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Flames Today: 25.11.13

Notes from the Flames practice at WinSport on Nov. 25, 2013

Monday, 25.11.2013 / 2:41 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Flames Today: 25.11.13
Notes from the Flames practice at WinSport on Nov. 25, 2013

GALIARDI LEAVES PRACTICE

Forward TJ Galiardi needed to be helped to the locker room mid-way through practice after suffering back spasms.

"I'm on the bench and the trainers told me he seized up," head coach Bob Hartley said after the Flames skate at WinSport. "Obviously we're going to treat him and there's not much else [we know today.]"

If Galiardi is deemed unable to play on Wednesday against the Blackhawks, the Flames will likely roll out the lineup they utilized in Friday's 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers.

"We still have plenty of players," Hartley said.

Blair Jones, who was recalled from Abbotsford last week, jumped into the lineup on Friday while Galiardi sat as a healthy scratch in the game against the Panthers. Jones skated on a line with Brian McGrattan and Mikael Backlund this morning, the same line he played on against Florida.

SMID FITTING IN NICELY

Defenceman Ladislav Smid has suited up for six games with the Flames since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers and the 27-year-old is fitting in nicely with his new team.

"It's been going pretty well," the rearguard told CalgaryFlames.com. "We have a great group of guys here and I'm excited to be here."

The biggest adjustment for Smid has been learning the systems the Flames implement but his time in Edmonton has actually helped make the transition easier.

"I had five different coaches in Edmonton and every coach brought a different system. Here, I had to learn a different system again. It's an adjustment and I'm still adapting but I feel that every game, I get a little bit better."

SHOOTOUT STRATEGY

The Flames were victorious in not one, but two shootouts last week and both were lengthy affairs. In the 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 18, it required eight shooters to decide a winner while the 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Nov. 22 went to six shooters.

The coaching staff puts a lot of thought into the order of shooters they run through, monitoring players in practices to see which players are best suited to the shootout.

"It starts in practice," Hartley explained. "Tomorrow, we're going to work on shootouts again. From the start of the year, we haven't had very many so we base [decisions] on practice.

"But right now, we had two in a row and as you saw, some of our order has changed. We try to go with the good cards ... there is no magic formula. We won our last two games and we're pretty confident in some players."

One player who has moved up in the shooting order is rookie Sean Monahan. The 19-year-old came up with big performances last week, scoring the game-winner in both shootouts.

"Like the Dow Jones, he's going up," Hartley chuckled.

Monahan is thrilled that the coaching staff have trusted him in such pressure-filled situations and is looking forward to taking part in more shootouts this season

"As a team, we know we've got to do whatever we can to get points. If it comes down to a shootout, that's something we're going to need to win. We've got great goaltending and a lot of good guys who can put the puck in the net in the shootout.

"Hopefully I can be one of those guys in upcoming games, if we have that opportunity, or in the future."

QUOTABLE

"I think they would tap on my shoulder [after] 12 forwards and five defenceman ... I'm safe." - Smid on his chances in participating in a shootout

UP NEXT

The Flames play host to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM MST (TSN, FAN 960). Calgary has clashed with Chicago once this season, upending the Blackhawks 3-2 in OT on Nov. 3.

"We played hard and we had a good start," Monahan said of the victory in Illinois. "We played hard, we wanted it, we played the full 60 and it worked."