Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Blues
JOSTLING WITH JAYBO
The Flames will face off against their former teammate Jay Bouwmeester for the first time since he was dealt to the St. Louis Blues on Apr. 1. The rearguard spent three and a half seasons with the club, suiting up for 279 games and recording 97 points (18 goals, 79 assists).
"I played with him for the last two and half years so to see him in a different uniform will be a little different," Tim Jackman told CalgaryFlames.com. "But it will be fun too. You get to play against one of the best defencemen in the league.
"He's got a great stick and he's always in position and he plays a lot. He's going to be on the ice a lot and he makes a good first pass so we have to pressure him."
The man himself isn't feeling any extra pressure heading into tonight's game. He's been through this experience before, during his tenure with the Flames, when he squared off against the Florida Panthers years ago.
"It's always different," he mused. "You make friendships. On the personal side of things, you have a lot of relationships and it's good to see everyone and all of that. Once the game starts, you just play the game. Guys play against each other all the time.
"Nowadays, you usually know five or six guys on the other team. I don't look at it as anything really significant."
Right now, Bouwmeester's focus is on helping his club climb the Western Conference ladder as the regular season comes to a close. The Blues clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night, meaning Bouwmeester will get his first taste of the postseason and the Flames will get St. Louis' first-round pick at the 2013 NHL Draft.
"It's exciting. It's something that I've wanted and have been looking forward to for a long time," he said. "That's what everyone wants. You play the game because you want to win and to get that opportunity will be fun."
CUNDARI MAKES HIS ST. LOUIS DEBUT
Mark Cundari, who was acquired in the Bouwmeester trade, will face his former team for the first time and while the young defenceman is excited to get into the lineup tonight, he's treating it like any other game.
"I've been in this dressing room a couple times before, camps and whatnot, but to be playing for another team, it's different," he said, gesturing around the visitors locker room. "I've got to play my game. It's the NHL so I've got to be as good as I can out there.
"I don't think I'm more motivated, it's still my first couple of games in the league, and every game for me is exciting. This one just has a little cherry on top ... for me, it's just another game actually."
The blueliner made his NHL debut on Sunday night in St. Paul, MN and scored his first goal and assist in a 4-1 win over the Wild. He was firing on all cylinders that night and, somehow, he managed to up his intensity another couple of notches on Tuesday in Nashville. His gung-ho style, however, was a bit of detriment in the game against the Preds as he was caught too far up in the play a couple of times that night.
In his third NHL contest, he's looking to play a more scaled-back, defensively-sound game.
"Getting that defensive game back where it needs to be," he said. "I kind of put a little pressure on myself after that first game to produce more. I don't need to; (I need to) let the game come to me. Being solid defensively is all I need to do."
Head coach Bob Hartley passed along tonight's lineup card to CalgaryFlames.com:
Roman Cervenka notched his first multi-goal game against St. Louis earlier this year. On Mar. 24, he scored in the first and second period, helping push the Flames to a 3-2 win over the Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Cervenka's 18.4% shooting percentage (9/49) is ranked 13th in the NHL. He has four points (three goals, one helper) in his last three games.
Four Flames have scored short-handed goals this season: Steve Begin, Curtis Glencross, Alex Tanguay and Mark Giordano. Lee Stempniak has three short-handed assists to his name this year, which is tops in the league.
FLAMES VS. THE CENTRAL DIVISION & ST. LOUIS
Calgary has gone 6-6-1 against Central Division teams this season. In their last ten games versus the Blues, the Flames are 6-4-0 and have a 6-4-0 record in their last ten stops at the Scottrade Center.
The Flames have won six of their last nine contests in St. Louis.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Jiri Hudler needs 3 goals for 100.
Cory Sarich needs 2 points for 150.