The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week, usually on non-game days.
February 10, 2010
Getting back on the ice
The Flames had an optional skate on Wednesday and out of the 11 players on the ice, there were three faces Flames fans will be happy to know are back on the ice. Nigel Dawes, David Moss and Rene Bourque fully took part in the practice and unlike the past couple of days, none of them were donning the yellow no-contact jerseys.
Out of the three forwards, Dawes is the closest to returning to the lineup. He's been given medical clearance and is hoping to get some ice time tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars.
"I'm feeling better by the day," he said with a smile. "I skated a little bit last week by myself and the last couple days with the team so I'm trying to get back.
"I'm definitely pretty close. At this point it's up to the coaches to make the decision, whether it's tonight, this weekend or after the break. We'll see tomorrow and the days to come."
While no players likes being stuck in the press box during games, Dawes made sure to make his time away from the rink valuable.
"I watched a couple from up top over the last couple weeks. You can definitely learn stuff up there. You've got a lot of room and see all the plays develop. You definitely learn."
This was Moss's first skate with the team since getting back on the ice and he admitted there were some definite changes to get accustomed to.
"Not going on the road with the guys is a bit different for Dawes, myself and Conny. Their gone bonding and when they get back, there's a lot of new faces (on the ice)."
Unlike Dawes, who flew into Ottawa to practice with the team, Moss had to watch the road trip at home. He said he tried to be a passive viewer and not throw things at the TV when the Flames caught a bad bounce or a shot went wide but wasn't overly successful.
"I try not to," he chuckled in response. "It's hard sometimes, when you're not there with the guys. When you're in the battle, you certainly understand the game. I try to be passive but at the same time, it's hard not to get frustrated."
Head coach Brent Sutter wouldn't comment on the availability of any of the new players, saying they'd assess the situation tomorrow.
"I can't answer that right now. We'll know more tomorrow."
Fitting in with the crew
After having six new faces join the locker room last week, the Flames three-game Eastern Conference road swing gave the new guys a chance to bond with their teammates. Jamal Mayers said that his first road trip with the Flames was a success both on and off the ice.
"The flights were longer but I'm really excited to be here. We've got a good group of guys in here that made all four of us feel comfortable. The main objective now is get points and win hockey games," he said on Wednesday.
"We've got a great group of guys in here so it's not hard to battle for each other."
The only dismal point was the Flames loss in Ottawa. After a strong 30 minutes of the play, the Senators took over and managed to pull out a 3-2 victory.
"The reality is that we let them take over the game in the second period and then we couldn't change the momentum in the third," was Mayers assessment of the game.
Nystrom agreed with that statement and added that one single mistake is all it takes to completely turn a game around.
"Those games are always tough," said Nystrom. "When you're in it, it's a close game, and you make a pretty blatant mistake and it ends up in the back of your net, that's a type of game we've lost a few times. Those are the ones that you've got to play smart and making sure that you're not playing high-risk or else or those mistakes happen. We've lost a lot of games like that this year. We're right in the mix and we've got a lot of games left so we just have to get on the winning track and things will be great around here." Quotable
"I don't think I'm supposed to talk about that. I'm just focused on the two games here and we're not even thinking about that right now." - Nystrom when asked what his plans are over the Olympic break