Morning Skate Report: 17.04.13
KIPPER CLOSING OUT HOME DATES
The Calgary Flames have two games remaining in their home schedule this season and longtime franchise face Miikka Kiprusoff will be between the pipes for both.
It could be the final starts on Scotiabank Saddledome ice for Kiprusoff, who will make a decision on whether or not to play next year sometime this summer.
The 'what if' of Kiprusoff's decision didn't factor into coach Bob Hartley's plan.
"Well what could be. I don't think that Miikka knows himself," Hartley said. "It's tough to always make decision on if and when and what. If we would go by this, coaching would get pretty tough. I deal in schedules, I don't deal in contracts plus we still have some games to go. We still have some games to go so for me, Miikka is a regular player and he's being treated like everyone else."
Still, the coach admitted there's some sentimental attachment to the 36-year-old goaltender who holds a plethora of Flames' goaltending records.
"As you can see, Michael Cammalleri played his 600th game, he started the game. Every rookie that has started with us was on the opening faceoff," Hartley said. "But with Miikka, there's possibilities but like I said before, I don't base decisions on possibilities. I like facts. It makes it tough but at the same time, Miikka's starting tonight and he's going to start on Friday night and after this, one guy has to make that decision and it's Miikka."
Curtis Glencross isn't sure whether or not this will be the last time the Flames' faithful will get to see Kiprusoff on home ice.
He just knows he hopes it isn't.
"We're all hoping this isn't his last stint here at home," Glencross said. "If he chooses to make that decision, I feel that's his decision. He's the face of this organization, a franchise guy and I can't say enough about him."
He came to the rink on Wednesday looking a bit more conservative.
Hanowski, along with his St. Cloud teammates, had been growing hair out for Locks Of Love (www.locksoflove.org), a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces for children suffering from hair loss from any diagnosis. On Tuesday, he cut his mane and shipped it off to the charity.
"It feels really good," he said. "The group of guys that I did it with are a great group of guys and we had a lot of fun with it. It wasn't easy but it was a lot of fun towards the end and it was a great cause. It was a cool adventure and a cool experience for me."
The rest of his teammates cut their hair on Sunday. Flying to Calgary in time to make his National Hockey League debut on Monday, Hanowski had to wait an extra few days.
"They actually got it cut on Sunday when I came up here so I kind of got left out," he said. "It hurt my feelings a little bit so I figured I'd get it done and cut it. It was a cool experience and it was fun to do it with that great group of guys."
A few teammates didn't recognize the 21-year-old without his flow.
"We kind of asked when he got here 'What's going on with the hair?' and he said it was for charity," Curtis Glencross said. "We all respect that, obviously and he's almost looking like a new guy this morning. Stretching in the weight room, I had to do a double take and look to see who it was."
WINGS EXPERIENCE 'PRICELESS'
For the fourth consecutive game, the Flames will square off against a Western Conference opponent pushing towards a playoff position.
After taking a point from the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, effectively ending the postseason aspirations of the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and putting a scare into the Minnesota Wild on Monday, Calgary has an opportunity to put a dent in the drive of the Detroit Red Wings.
With a young squad, that experience can prove invaluable according to Hartley.
"Like the commercial, it's priceless," he said. "It's great because we're playing teams that they're fighting for a playoff spot so you know they're going to put their best players in every possible situation and for us, we're going to match it. We're going to match it with some youngsters and its going to be interesting to see how they react.
"If you imagine a Ben Hanowski or a Baertschi or a Horak, they'll face Zetterberg and Datsyuk and those guys. This is a big 'wow' in their career and it can be a big eye opener also."
With 47 points, the Red Wings are currently in the eighth and final playoff spot.