Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Predators

Sunday, 01.01.2012 / 10:38 AM / Calgary Flames Budweiser Game Day
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)





SQUARING OFF AGAINST RINNE

There's no question that Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is one of the best in the business.

The 29 year-old has been the Preds MVP thus far this season, posting a 2.58 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He's gone 18-10-4 this year and with blueliner Shea Weber out of the mix with a concussion the last few games, Rinne has risen to the occasion and allowed his team to enter the new year on a two-game winning streak.

The Flames know that beating the netminder won't be an easy task but they feel their strategy going into tonight's game will allow them to snap a couple of pucks past him.

"It's the simple things," Brendan Morrison said. "Get pucks to the net. Get traffic in front. Get after rebounds."

Olli Jokinen, who is playing in his 1000th game tonight, concurred with his fellow forward, saying second and third chances were key against a goalie of Rinne's caliber.

The Flames shot totals have dipped a bit in their last few outings and that is something Jokinen feels needs to be rectified.

"We need to get a lot more shots than the last few games. We've got to try to get 30-plus shots."

READY FOR A TIGHT GAME

The Flames and Predators play a very similar style of game and that often results in games being decided by a single goal. The Predators have won two of the three games played in the season series by 2-0 and 2-1 scores while the Flames victory was a 1-0 effort.

"You've got to be able to play tight defence against them," Jokinen offered. "Try to get that first goal and play with the lead. It's a very good team when they get a lead."

Calgary got off to a 3-0 start in Ottawa on Friday before falling 4-3 to the Senators in overtime. While they were happy with their start in the nation's capital, Morrison stated the team absolutely cannot allow the defensive slip-ups like the one's in Ottawa.

"They like to clamp down and play a very patient game," he warned. "When we're good, we're doing that.

"That means being very disciplined as far as keeping a guy high, not allowing odd-man rushes, all those things. You know a small mistake can lead to a goal and that can be the difference in the game."