Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Red Wings
After the Flames pre-game skate, head coach Brent Sutter confirmed Brendan Morrison and Derek Smith will play tonight in the team's battle with the Detroit Red Wings.
Morrison recently came off the IR (knee) and has been fully participating in practices over the past week. The coaching staff wanted to give him that time in order to gauge if his knee would be able to handle the stress put upon it in games and Sutter is satisfied with the veteran's progress.
"I just wanted to sleep on it last night and give it some thought," Sutter said of inserting Morrison back into the lineup. "Just see how he was this morning and how he felt after having a real good practice yesterday. He feels good so I've made my decision."
On Tuesday afternoon, Flames head coach Brent Sutter elucidated the importance of his squad buying into a team game and reiterated the need for players to work within the system, citing their recent loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets as an example of what happens when the team ventures outside of that mindset and game plan.
Winger Lee Stempniak concurred with the bench boss' evaluation.
"There are so many teams that have success in this League just by playing a team game and not giving the opposition too much. We can certainly play that way.
"If we're not shooting ourselves in the feet, taking care of the puck and doing the right things, we'll win more games than we'll lose."
According to Stempniak, it's crucial to play within the structure against a team like Detroit who boast a plethora of players with enough skill and speed to pounce on a single error and make their opponents pay.
"We've got to play to our strengths," he stressed. "Which is rolling four lines and getting contributions from everybody and playing well against their top two lines."
Their power play also poses a big threat. The Red Wings have connected on 17.4% of their 46 opportunities at home this season and utilize their creativity to break penalty killers.
"You have to be disciplined," Stempniak said. "They have a lot of guys that are able to make plays. They don't really have an orthodox power play. They make plays with a lot of passes through the box which are to defend."
"As far as my game, this has been a tough stretch. But I’m going to remain positive. I don’t think it’s helpful to feel sorry for myself or get too frustrated or get negative." - Jarome Iginla on his play this season