Flames goalie, after all, that helped convince Hartley to step behind the bench in Calgary.

“I’ll be very honest with you, Miikka Kiprusoff was one of the reasons why I decided to come to Calgary and I still feel the same way about Miikka Kiprusoff,” Hartley said. “If I would be a betting man, I know that Miikka Kiprusoff is going to win way more games for the Calgary Flames than he’s going to lose.”

Though the team has managed to collect just three out of a possible 10 points to start the season, the blame doesn’t fall on the backstop, according to Curtis Glencross.

“I don’t think you can put that on Kipper,” Glencross said. “Kipper’s one of those goalies that he’s an elite goaltender and he’s very good at his job and it’s one of those things where Kipper still seems to amaze you every game with a couple huge saves that can be a difference in a game. There’s definitely no doubt in my mind Kipper’s an elite goaltender.”

Hartley expects Kiprusoff to quickly round into his perennial all-star form.

“He’s one of the best goalies in the league,” Hartley said. “I feel very comfortable, very confident with Miikka and I know that he’s going to bounce back.”

CERVENKA RESTING

Roman Cervenka, who recorded his first National Hockey League point in Calgary’s 6-3 loss to Colorado, didn’t skate with teammates at Friday’s practice.

Instead, the 27-year-old Czech forward missed the on-ice session with what Hartley called “maintenance”.

“He’s doing good. We’re just taking care of him,” he said. “Maybe he’ll skate tomorrow maybe he will not skate tomorrow morning but he’ll be playing tomorrow.”

Cervenka, who played 13:50 against the Avalanche, missed all of training camp while waiting for medical clearance as a result of a blood clot. The Flames’ coach said bringing the forward up to speed has been tricky.

“We’re kind of in the catch-22 game,” Hartley said. “Obviously we would like to raise his conditioning level with practices but he’s on maintenance so it’s tough. His conditioning is not NHL conditioning level right now but it’s going to be ugly when he’s going to be 100 per cent.”

Back to top ↑