Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Blues
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome
A GREAT CHALLENGE
After a tough loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, the Flames are looking at tonight's battle with the St. Louis Blues as a way to redeem themselves and as a test to see where they stand against one of the top teams in the league.
"We know how deep, how big, how fast the Blues are but that's the way they were two and half weeks ago," head coach Bob Hartley said, referencing the 4-3 shootout victory over the Blues back on Dec. 23. "On our side, the process doesn't change. We have goals that are set for the players. We keep reminding [them of] those.
"I think that whenever you have the St. Louis Blues facing off against you, you know that you're going to be in for a night of battles, a night of hard work. That's what we want to be also."
Tonight's game also gives the Flames an opportunity to improve their home record. Right now, they're 7-11-3 at the Scotiabank Saddledome, a record that doesn't sit well with defenceman Chris Butler.
"We've got to get back to playing well on home ice," the rearguard stated. "We haven't done a good job here lately and we need to get back to having quick starts, skating, and making sure we've got every single guy going in the game."
A BOOST FROM THE LAST CGY-STL MATCH-UP
The St. Louis Blues, who currently sit third in the Western Conference with 65 points, haven't lost a game since Dec. 23 when they fell 4-3 to the Flames in a shootout. Captain Mark Giordano scored with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the the game up and Joe Colborne notched the lone goal in the shootout, securing the victory for the Flames.
There is no the doubt the Blues remember the valiant comeback from the Flames and will be ready to go as soon as the puck drops but that game also could give Calgary an extra boost of confidence.
"I'm sure they'll be ready for us. Obviously they're a good team. They play the same way every night," Shane O'Brien said. "As for us, this year it seems like we've elevated our game when good teams have come in to play us or when we've gone in to play good teams.
"I think we lead the league, are top of the league, in one-goal games so we're in every game. We're excited for this challenge again."
JONES STILL OUT
David Jones did not practice this morning and is not expected to play tonight. The forward is suffering from an eye infection.
PRACTICING THE POWER PLAY
The Flames went through special teams drills this morning and utilized these units on the power play:
The Flames have converted on 17.2 per cent of their power play opportunities at home and 14 per cent overall this year.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
TJ Galiardi needs 6 points for 100.
Derek Smith needs 6 games for 100.
Jiri Hudler needs 6 games for 500.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The FAN at 7:00 PM MST.