Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Leafs
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome
FACING HIS FORMER TEAM
Centre Joe Colborne will face off against his former team for the first time since being traded to the Calgary Flames on Sept. 28 and while he is excited to square off against his old teammates, for the most part, he is treating tonight as any other game.
"Obviously you want to show well against your old team," he said after the morning skate. "We just had a team meeting and it is just another game for us. We have quite a few ex-Leafs on this team so we've all been kind of joking with it.
"It's a bigger deal for you guys than it is for us."
The 23-year-old has been steadily progressing since jumping into the lineup on Oct. 4. He's looked more composed on the ice and has been earning more ice time as the season rolls along. He credits confidence for the rise.
"I've been feeling great, especially the last few games. I think a lot of it comes down to gaining the trust of the coaching staff and having them believe in you. It's kind of a snowball effect; once you start to get more confidence then they get more confidence in you.
"It continues to grow that way."
Head coach Bob Hartley has loved what he has seen from the Calgary product.
"Joe is a great student of the game. I think that he plays a very simple game but at the same time, he is very effective. He's a big body, he's using his size well. He's been very creative offensively and has shown an unbelievable willingness to learn the game defensively."
Colborne has one goal and three points through 10 games this season.
A BOOST FROM SATURDAY
After winning just one of the five games on their road swing last week, the Flames looked as if they were slowing down from the pace they were playing at to start the season. With the Washington Capitals in town on Saturday, they had a steep challenge in front of them and critics wondered if they could hack the high-flying Caps.
They responded boldly.
The Flames handed Washington a 5-2 loss last Saturday and it has revived their energy.
"Coming back from the road, we had a good team meeting," Hartley stated. "We all basically challenged ourselves to refocus, re-energize - making sure that we remembered what allowed us to get that good start."
The Leafs have a talented group of forwards led by Phil Kessel, who is currently tied for second in league scoring with 18 points in 13 games. He is coming off a three-point game against the Edmonton Oilers last night and if the Flames want to leave the Saddledome with two points tonight, they need to minimize the Madison, WI native's chances.
"First before trying to stop him, we'll try to contain him," Hartley said. "We have watched quite a few of the Leafs games in the past week and he's been very impressive. He's been very dominant and even with Bozak out of the lineup, last night with Kadri, they didn't miss a beat ... just to show the depth of this organization right now.
"It's a good challenge."
RAMO IN NET
Hartley has confirmed Karri Ramo will get the start tonight against the Leafs.
"The way it worked out is pretty awesome. [I got] to come home and the support I've got from my teammates and management and family and friends has been awesome." - Colborne on being acquired by the Flames just over a month ago
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Mike Cammalleri needs 1 assist for 250.
Tim Jackman needs 6 games for 400.
TJ Galiardi needs 8 points for 100.
Tonight's game can be seen on TSN. Sportsnet 960 The FAN will carry the radio broadcast with play-by-play from Peter Maher and colour commentary from Peter Peter Loubardias. The puck drops at 6:00 PM MST.