Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Jets
Notes from the Flames pre-game skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome
TAKING ON THE JETS
The Winnipeg Jets recently made a coaching change, releasing former head coach Claude Noel and bringing Paul Maurice as his replacement. The Jets responded to the coaching swap with a convincing 5-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday and are riding high from that victory.
"This team, they recently [got] a new coach so they're going to have a lot of energy," mused captain Mark Giordano.
"Any time you have a new coach or new people in your organization, guys are trying to prove themselves again."
That being said, the Flames are adamant that they stick to their game plan and not get wrapped up in what's happening on the opposition's bench.
"On our side, you have to park this," head coach Bob Hartley stressed. "Who the new voice, the new coach is ... it's our opponents. On our side, it doesn't change our preparation.
"Whether there's an injured guy coming back, whether there's a major trade, there's a new coach, it doesn't change our approach at all. It can't."
DOME SWEET DOME
The Flames haven't had the success they have wanted on home ice this season and tonight's game offers them the chance to get the ball rolling at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"It's time for us to reward ourselves and to reward our fans. Those guys are unbelievable. You look at our fans every game, it's packed. They're supporting us," Hartley stated.
"I think that they're understanding what we're going through and they're buying in but at the same time, let's find a way to leave tonight with a nice smile on everybody's face."
Giordano feels the best way to find success at home is quick, energetic starts. On Monday, the Flames came out flying against the Carolina Hurricanes and while they were unable to score a goal in the opening stanza, they did outshoot the Hurricanes 14-5 and gained a lot of momentum from that.
"We have to play like we did in Carolina. We weren't happy with our last game. I thought Nashville had more energy and played harder than us. We have to stop that right away."
The Flames are 7-13-3 on home ice this season.
GETTING OFF THE SCHNEID
Lee Stempniak was mired in a 17-game goal-less slump heading into Tuesday's match-up against the Nashville Predators but was able to shake the monkey off his back when he scored against Carter Hutton late in the first period.
"The last few games I played pretty well and had a lot of chances so it was nice to finally see one go in," the winger smiled.
"It's one of those things that when you're in the NHL, you've got to maintain your confidence. You've got to take ownership of that. It's something where you have to believe in yourself no matter what but if you score a goal, or a couple of goals, you definitely feel a bit lighter the next game. Hopefully it's a start of a good run here."
Through 40 games this year, Stempniak has scored seven goals and 15 points.
VERSUS THE JETS
All-time vs. the Jets: 8-5-1-0-0
All-time vs. the Jets in Calgary: 6-0-0-0-0
Last 10 games vs. the Jets: 7-3-0-0
Last 10 games vs. the Jets in Calgary: 6-0-0-0
The Flames have won all six games they've played against the Jets/Thrashers at the Scotiabank Saddledome and have scored four or more goals in five of those victories. The Flames have held the Jets to two or less goals in five of the six games they've played at the Saddledome.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
TJ Galiardi needs 5 points for 100
Jiri Hudler needs 2 games for 500.
Derek Smith needs 6 games for 100.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet-Flames (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio) at 7:00 PM MST.