Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Oilers
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome
FACING HIS FORMER TEAM
Ladislav Smid will square against the Edmonton Oilers tonight for the first time since he was traded to the Flames and he's eager to battle his former teammates.
"I'm really excited for this game," he said after practice. "It's always fun to get out there in the Battle Of Alberta and especially for me. It's going to be a little bit different since I'm part of the Flames now."
Smid is expecting a fast-paced battle tonight with, perhaps, a few more hits directed at him than usual.
"Probably they're going to be dumping a lot more pucks in my corner, maybe," he grinned. "We'll see."
Head coach Bob Hartley encourages his players to harness that excitement and enthusiasm that Smid spoke about as it can give an individual a boost of energy throughout the game.
"That's always special. A big Saturday night game, playing the Oilers. The table is set so let's sit down and have a good dinner."
BERRA IN, SOME ROSTER CHANGES
Hartley announced on Friday that Reto Berra will get the start tonight. It will be the Swiss netminder's sixth start since being recalled from the Abbotsford Heat on Nov. 2.
The bench boss also noted that there would be some lineup changes tonight with Lance Bouma and Derek Smith back in after sitting as healthy scratches on Thursday. The scratches tonight won't be determined until after pre-game warm-ups.
FLAMES TAKE DAY TO RECHARGE
On Friday, the Flames were slated to skate at 11:00 AM but Hartley felt the best thing for his charges was to spend some time off of the ice. The team held meetings, worked out in the gym and allowed themselves to have a chance to mentally reboot after two tough home games this week.
"We've hit a bump in the road and right now, I [think it's best] to be with them, show the appreciation of what they've done since the summer and we didn't forget about this," Hartley said. "And at the same time, just to have a good day to cool off. Today, looking at how they were in the meeting and how they were on the ice, there is smiles out there."
VS. THE OILERS
All-time vs. the Oilers: 106-86-19-3
All-time vs. the Oilers in Calgary: 61-34-9-1
Last 10 games vs. the Oilers: 6-4-0
Last 10 games vs. the Oilers in Calgary: 8-2-0
2012-13 season series: 2-2-0
Lee Stempniak led the Flames in scoring against the Oilers last season, recording one goal and four points in four outings. Tim Jackman trailed him by one point, notching three assists against the Flames provincial rivals in three games.
"We're playing a team basically in the same situation as us. It's going to help the winner and it's going to get the loser even deeper. That's the truth of this situation. Today, we can say whatever we want. We're going to see at 8:00 PM which team is on the ball. I have confidence in our guys." - Hartley on the Battle Of Alberta
BY THE NUMBERS
Mike Cammalleri leads the Flames with a 27.6 shooting percentage ... Stajan sits in second with a 21.4 shooting percentage.
Wideman has fired 48 shots on net this year, leading all Calgary skaters ... Stempniak and Kris Russell are right behind him with 41 and 40, respectively.
Rookie Sean Monahan has been entrusted with a lot of the responsibility in the face-off circle. He has taken 278 draws, leading all Flames skaters ... Backlund has taken 251 and Stajan has taken 214.
Monahan has battled the Oilers earlier this year, at the 2013 Young Stars Classic in Penticton. He had one goal and was a plus-two in Calgary's 5-2 win over Edmonton at the tournament.
Joe Colborne and Monahan lead the Flames in face-off wins at home. Colborne has won 53 draws at the Scotiabank Saddledome while Monahan has won 51 face-offs on home ice.
Tonight's edition of the Battle Of Alberta can be viewed on CBC's Hockey Night In Canada at 8:00 PM MST. Sportsnet 960 The FAN will carry the radio broadcast.