NEW FORMAT FOR DAY 4
Four days into camp for the Calgary Flames, coach Bob Hartley switched up the schedule, putting two groups through simultaneous practices before having the two squads battle in a White vs. Black game.
The switch-up was a necessity after playing late in Edmonton on Saturday and to nurse some nagging injuries that have crept up in camp.
"It's just that we have some little nagging injuries and there was no sense putting those guys on the ice and at the same time, by subtracting those guys, it was putting at risk the rest of the groups," Hartley said. "By going two groups, we gave a little bit more rest. The guys who played in Edmonton last night landed at 1. We had three great days. Today we met with the players first, we said it's going to be a little bit easier, we don't want to hear about being tired or stuff like that.
"We want a good day and credit to them, they gave us a great working day."
Hartley didn't play coy about who was in pain and who was just resting.
"All the guys who were not on the ice, they're injured," Hartley said. "We don't have nothing serious but I guess those are the growing pains of the training camp."
HARTLEY LIKED EDMONTON ACTION
Though the Flames' game up in Edmonton might've left the team a little tired and bruised, Hartley liked what he caught of the contest.
Tuning in for the third period following his own game at home, the Flames bench boss caught Calgary's third period comeback and eventual 6-5 shootout win.
"We got in after our game and we caught maybe the last 10, 15 minutes of the game and we were down 5-2," he said. "Pretty good comeback."
That comeback was made possible by a two-goal effort by Josh Jooris.
Joorish, making his professional exhibition debut, felt stronger as the game went on.
"It felt pretty good," he said. "Once I got that first shift under me I settled in and the game started. The nerves leading up to it were definitely in there. The vets did a good job settling the rookies down. It was fun. I had a blast."
Hartley said he enjoyed Calgary's effort in Edmonton but was equally impressed with the way he watched his club battle back from a two-goal deficit, only to lose 3-2 in Calgary.
"I loved the intensity," he said. "In my way of doing things, exhibition games -- especially the first one -- you're not really looking for perfect execution because you're not going to get it. You have guys that are still adjusting, lots of new blood, you're asking for intensity, you're looking for teamwork and that's what we got and I think they battled all the way to the end. It's too bad that Edmonton got that late goal, but those things happen."
CUTS LOOMING AFTER TUESDAY TILTS
Though injuries have gotten in the way of trimming his roster, Hartley has eyes on making his first round of cuts after Tuesday's split-squad games.
"We have a chance to play lots of our young players, give them plenty of ice time with the intra-squad games, practices, the exhibition games and after this we're going to proceed with the cuts," Hartley announced. "We're going to go with the final cuts later on, but at the same time I think that we wanted a big start, we got the big start and after those three games, it's going to quiet down a little bit.
"I would've liked to make some cuts today but with our injury situation, we just can't."
GOALIES CONTINUE TO BATTLE
"Today if you would ask me who was ahead, who's last, it's basically a photo finish until this morning," the coach said. "It's a good problem, but at the same time I'd like someone to show consistency and say, 'I'm the guy'. They told us they want to be the guy. Now I'd like them to show us who wants to be the guy."
With no clear-cut starter after four days and the netminders will get a longer look while playing a 60-minute schedule.
"Most likely in the next three games, we will go with full games," Hartley said. "We just have to finalize who will get the starts where and everything, but (the) time has come now."
That leaves 20-year-old Laurent Brossoit on the sidelines. The first-year pro isn't likely to see any exhibition action.
"We would like to, but in part of our situation right now, I can't say," Hartley said. "I'm not saying yes, I'm not saying no, but if he doesn't play, it's because he's going to get caught in a numbers game.
"If we would have a clear-cut No. 1, an established NHL No. 1 goalie, Brossoit would've played last night but in our situation right now, it's unfortunate. I'm not saying he will not play, but we have no answers still at this point who is going to be our No. 1 goalie in Washington."
REINHART BACK IN PRACTICE
After missing the start of training camp with a mysterious ailment, Max Reinhart drew back into practice and is medically cleared for exhibition action.
With the grace of a veteran, the 21-year-old played coy on what kept him on the sidelines.
"There's nothing bothering me now," Reinhart said. "I'm fine."
Was it the same issue from prospects camp?
"It's not the same thing. It's completely different."
Is it a string of bad luck?
"I don't think so. I mean, it's happened before."
But it's not an allergic reaction that forced you to miss the prospects tournament two summers ago?
"Completely different thing again…so I guess it is a run of bad luck."
Regardless of Reinhart's injury, Calgary's third round pick from 2010 is excited to be back on the ice and pushing for a place on the Flames.
"It feels amazing (to be back)," he said. "I had a good Penticton tournament and obviously you don't want to miss time but these things happen. I was thrilled to be able to get back on the ice today again."
Some pain may have slowed Reinhart's momentum, but the former Kootenay Ice standout has plenty of time to make an impression and earn a roster spot on the Flames out of camp.
"You'd hate to say an injury take it away," he said. "I feel fortunate I only missed a minimal amount of time."
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