Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Canucks
NOT HITTING THE PANIC BUTTON
While there is no doubt the Flames are frustrated with the result of their first two games of the season, they realize that they need to focus on the positives that came out of those couple of outings rather than fret over lost points. If they allow that worry to creep into their heads, it could negatively impact their performance tonight.
"It's easy to look at the first two games and know you're behind the eight-ball," Lee Stempniak said. "But at the same time, you can't control those. Those losses are behind you. You have to look forward. You learn your lessons from the past games, carry them forward and try to build on that."
Head coach Bob Hartley feels his can work off successful shifts the squad had in their tilts with San Jose and Anaheim.
"We've done many more good things than bad things. Defensively, we've had a couple of breakdowns. It's a game of mistakes ... it's a work in progress but I like the players attitude. We're communicating very well, they're sharp and they want to do well."
The bench boss has been extremely impressed with his team's attitude over the past couple of days. The group was upbeat and energetic at Tuesday's practice at the Stampede Corral and had an up-tempo skate in Vancouver. That, according to Hartley, will pay dividends in the long run.
"We have a great group of individuals," he stressed. "They listen. They pay attention. They want to compete. With 0-2, it's not the start that we wanted but the focus is right there.
"When the attitude is there, I think you're capable of achieving great things. That's why I feel very positive about the guys that I have."
RED HOT STEMPNIAK
Stempniak has been a force to be reckoned with in his first two games of the year, scoring in both games and generating a plethora of scoring chances for his team. He has been driving to the net hard, forcing the opposition off the puck and has looked dominant in the offensive zone.
"It's been a couple of good games," he said. "But it's still very early."
The coaching staff experimented with different lines yesterday and at the morning skate and, if they hold up, Stempniak will find himself being deployed on a line with Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay.
"I'm excited to play with Tangs and Glenny's been playing well. I really liked playing with Staj, I feel like we play well together, but it seems like we're trying juggle things up and get more consistency from shift to shift. Hopefully it pays off tonight."
CAMMALLERI OVER TO LEFT WING
Hartley noted that the changes came about after watching his charges over the last two games and learning their tendencies.
"It's a little a bit about myself finding out a little bit more about my players," he said. "I met with them many times, I've talked to them over the phone, I've watched many game tapes but right now we're in game situations and I'm just trying to find the best fit for all of them.
"Cammy had two good games with the two kids on the right side but I feel, right now, with a couple of line juggling moves, I can put Cammy back on the left side. We'll see what it's going to bring us."
The Flames have picked up three wins in their last four games against Vancouver. However, the Canucks have won three of the last four games at Rogers Arena.
Two of Calgary's last three victories in British Columbia have come in a shootout.
Two of the three games between the two clubs have been decided in extra time.
Last 10 vs. Vancouver: 4-2-2
Last 10 in Vancouver: 3-6-1
FUN FACT FROM VANCOUVER
Flames backup netminder Leland Irving recorded his first NHL victory in Vancouver on Dec. 23, 2011, stopping 29 of 30 shots in a 3-1 Calgary win.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Mark Giordano needs 2 assists for 100.
Mikael Backlund needs 3 points for 50.
Michael Cammalleri needs 3 goals for 200.
Curtis Glencross needs 3 assists for 100. He also needs 4 goals for 100.
Lee Stempniak needs 4 assists for 150.