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Flames Today: 12.10.10

Stajan back on the ice with the Flames after Thanksgiving Monday

Tuesday, 12.10.2010 / 2:21 PM / Flames Today
By Kristi Hennessy
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Flames Today: 12.10.10
SHORT-HANDED PRACTICE

The Flames gathered at the 'Dome on Tuesday morning after taking Thanksgiving Monday off. They need all the rest and relaxation they can get as the injuries continue to pile up. Although the Flames picked up a win in their home opener on Sunday night against the LA Kings, the roster saw two more drop within the first five minutes.

Adam Pardy was the first to leave the ice as he hit the boards awkwardly and is now listed as out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Shortly after, Rene Bourque collided with Kevin Westgarth and suffered a head injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

"We've had a ton there's no question," said Jarome Iginla about the injury woes. "Teams go through it at different times and hopefully we get them all out of the way. You make do. There is nothing else we can do as a team but keep moving forward and hopefully we get some other guys back soon.

"You want to look for the positives for sure and I think it makes everybody that much more important. There are guys that maybe don't play a certain role or don't play as much to get more opportunity to play more and they are counted on more. Everyone learns to deal with a little more pressure."

Pardy and Bourque join Daymond Langkow (neck), Matt Stajan (shoulder), Ryan Stone (knee), David Moss (shoulder) and Ales Kotalik (knee) and  Raitis Ivanans (head) on the Flames injury list.


STAJAN KEEPS PLUGGING AWAY


Matt Stajan has re-joined the team for practices for the first time since hurting his shoulder in the pre-season. He skated on the weekend with the team in a non-contact jersey. On Tuesday he was on the ice participating in all drills and testing his shoulder for contact.

"I'm feeling really good, and really strong," said Stajan. "It's just getting your skating legs. Everybody's been playing and have like ten games under their belt. I'm just trying to get going here and trying to get up to speed as soon as I can.

"I'm trying not to think about it and just go out there and play. It didn't give me any issues today. We did all the contact today too and felt fine so I passed the first test. We'll see how I do tomorrow and go from there."

Although Stajan would love nothing more play against Florida on Thursday, he is still not fully medically cleared to play in a game.

"We'll see but it's day by day," Stajan said on possibly playing Thursday. "I'm hoping obviously. You want to get back as soon as you can but you have to make sure you're ready and feeling as close to 100% as you can."

With the loss of Rene Bourque on Sunday night, the Flames are definitely playing short-handed when it comes to forwards. Does this put added pressure on players like Stajan to try and get back sooner?

"I've been pushing to get back since I got hurt and to get it where it needs to be. It's too bad that Bourque went down but hopefully he's back soon and has no bearing on whether  I'm playing or not. I think when I'm ready I'll be in the lineup."

MORRISON ON PLAYING THE WING

Brendan Morrison has played in 831 regular season NHL games so far in his career. Of those 831 games, he has only played about two dozen games as a winger. With Matt Stajan joining the team in practice on Tuesday, Morrison moved to the wing.

"Previously in Anaheim I played probably 25 games on the wing so I'm helpful over there," said Morrison. "It is different. A lot of times you're not battling down low but a lot of times in today's game whoever is back first has to play down low anyways.

"I think the big thing on the wing is make sure you get the puck with speed. You don't want to be standing still so timing is key. Make sure you're a good support to give your centreman an out.

"You have to be ready mentally more than anything. Understanding that you might have to play a little more and you might be playing in different situations so you have to be prepared. You have to be in the game and do everything you can to help the team win games at this point."

The Flames haven't run into injury problems this early in many years. To have this many players drop to injury in just the first couple weeks and just two short games into the regular season is very abnormal.

"It's definitely an aberration," Morrison stated on the amount of early injuries. "It's unfortunate but I guess one positive is that this team is showing depth. There are a bunch of guys coming in and doing a good job. Especially last game when we were short-handed. A lot of guys had to eat extra minutes and we played a good solid team game.

"It gives even more guys opportunities to show what they can do and they are given a chance but we want those guys (injured players) to get healthy.

"You never want to see anybody get hurt even more so your teammates. It's tough. Guys work so hard all summer to be prepared for the start of the season and before things even really get rolling they're already out of the lineup. It is tough but guys work hard and they'll get back."

Author: Kristi Hennessy