Flames Today: 15.09.10

Flames prospects practice on an off day before facing the Canucks

Wednesday, 15.09.2010 / 4:59 PM / Flames Today
By Kristi Hennessy
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Flames Today: 15.09.10

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.

Morning Skate

The Flames prospects took to the ice today at 12:15 pm for an off-day skate after dropping to the Edmonton Oilers last night in a very fast and physical game.



Rumour has it that Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender Cam Lanigan will get the start in net for tomorrow's match up against the Vancouver Canucks.

Assistant coach Jaimie McLennan worked with Cam Lanigan, Matt Keetley and Leland Irving on different techniques throughout practice.

Lanigan was invited to the Flames prospect camp on a tryout status. The 18-year old Calgary native grew up a Flames fan and as many young Calgary hockey players, he would do anything just to have the opportunity to suit up with the Flaming "C" jersey at least once in his lifetime.

Lanigan has started early getting a taste of the battle of Alberta as a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Last season he started in 38 games posting an .891 save percentage and a 3.83 GAA.

View from the Bench

Abbotsford Heat head coach Jim Playfair has spent a lot of time with a lot of the Flames prospects that are at the Young Stars tournament this year. He has had a chance to get to know them as a player and as people.

With that said there are still a handful of guys who he has not had the opportunity to coach or even really see play hockey.

Here is what he had to say about a few of the players playing in the tournament.

Cam Lanigan is one player who Playfair hasn't coached before but he still has a connection with.

"I've got a soft spot for Lanigan," said Playfair. "My kid played with him in minor hockey. I talked to his dad a lot about him going to Edmonton and what it is like. And now I see him here at camp and it's really cool. He's very nervous. Other guys have contracts and are all settled in but this guy is just happy to have the chance to put a Flaming "C" on and go play. I'm so happy for him."

Ryley Grantham played on the Abbotsford Heat last season and racked up 163 penalty minutes in 67 games. He is not known to put up big numbers on the stats sheet, putting up four points last season, but still plays a big role for the Heat and will have to look to improve on the offensive side of his game.

"He has a much better understanding of where his place is on a young group," said Playfair.  "I still want to see him be quicker with the puck and improve his skills. In order to play in the NHL as a big player now, you have to have to bring more than just the ability to engage in battle. You have to be a positionally-wise player and strong with the puck and think offense. He got one goal last year and he's got to be prepared to work hard to create more offense and score more goals."

Jon Rheault had a great start to the tournament picking up a hat trick in the first game. In the Flames second game he was a little quieter yet still efficient on the ice. He did not get any points but had his fair share of chances that just didn't find their way to the back of the net.

"He put himself in a position to score some goals. That's what I like about him. You're not going to score every time but if he's consistent at putting himiself in a position to take pucks to the net and have a little bit of patience when you have open nets then that's good. If you're not creating chances and not going to the net fearlessly then you have an issue but he's done it both games so I'm ok with that."

Bryan Cameron is another player who loves to score. He takes pucks hard to the net and finds ways to put them past the goalie. Cameron had an impressive 78 points in 62 games last season with the Barrie Colts of the OHL and 81 points the season prior. He knows how to score but can he keep his feet moving?

"Last night he tried to make a skilled play through the neutral zone in an odd man situation and he quit skating," Playfair commented on Cameron. "I called him off the ice and he was the only guy who changed on that line. I sat him down and said, 'You're a 53-goal scorer that has great speed and you are a really strong player but you are not intimidating if you don't skate so go out there and move your feet and you're going to be able to create things.'

"That's when he came out and had a couple of big hits and drew a penalty and had a great chance to score a goal. That again is just a young player who sometimes forgets to work, you just need to remind them."

Goalie Evaluation

For the most part Playfair seemed happy with his goaltending.

"Everybody makes a few mistakes so they just end up on the scoreboard. I think there are two that Keetley should have had and last night with Irving, one went through him. So three goals out of the goals scored, to me that's where they can improve on.

"Last year we wanted both goaltenders to play and keep switching off and on. This year is going to be different from last year. It's going to be the guy that steps in and is able to really bring confidence to the group that is going to play."