Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Islanders (Regina)

Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at the Brandt Centre in Regina, SK

Tuesday, 17.09.2013 / 3:24 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Islanders (Regina)

RAMO TAKES THE REINS

Karri Ramo is set to play the full game in Regina. He backed Reto Berra up last night in Saskatoon.

The 27-year-old played the first half of the split-squad game in Edmonton on Saturday night. In his 28:15 of ice time, he stopped 13 of 17 shots.

The Flames acquired the netminder's rights in the trade that brought Michael Cammalleri in from the Montreal in January 2012. Ramo signed a two-year deal with the Flames on July 5, 2013.

CULKIN BACK IN

Ryan Culkin sat out of Monday's tilt with the Ottawa Senators in Saskatoon but will play tonight in Regina. The Montreal, QC product played on Saturday in Calgary against the Oilers and is hoping to build off of that game.

"It was a great experience playing at the Saddledome. I was a little bit intimidated in the beginning but after the first couple of shifts, I got into and I thought I played well," Culkin said after an hour-long morning skate at the Brandt Centre. "I kept up with the pace and hopefully I'll repeat that tonight."

Head coach Bob Hartley has not been shy about handing rookies a ton of minutes in exhibition games or playing his young charges alongside one another. Tonight, Culkin will play with Patrick Sieloff on the blueline and he is looking forward to hitting the ice with his fellow 2012 NHL Draft pick.

"He finishes his checks. He's a guy who you hate to play against but love to have on your team. I'm glad he's my d-partner tonight.

"We've got to communicate non-stop out there ... Sieloff and I are going to just keep it simple and play our game."

A WHIRLWIND TRIP

The Flames two-day trip to Saskatchewan has been jam-packed with practices, meetings and games but that doesn't mean Hartley and the team haven't managed to get a quick glimpse of the cities.

When asked about his thoughts on playing at the Brandt Centre and Regina, Hartley praised the city and what he has seen in his short time here.

"We came in late last night but this morning, we met a former Prime Minister on the street so we had a good chat with him. We saw the park, we saw the downtown. I don't think I'll get a job at the tourist office this afternoon but what we saw is pretty nice."

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

With so many young players in the lineup, Flames veterans are not only trying to get themselves back in regular season form - they're also assisting the rookies as they get acclimatized to the pace of the NHL.

Many players on the Flames training camp roster have limited or no NHL experience and are relying on the most established guys to lead them on the ice. According to Chris Butler, the best thing he and his fellow veterans can do for their young counterparts is keep an open line of communication.

"Just talk to them," Butler summarized. "Talk through situations. If there's a miscommunication or if something happens during a shift, you talk about it on the bench and make sure that we're playing a nice, relaxed game.

"Keeping things simple."

Butler was paired up with 19-year-old Sieloff on Monday night and was impressed with the poise the young rearguard has displayed in training camp.

"For him, he's a smart, good, stay-at-home defenceman and you just need to let him know that he doesn't need to change that. He needs to whatever he's done to get to this point and he needs to continue to do that to perfect his craft."

SCRATCHES

David Eddy, Braden Lamb and Butler will sit tonight in Regina. Goaltender Joni Ortio is with the team in Regina but is not expected to dress.

BROADCAST INFO

The game in Regina will not be broadcast. CalgaryFlames.com will provide a live game blog throughout the evening. It can be found HERE.