Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Coyotes
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale
PATIENCE IS KEY
The Phoenix Coyotes present a different challenge than the first three teams the Flames faced on their five-game road swing. They're a frustrating bunch who grind out games and are extremely disciplined.
Patience, and sticking to the game plan, is crucial for success against the Coyotes.
"I think the biggest key for the Coyotes is definitely their balance," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. "You look up front and they have some big forward, some guys who can play very well offensively or defensively on the blueline.
"You have Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson who are such great puck-moving defencemen, such great skaters, that they will always you a chance for a second wave."
Joey MacDonald will take over in net tonight. The veteran goalie has a 3-1-1 record this year with a 2.99 GAA and a .891 save percentage. MacDonald's last game was in Anaheim on Oct. 16. He made 19 saves on 22 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Ducks.
The Coyotes will likely go with their starter, Mike Smith, tonight. The 31-year-old is 4-2-2 this season with a 2.83 GAA and a .916 save percentage. The netminder presents a challenge for opponents not only due to his presence in the net, but also in his play outside of the blue paint.
According to Hartley, the team must be aware of his tendency to play the puck and be ready for him to assist in Phoenix's transition game with outlet passes.
"I think he, with Martin Brodeur, are the two best puck-moving goalies in the league," Hartley assessed.
POWERFUL POWER PLAY
"A real gutsy effort." Hartley said last night at the Staples Center. "We knew coming here it would be physical and it would be power plays on both sides. We won the special teams battle."
Calgary's power play is currently clicking at 23.5 per cent overall - good for sixth in the league. On the road, they have converted on 20.8 per cent of their power play chances.
POTENTIAL LINEUP CHANGES
There may be a a couple of lineup changes tonight but that won't be confirmed until after warm-ups at the Jobing.com Arena.
"We had a few bumps and bruises last night so there may be game-time decisions," Hartley said.
TWO ADDITIONS ON THE TRIP
Matt Stajan and David Jones have joined the Flames in Arizona. They are cleared to practice with the team. Stajan suffered a deep leg contusion on Oct. 3 in Washington and has been sidelined since. Jones suffered an upper body injury on Oct. 9 in a game against the Montreal Canadiens.
VERSUS THE COYOTES
All-time vs. the Coyotes franchise: 80-66-20-6
All-time vs. the Coyotes in Glendale: 12-13-2-4
Last 10 games vs. the Coyotes in Glendale: 4-4-2
MacDonald played in 2 games against the Coyotes last year, going 2-0-0. Both games were at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Mike Cammalleri needs 2 assists for 250.
Kris Russell needs 3 points for 100.
Tim Jackman needs 7 games for 400.
Mark Giordano needs 8 games for 400.
TJ Galiardi needs 10 points for 100.
The Flames fly to Dallas on Wednesday and will take on the Stars on Thursday night (6:30 PM MST, SNET-W & The FAN 960), wrapping up their five-game road trip.