Flames Today: 25.02.13
COMEBACK SPARKS CONFIDENCE
Turning what looked to be a 4-3 regulation loss into a 5-4 win in the dying minutes against the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday night, a renewed sense of confidence has been sparked in the offense of the Calgary Flames.
“Those wins are huge for your club,” he said. “It shows a lot of character that the game is done after 60 minutes and not before. We scored two goals in the last two minutes. That gives you an extra spark and that shows you we have an ability to do things like that. It gives you confidence, especially if we come back like this.”
“fans go crazy. You feel the electricity on the bench,” he said. “You get in the room, the music is loud. It’s almost like a playoff room. Obviously, that leaves some good feelings but on the other end, you can’t sit on this because the next morning you have to look at the standings and say we still have a ways to go.”
With the regulation win, the Flames jumped two points in the standings. Equally as important, the Coyotes remained stationary.
“That’s huge, yes,” he said. “Right now with so many overtime games that goes into both conferences that when you can win two points over a conference rival – and that’s all we’re playing this year – it’s huge because you’re making up ground and they’re staying there. It’s definitely very important.”
‘DOME SUCCESS MARKS ROAD OPTIMISM
Hartley will be the first to admit the Calgary Flames have been a better team on the road this season.
So winning back-to-back games at home before departing for a two-game set against the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche makes the coach that much more optimistic in closing out February strong.
“We won the last two over here in front of our fans and now we’re going for two on the road," Hartley said. "Our plan is to play two great games there and come back in front of our fans and play hard for them.”
The pair of wins improved Calgary to 4-5-2 at home. Away from Scotiabank Saddledome, the team is 3-2-1.
“You want to keep it in perspective,” Mike Cammalleri said. “It’s just two games but it’s nice to string two together and now lets see if we can’t keep that going. I’m excited about the opportunity to try to keep winning here.”
A win in Minnesota would put the Flames over the .500 mark for the first time this season. Cammalleri is well aware.
“We’ve flirted with it a few times and we haven’t capitalized,” he said. “I’d like to see us get excited about the opportunity of improving here, more of a big picture thought.
“My thought on that is you don’t think of it as a one-game thing, you think about it as lets not worry about the result. Lets worry about playing a better hockey game than we have and if we do that, chances are the result will chase us.”
KIPRUSOFF TAKES OPTIONAL
For the first time since suffering a Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff joined teammates on the ice during Monday’s optional team skate before departing for Minnesota.
Hartley called the skate progress.
“He’s feeling some pucks,” he said. “Clint is working with him around his crease. The medical staff is good with how he’s progressing. Miikka feels good, just needs a little bit more time.”
With the magnitude of the injury, there’s no rushing Kiprusoff back between the pipes. With Joey MacDonald holding the fort, Hartley has no plans of throwing Kiprusoff in the crease until all parties involved are comfortable.
“I don’t think that as much as we know what Miikka represents for the entire organization, there’s no sense putting any of our players at risk out there, especially going back,” Hartley said. “We want to keep moving forward. When Miikka and the medical staff feel they are ready to move to the next step, you’ll see him with us.”