Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Bruins
The Flames made several transactions on Wednesday, recalling tough guy Raitis Ivanans from the Abbotsford Heat and assigning Greg Nemisz and Brett Carson to the farm team.
Ivanans will play his first NHL game since Oct. 7, 2010, skating with Tom Kostopoulos and Brendan Morrison on the fourth line. The hulking forward is anxious for puck drop tonight and was a little lost for words when asked about his return.
"I can’t really explain it," he smiled. "It feels great. You don’t realize how much you take it for granted when you’re here.
"When you’re down and come back, you just want to grab it and never let it go."
The Bruins play a tough, physical game and Flames head coach Brent Sutter wants to see Ivanans use his size to combat that physicality.
"Come up here and be a hard player to play against," Sutter said of his expectations for Ivanans. “It’s been awhile since he played at this level but if he wants to play at this level and get back to this level, there’s a certain way he has to play."
The Bruins are quite the roll this season, going 8-1-0 in their last nine outings and posting a 22-3-1 record this year.
The Flames know they are in for quite the battle tonight but are positive they can end their seven-game road swing on a winning note.
"We have to be ready and not sit back and watch," Jarome Iginla said. "Go in and play confident. It's one game. Just don't change what we want to do and try to win the game."
After such a long trip, there is the worry the team will become focused on getting home rather than keeping their minds on the task at hand but Jay Bouwmeester dismissed that notion.
"Once we get home, we play pretty quick - the next day. We've been pretty busy for awhile here, playing pretty much every second day. You get into sort of a routine.
"We've got to win some games so that's our focus right now."
Despite the fact the Bruins played last night in New Jersey, head coach Claude Julien isn't worried about fatigue.
No player on the Boston roster hit 23:00 of ice time last night, with defenceman Dennis Seidenberg logging the most minutes with 22:33 in 25 shifts, and that was deliberate according to the bench boss.
"One of the things I tried to do in the third period when we scored that fourth goal and seemed to have control of the game, I really tried to spread out the ice time and keep us fresh for tonight."
The Bruins handed the Devils a 6-1 thumping in the Garden State on and saw contributions from all four lines.
That kind of offensive depth is something Julien counts on as teams often try to target their top two lines and shut down leading scorers Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic.
"Our scoring is pretty spread out," he said during his game day media address. "I don't think you see too many of our players in the top 20 or 30 in League scoring.
"That, to me, proves that we've got depth and scoring comes from everywhere. Not just one line or a couple of players."