Flames Today: 18.12.13
Notes from the Flames practice at the Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 18, 2013
LATE NIGHT, LATE START
The Flames were scheduled to fly right out of Boston after their game against the Bruins on Tuesday evening but Mother Nature waylaid their plans. The snow storm that hit the city delayed flights and the Flames didn't arrive in Detroit until the early morning.
Bob Hartley rescheduled and adjusted their practice to ensure his players were able to get adequate rest after their long night.
"You always have to understand that certain circumstances ... you can't control," Hartley explained. "We just worked on [the power play] - a nice casual practice but I think we still addressed some key issues that we wanted to get done.
"Give credit to the boys, they were sharp."
BOOSTING THE POWER PLAY
The majority of the Flames practice was focused on the power play, an area of their game they have struggled with.
Calgary is currently ranked 25th in the NHL with the man advantage and they're 26th in league when it comes to converting on the power play when on the road. They have scored just one power play marker in their last six games and three goals on their last 29 opportunities with the extra man.
"I think it's a case of when you start to focus on it too much," Joe Colborne mused. "You start over-thinking it and when you're thinking too much, you're a split second late with your reactions.
"You just almost have to trust in your ability and trust in what the coaches have put in practice. I think the repetition we put in today in practice will hopefully mean the guys can just go out and relax, just go with the flow. When you're reading and reacting, it's almost like it's tougher for the other team to read what you're going to do. Things open up and you can take advantage of it."
While the power play isn't where they want it to be, the Flames have been quite solid on the penalty kill recently. The two blemishes in their last four games came in Boston where Zdeno Chara scored twice but otherwise, they have been great on the kill.
Matt Stajan, one of the Flames best penalty killers, feels that once the power play gets going again, special teams play could have a huge impact in tight games for his club.
"They're separate entities," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "I think if you get both going at the same time, you're going to win a lot of hockey games and teams that go on winning streaks ... you look at their special teams, they have both going during those stretches."
CAMMALLERI BACK WITH THE TEAM
Mike Cammalleri was unable to play on Tuesday in Boston due to the flu and the team opted to keep him in New England overnight as a precaution. He flew to Detroit this morning and was able to take part in practice. Barring a setback, he should be returning to the lineup tomorrow night.
"He's good," Hartley said. "Obviously he feels a little empty but we'll reload him today and tomorrow he's going to be good to go."
RAMO TO START IN DETROIT
The Flames will go with Karri Ramo in net against the Red Wings on Thursday night. He has started two games on this road swing, in Buffalo and New York, while Reto Berra was in net on Tuesday in the 2-0 loss to the Bruins.
"We want to create a competition between the two," Hartley said. "Both losses, I don't think we can blame them on our goalies, but at the same time, we want to create a habit over here - they know we're looking for potential to be a number one goalie in the NHL from both guys.
"I don't think both guys could have done much more than they've done in the past two games but that's a situation where I think that there's very little differences - there's lots of differences in style - but in results, in between the two, I think both guys are capable of getting us some big wins and big performances."
FLAMES-RED WINGS BROADCAST INFO
Tomorrow's game in Detroit will air at 5:30 PM MST on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The FAN.