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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

Sunday, 18.03.2012 / 11:16 AM / Calgary Flames Budweiser Game Day
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Blue Jackets

MOSS TO THE MIDDLE

With Lee Stempniak returning and Sven Baertschi heading back to Portland, head coach Brent Sutter had to alter his forward lines but he didn't just move his wingers around.

He has opted to put David Moss at center ice, giving his team a little more depth down the middle.

"When you get Stemps back, you change things up a little bit," he said in his post-practice media address. "Give us a little size there with Mosser moving to center ice too."

The 30 year-old is excited about the change in role.

"It's a different challenge but it's something that is really important. Our line tonight will have to be good."

Moss is an extraordinarily versatile player. During his career with the Flames, he's played on both wings and at center.

"Wherever (Brent) wants me to play," was his response when asked about where he was comfortable playing. "Tonight it's the middle and I'm looking forward to it."

The forward has been limited to just 24 games this season due to lower body injuries. For pivots, there is a bit more strain on the ankles due to faceoffs and playing down low but Moss has no concerns about how his foot will handle the increased pressure.

"My ankle feels pretty good now so all the things that come along with playing center, I think will be fine."

Moss has scored two goals and eight points this season.

EXPECTING A PHYSICAL MATCH-UP

The Blue Jackets currently reside in last place in the NHL standings but in all three games against the Flames, they have played with tenacity and grit . They've won two games against Calgary this season and gained a point in the 2-1 SO loss to the Flames on Dec. 26 so the team knows they cannot take them lightly.

"They're a team that plays hard," said Curtis Glencross. "They play a gritty game. They're a fast team.

"It's good for us to have a game like this after the game in Edmonton the other night - where we all have got to step up and play our physical game."

This morning's practice can best be described as business-like and Glencross feels that reflects the team's mindset.

"We've got to go one period and one game at a time. We can't worry about the next game. We have to worry about tonight's game and do our job tonight."

MILESTONES WITHIN REACH

Matt Stajan will play in his 600th NHL game tonight.

Scott Hannan needs 2 games for 900. He is 3 points away from 200 in his career.

Alex Tanguay needs 4 assists for 500.

Mark Giordano needs 5 assists for 100.

Tom Kostopoulos also needs 5 assists for 100.