TAYLOR'S FIRST NHL START
On Sunday morning in Dallas, head coach Bob Hartley noted there was a chance Danny Taylor would get the call in net in Phoenix tonight. This morning, the bench boss confirmed the 26 year-old will get his first NHL start at Jobing.com Arena this evening.
Taylor, who was with the Los Angeles Kings at the time, has one period of NHL experience on his resume after coming in to relieve Erik Ersberg in what would be a 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Dallas Stars on Mar. 29, 2008. He faced eight shots that day, allowing two goals.
The netminder has come a long way since his NHL debut, with stops in the ECHL, AHL and in Germany with the Hamburg Freezers. Given his experience and the success he has had with the Flames farm team, the Abbotsford Heat, head coach Bob Hartley feels he is very capable of taking the reigns in net.
"Yesterday morning, I told Danny he would get his first NHL start," Hartley said before the team meeting. "He's ready to go, he's excited.
"We're putting him in there because we feel that he is an NHL goalie. If I didn't have confidence that Danny Taylor can win us the game, he wouldn't be in there. At this league, it's not about (giving) gifts or favours. It's about winning games. Danny Taylor, I'm sure, he's going to give us everything that he has."
Mark Giordano has seen his fair share of NHL debuts but witnessing the elation of a young man seeing his dream coming true never gets old.
"It's cool any time any player on your team gets their first NHL game, it's cool to be a part of. But with a goalie it's a little more special. As players, we want to play a good game in front of him to give him a great chance."
CONSTANTLY IN MOTION
That is how far the Flames have traveled in the past 48 hours. After a 3 and half hour flight from Calgary to Dallas, the team hopped on a plane right after their big 4-3 win over the Stars on Sunday night and jetted off to Phoenix, AZ.
In between those plane rides, the Flames have worked out, went to team meetings, did the rounds with the media and fit in a nap or two. Oh, and throw two time changes in there as well.
Going through all of that in such a short time frame can be a struggle but the organization has put all of the right precautions in place to ensure their team is as physically and mentally prepared as they can be heading into tonight's game.
"The main thing is you have to eat and hydrate properly," Giordano told CalgaryFlames.com. "As far as the travel goes, it was an earlier game in Dallas so it was okay - you get in at a decent hour. We have such good service on the planes and we get treated pretty well so that helps."
The team consulted with a sleep doctor last season and the tips and tricks they learned from their meetings with him have also helped, according to Giordano.
CZECHING LINE DRAWS PRAISE FROM HARTLEY
After the Flames fell behind 3-1 in the second period in Dallas, Hartley started to shuffle all of his forward lines in hopes of generating a spark. He played Roman Horak on a line with his fellow Czechs, Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka, and the head coach was impressed with what he saw.
"I liked Jiri Hudler taking charge," he explained. "There was lots of Czech conversations on the bench. Jiri was the boss and the two boys were listening. It was going about 100 miles per hour.
"They played very well together."
The trio combined for two points in the third period on Sunday evening.
FLAMES FANTASY HOCKEY TIPS
Mike Cammalleri pushed his point streak to three games last night in Dallas with a power play goal in the first period. The winger, who has been playing primarily with Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak over the last couple of games, has six points (four goals, two assists) in that span.
Cammalleri has also been extremely productive when facing the Coyotes in his career. In 38 contests, he has recorded 14 goals and 33 points - good for a .87 points-per-game average.
Flames leading scorer Alex Tanguay has faced the Coyotes 40 times over the last 13 seasons and has 16 goals and 35 points against Phoenix. The 33 year-old has three points in his last three games and picked up an assist last night after setting up Cammalleri's power play marker.
Tanguay led the Flames in scoring against Phoenix in the 2011-12 campaign, rattling off two goals and five points in four games.
Through 59 career games, Jarome Iginla has racked up 54 points (32 goals, 22 helpers) against Phoenix. The captain has three points in his last three games but was held off the scoresheet in Dallas.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Curtis Glencross needs 1 assist for 100 and 1 point for 200.
Steve Bégin needs 4 games for 500.
Cory Sarich needs 4 points for 150.
Matt Stajan needs 6 points for 300.
Cory Sarich needs 7 games for 900.
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