Morning Skate Report: 10.04.13

Wednesday, 10.04.2013 / 2:47 PM
Aaron Vickers  - (@aavickers)


The injury bug has bitten the Calgary Flames.

Already missing Derek Smith to a leg injury, the Flames are expected to be without the trio of Brian McGrattan, Jiri Hudler and Matt Stajan.

McGrattan suffered a shoulder injury against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Stajan is expected to miss Wednesday's game against the Canucks.

"It's upper body, so he's out for tonight's game," coach Bob Hartley confirmed.

And Jiri Hudler?

"No. He's upper body," Hartley said. "We're all upper body."

Calgary has lost 91 man games to injury this season.

The Detroit Red Wings lead the league in man games lost with 208.


In the wake of injuries to Stajan and Hudler, the likes of Roman Horak, Sven Baertschi and Maxwell Reinhart have stepped up.

Hartley called it an audition for the youngsters.

"What we're asking those guys right now is to raise their compete level just like it would be a playoff game," Hartley said. "I want to see them at their best. I want to see them compete as hard as they can so that we have a good feel for them coming next training camp."

So far, the audition has gone well for the trio.

"I think they understand the situation," he said. "I see them in practices, I see them in meetings, I see them compete in games and we put them in all kinds of situations. It's a matter of taking advantage of the situation and so far, I can say that I've been pretty pleased with what I saw."


Blair Jones is set to make his return to the Flames lineup after spending 18 games with the Abbotsford Heat.

Jones, who was originally assigned to Abbotsford on February 21st, is happy to be back in Calgary.

"I'm obviously excited to be back," Jones said. "I got a chance to go and play a lot in Abby but I'm just excited to be back and hopefully finish out the year here."

Jones' role on the team is clear, according to Hartley.

"To be an up-and-down player, to bring some grit to the game, to kind of bring the same game as a Tim Jackman," Hartley said. "I think that he can certainly bring that aspect. He's a big body, so to be physical, to impose his style, to impose his game and I think he can certainly do this."

The 26-year-old is the fourth call-up Calgary's made since the trade deadline after Baertschi, Horak and Reinhart.

"I think I've played long enough to know you should never be angry or mad that someone else is getting called up besides you," Jones said. "I played with Reino and Roman on a line for quite a while so I'm just as happy to see them get an opportunity. There's no sense on being angry or anything at those decisions so I was happy for both of those guys."

Jones has one assist in 11 games with the Flames this season. In 18 games with the Heat, he has three goals and six points.

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