Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Wild

News and notes from the Flames morning skate

Saturday, 01.02.2014 / 10:33 AM / News
By Jason Johnson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@jay__jo)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Wild
News and notes from the Flames morning skate

STREAK ON THE LINE

The Flames will look to remain red hot tonight—on Western Night—in search of their fifth consecutive victory.

The last time Calgary strung a series of five straight wins together was in the spring of 2012. That streak also included a road win against the Minnesota Wild.

The Flames are the hottest team in the National Hockey League right now with their current streak and they have also found their offensive groove. The club has dined the twine 16 times in the past four games, which is a far cry from the near record display of futility they experienced in their last homestand.

Bob Hartley spoke about the new found compete after yesterday’s skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

“Just keep winning, just keep winning,” Hartley said. “It’s part of our culture. Right now, we’re demanding. We’re setting tight expectations. Even though we’re winning right now, you saw practice. We’re not going to put up with complacency or anything. We want to win the game just because that’s the game. We play to score goals and we play to win. That’s part of our job.”

CAMMALLERI READY TO GO

Michael Cammalleri was 100% and ready to go prior to Thursday’s tilt against the Sharks.

That is, until Bob Hartley saw the 30-year-old skate on Thursday morning.

It was Cammalleri’s first hard skate with the club after being sidelined for 8 games due to a concussion he suffered on January 12th. Hartley made a decision that morning to keep him out of the lineup for one more game, just to make sure.

“Cammy is a pro, he always works hard and takes care of himself,” Hartley said. “We even took a couple of extra days to make sure that he was feeling one hundred percent – two days ago he was at one hundred percent—but we discussed this and felt that altogether it was the right thing for Mike Cammalleri.”

“I think that Cammy has been consistent with all year. Obviously, he’s coming back from a concussion, but I think that we took the appropriate steps from a medical standpoint and also from a hockey department standpoint.”

Cammalleri agreed with his coach, saying the extra rest didn’t hurt anything.

“I had just got back, I had to be out of town for a few days and I had one real skate in three weeks,” Cammalleri said after the morning skate. “I maybe didn’t look so good out there. We talked to the coaches about it and Bob [Hartley] and I decided that maybe a couple more skates was the best thing. You want to get in the lineup; you want to help the team. That was really the extent of it.”

Cammalleri is ready to go tonight against the Wild and skated on a line with a pair of rookie forwards--Joe Colborne and Sean Monahan—at the Flames morning skate.

“It’s just fun to be back playing,” said Cammalleri. “The guys have been playing really well. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

CAMMY AND THE KIDS

Michael Cammalleri will skate on a line tonight with rookies, Joe Colborne and Sean Monahan.

When asked about lining up with the two kids, Cammalleri said he was looking forward to see how things would work.

“They’ve both been impressive this year,” he said. “I thought they’ve both showed the tip of the iceberg as far as both their potentials. I think they both have tremendous upside. I’m excited to get out there with them, have some fun, play some hockey and enjoy their youthful exuberance.”

Hartley explained that the play of his other units combined with the two-way play of his rookies, being the reason behind his decision to put Cammalleri with the two rookie forwards.

“First, number one, Staj line and Backs’ lines have been playing unbelievably well, so sometimes the danger of bringing one guy in [to the lineup] you don’t want to disrupt the entire chemistry—that’s one thing—and two, I think that Mony has made some unbelievable steps in the three zones, and so has Colby on the right side,” Hartley said. So putting Cammy in there, they can compliment themselves very well, and I still like the veteran figure on every line—We have Staj and Jonesy on one line then we have Stempy and Hoods with Backs and Cammy with Colby and Mony—I like this, I think it helps communication, we’ll see. Lines are not in cement, they can change quickly.”

Joe Colborne felt that the creativity that Cammalleri offers would complement the tri nicely, and had nothing but praise when asked about playing with the veteran.

“Well he better bring some energy,” Colborne quipped.“Monny and I have been feeling pretty good lately. We’re just excited to play with a guy who is such a dynamic offensive player and I feel like if you get him the puck anywhere in the offensive zone, whether it’s a bad angle or not, he’s going to find a way to put it in. It’s exciting.”

“He’s definitely a different player than Gally [Galiardi] is. Gally is more of a waterbug out there. He’s flying around. Cammy’s much more kind of a polished or he goes to the right spots and stuff like that. I think if we can continue to get on the forecheck like we were earlier, find pucks and get them out to Cammy, he’ll take care of the rest.”

RAMO TO START

As expected, Bob Hartley has given tonight’s starting assignment to Karri Ramo.

The 27-year-old will make his second consecutive start, and fifth in the past six contests. Ramo also saw some time in the only game he didn’t start, coming in to relieve Reto Berra on January 28th against the Blackhawks. Ramo would go on to collect his 10th win of the season in that game.

Ramo put on a very strong performance in the Flames 4-1 win over the Sharks on Thursday, making several acrobatic saves and surviving pockets of offensive flurries by the Sharks.

The Flames coach said on Saturday morning that neither one of his goaltenders has solidified the starting job, indicating that it’s strictly a performance based at this point.

“It’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of performance,” Hartley said. “Right now Karri Ramo has been playing very, very well. Early on {the season], Reto [Berra] went on a stretch of nine straight starts and he was playing very good, so that’s the situation we have with our two goalies. Two goalies that are capable of winning games and Kari right now is playing very well so he deserves to stay in.”

QUOTABLE

"We’re putting those guys in a position of strength and I’m sure that Cammy is going to be a big brother for those two young boys.” - Bob Hartley on Michael Cammalleri lining up with rookies Joe Colborne and Sean Monahan.

WESTERN NIGHT AT THE 'DOME

The Flames along with the Calgary Stampede are proud to host their annual Western Night tonight.

The game will feature Canadian country music superstar and Calgary’s own, Paul Brandt performing the National Anthems prior to puck drop.

Saturday night’s contest will feature a western theme throughout the game including appearances from the 2014 Calgary Stampede Royalty, the Guns of the Golden West and the Keister Family Fiddlers performing outside the West entrance prior to the game. Fans are encouraged to dress in western attire for the game.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

All-time vs. the Wild: 41-21-4-4-5

All-time vs. the Wild in Calgary: 23-7-3-2-2

Last 10 games vs. the Wild: 5-2-1-2

Last 10 games vs. the Wild in Calgary: 4-4-0-2

Minnesota and Calgary have alternated wins over the past four games. Calgary has won three of the last five games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The losing team has been held to one goal or less in 13 of the last 15 meetings at the 'Dome between the two clubs.

BROADCAST INFO

Tonight's battle with the Sharks will be broadcast on CBC Hockey Night in Canada (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio).