Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Wild

Tuesday, 08.11.2011 / 1:29 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Wild



MOSS RETURNS

After suffering a lower body injury in the Flames battle with the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, David Moss has been held out of action by the coaching staff. He missed practice on Monday, making some speculate he would be out of the lineup tonight against the Minnesota Wild, but the 29 year-old was on the ice this morning and believes he is ready to play.

"I feel good. I was able to skate today and I feel good to go."

Head coach Brent Sutter said that barring an unforeseen setback, fans can expect to see him on the ice tonight. However, the bench boss was coy about which line Moss will play on tonight.

"I'll use him as one of our 12 forwards," he grinned. "If he's ready to play, he's going to play. He's a big part of our forward group up front. He seems like he's feeling quite a bit better today so that's a good sign."

In 12 games this season, Moss has one goal and four points with an even plus-minus rating.

DEFENSIVE COMMITMENT

The Flames overall team defensive has become a key element in the club's success as of late, helping cut down their goals against to just four in their last three tilts. In 13 games played, the team is averaging 2.46 goals against - a stat Mark Giordano expects to see continue to drop as the season progress.

"As the season goes on and every game goes on, you can watch tape and little things and get better defensively. Basically it comes down to hard work.

"We feel we still have some ways to go as a team. Our goaltending has been unbelievable to start the season here and if we can tighten up even more, it'll be really good."

Another factor in the Flames last two victories was their willingness to throw themselves in front of shots. In Detroit and Denver, they blocked a total of 47 shots.

"Blocking shots is obviously one of the biggest keys in the game now," Curtis Glencross said. "The less pucks get to your goaltender, the less they're going to go in the net."

Defenceman Derek Smith, who blocked two shots in his 11:42 of ice time in Colorado, believes instinct plays a large part in a team's dedication to keeping the puck away from their goaltender.

"It's just one of those things that when you're playing well, you take pride in your defence. It's more of intensity and emotion, you know? Getting in front of the shot is just a reaction."

Smith pointed to their loss in Buffalo as a prime example of what happens when the team gets away from that kind of defensive commitment.

"That's one of the reasons they had so much pressure," he said. "You want to to get in the lane and kind of help the goalies out."

QUOTABLE

"They're playing well. Their record shows it." - Sutter on the Minnesota Wild

"You can't stray away from the system. Once you start taking chances and playing out of your comfort zone, that's when they capitalize on their opportunities. You've just got to stay patient with the game plan." - Smith on what the Flames need to do to success