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Flames Today: 29.01.13

Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 2:01 PM MT / News
By Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)
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Flames Today: 29.01.13


Speaking to the media for the first time since making his debut with the Calgary Flames, Jiri Hudler said he was happy with his performance in the club’s 4-3 over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

“It was the first game, everybody got excited, me too,” said Hudler, who recorded his first point on Lee Stempniak's eventual game winner. “It goes two ways, bad or good. This one went alright but now we have some tough games coming up that’s going to show where we are.”

Hudler, who joined the Flames after playing 406 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, is hoping that the line of he, Roman Cervenka and Matt Stajan can continue developing the momentum established against the Oilers.

“I don’t really know how long it’s going to take but the good thing is the first game showed that we can play together and we did a lot of good things so we’ve got to stay with it and get better,” he said.

Impressed, Hartley likes what he’s seen out of the trio thus fair.

“Every day that we’re on the ice and those three guys are together, we’re certainly developing good chemistry,” he said.


While most figured he had been brought in to play down the middle, the plan from Hartley is to keep Cervenka on the wing for the time being.

“Right now we want him to get comfortable with our system, to get comfortable with the game in North America, to adjust to the new rink and all this,” Hartley said.

There’s no urgency from the coaching staff to try the Czech standout down the middle with the success from the likes of 23-year-old Mikael Backlund and converted center Alex Tanguay.

But that versatility is nice to have should he need it, said Hartley.

“I feel right now what we have going at center, the boys are doing good but it’s always an option,” he said. “To have extra guys that can play center is always a luxury for a coach.”


Using Calgary’s four-day break between games as a second training camp, Hartley is spending his time on the ice cultivating a certain familiarity among his forward core.

More specifically, Hartley is pairing off forwards up front.

“What I’m trying to identify here is at least two guys that can definitely play together on every line and after this if we get injuries or if things don’t go the way that we feel they should be going, I have options to rotate in my lineup but right now it’s still very early,” Hartley said.


Sven Baertschi left Flames practice this morning after taking a tumble in a special teams drill.

Baertschi left under his own power but exited for the dressing room and didn’t rejoin his teammates on the ice.

“Little injury,” said Hartley. “We’re going to know more. I’m just assuming that it’s nothing bad but he couldn’t keep going so the medical staff are working on him right now.

“We should know more by tomorrow.”