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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Coyotes

Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix, Arizona

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 4:15 PM / News
By Jason Johnson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@jay__jo)

COLBORNE FINDING HIS STRIDE

Joe Colborne had an impressive out last night in Denver during the win against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Calgary, Alberta product, who is 20 days removed from his 24th birthday, earned a goal and assisted on Michael Cammalleri’s game winning marker with just over three minutes remaining in the contest.

His performance is especially remarkable when you consider that he only logged 11:41 of ice time. Colborne also collected two shots, a pair of hits and a blocked shot.
Bob Hartley was singing the praises of his young pivot this morning after a brief team meeting in Phoenix.

“Joe was really good [last night]”, Hartley said. “I thought he was really good in the second and third [periods]. First period I thought he had trouble getting moving.”

“The one thing about Joe Colborne is his vision,” Hartley continued. “He has a great feel for the game; he’s a great passer around the net. Just look at the play on the winning goal [from last night], He came in to use his size and gain puck retrieval, got it on the far side to Huds and then to Cammy and ban, it’s in the net.”

“He’s finding his way into the NHL and has a lot to offer and he’s willing to learn. I feel that in many games we’re seeing a pretty impressive learning curve.”

MOOD SWINGS

It’s amazing what a win can do.

The Flames were mired in a four-game skid, only managing to find the back of the net on a single occasion in that span before they faced off in Denver last night.

The group was quiet and tense. But everything changed after last night.

“Just come in to the room after a win and the music is playing and guys are loud,” Flames bench boss Bob Hartley said. “Come in after a loss and there’s no more music and it’s quiet; guys are searching for answers and solutions. It’s a very emotional business, it’s a roller coaster and there’s nothing like winning.”

Flames blueliner Ladislav Smid echoed his coach’s comments.

“It was great. Everybody knows we went through a tough stretch with scoring only one goal in the past four games,” Smid indicated. “It was nice to bounce back on the road against Colorado, they are a very skilled team and they’ve been playing pretty good at home.”

“[It was a] huge win and hopefully we can carry it on into next game.”

MILESTONE NIGHT

Lee Stempniak and Ladislav Smid with both enjoy milestones tonight in Phoenix.

Smid, who joined the Flames by way of trade with the Edmonton Oilers, will suit up for the 500th time in his NHL career. A milestone he is very proud of.

“I’m really proud of 500 games. It’s a really big accomplishment,” said Smid. “I remember the first [NHL] game against Calgary and my first NHL goal against Columbus.

Those would be the best moments I remember but I hope there is still more to come.”

Smid has spent all but 25 games with the Edmonton Oilers. His career kicked off in the 2006-07 season after spending a year in the American Hockey League with the Portland Pirates.

Stempniak has played in exactly 100 more contests than Smid. The 30-year-old from West Seneca, New York was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2003 NHL Draft, 148th overall.

His career began with the Blues in 2005-06 where he spent the next four seasons. Stempniak has also had stops in Toronto and Phoenix before being dealt to the Flames in exchange for Daymond Lankow in August of 2011.

Lee Stempniak has accumulated 321 points in 599 NHL games.

MILESTONES WITHIN REACH

Ladislav Smid needs 1 game for 500.

Lee Stempniak needs 1 game for 600.

TJ Galiardi needs 7 points for 100.

Derek Smith needs 6 games for 100.

Jiri Hudler needs8 games for 500.

BROADCAST INFO

Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet Flames (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio).