On Thursday morning, the Calgary Flames added two more bodies to the sick bay as Dennis Wideman (fractured hand that requires surgery) and Sean Monahan (non-displaced hairline fracture - foot) were placed on the Injured Reserve.
The Flames now have five regulars out of the lineup: Mark Giordano (broken ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee), TJ Gailardi (back spasms), Wideman and Monahan. It makes for tough sledding as they head out on the road to face the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday but head coach Bob Hartley and his squad are refusing to let injuries bring them down.
"Unfortunately we know that injuries are part of the game," Hartley said. "Last night, losing Wides and obviously Monny with the pain over the last [few days] ... that's our situation. It opens the doors for other guys to come in. Bank up some ice time. Put some money in the bank. We're injured but we're not short-handed."
In light of recent injuries, the Flames have recalled forwards Max Reinhart and Paul Byron from the Abbotsford Heat. Both are expected to play on this road trip, giving them an opportunity to showcase themselves.
"We have trust in the guys that we have and we're going to put them on the ice," Hartley explained. "We're going to give them their responsibilities, their roles. We're going to be pushing them.
"I think it's a good set-up."
Another player who can benefit from the Flames situation is Mikael Backlund. He has been playing on the fourth line with Blair Jones and Brian McGrattan but with Monahan on the shelf, he likely will be given a greater role.
"I'll go out and do my best, try every game," Backlund said. "I'll probably get more ice time now that Monny is out. Usually, that's how it works when someone goes down; someone else has to take his spot.
"I'm ready to do it. I feel bad for Monny but I'm going to [make] the best of it and see what happens."
On defence, Chris Breen may get the chance to jump into the lineup with Dennis Wideman out.
AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Jay Feaster addressed the media after the injuries to Wideman and Monahan had been released, offering up more information on Giordano, Glencross and Galiardi's progress.
"Mark Giordano has been skating. He skated yesterday, skated a little bit longer and [with] a little more intensity today. He will continue to skate here over the next few days. He will be reevaluated as well at the beginning of next week," Feaster explained. "We're still listing him as week-to-week but we're optimistic, hopeful that certainly by end of next week, he'll be ready to go.
"Curtis Glencross continues to make progress. He's two to three weeks away. TJ Galiardi is doing much better. He's been able to do some workouts here the last couple of days. If he continues to feel good tomorrow, he'll be able to skate and again we're optimistic that perhaps by Wednesday, he'll be ready to go."
This two-game, two-day road swing is the Flames father's trip so it will be a jam-packed weekend for the team.
"I'm really excited to have him in the stands and all the other dads too," Backlund smiled. "It's going to be a fun trip and we're all really excited for it."
The Flames face off against their former teammate Tim Jackman and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday afternoon. The puck drops at 2:00 PM MST (SNET-W, FAN 960).
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