Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Kings
News, notes and anecdotes from the Flames morning skate on Monday
The Los Angeles Kings are the hottest team in the NHL right now.
The Kings have yet to lose since returning from the Olympic break and are currently riding a seven game winning streak, most recently coming out on top in a 4-2 victory over the Oilers last night—a game which they fired 50 shots on the Edmonton goal.
Flames captain Mark Giordano admitted the Kings can be an intimidating team to play against, given their size, but says the Flames must use their speed to counter the physicality.
"We have to use our speed, we can’t get into that game with them," said Giordano after the morning skate. "They’re a big team that forechecks really hard. We have to try to use our speed and get in on the forecheck and try to grind it out as well but almost in a different way."
Forward Mike Cammalleri indicated there is no need for additional preparation when playing the Kings or any other team which offers a physical brand of hockey, but says it’s a good way to get into the game.
"I think you’ve got to enjoy it; you have to enjoy the physicality of the game," Cammalleri said. "It’s a way to quickly engage yourself in the game—be ready to be hit or hit—that’s how we grew up playing the game and it should be a fun way to play.
So I don’t know if you have to do anything different to prepare except be ready for it and welcome it and enjoy it."
Bob Hartley reminded his team that the Kings don’t offer a lot of time and space and the Flames need to be aware.
"Keep your head up, pass the puck and don’t fall in love with marrying your pass because they’ll remind you that it’s a physical game," he said. “But they’re a big team and right now they are playing very well, they’re making a step up and for us I think it’s another great gauge."
HOME SWEET DOME
The Flames have found some success at the Scotiabank Saddledome lately.
They have only lost once in their past eight contests on home ice, falling 2-0 to their opponent tonight—the Kings—on February 27th.
Blueliner Mark Giorodano was satisfied with the way they played the Kings on that evening and if not for a hot goaltender the outcome might have been different.
"We feel like we played a good game against them the last time they were in here," he said. "I know we lost—they’re goalie played well—but if we can bring that energy that we brought [the last time] I think we’ll be okay."
The Flames captain feels his team has turned a corner with their attitude and the need to win is much more prevalent inside the locker room.
"We’re playing hard, we’ve been playing hard all year and I think we’re getting over that hump where we’re not just satisfied playing hard," the captain explained. "We want to get wins and I think that the last few home games especially we’ve found ways to get those victories which is nice to see."
Flames coach Bob Hartley pointed out team ‘buy in’ and the group’s no quit approach as part of the reason for the success at home.
"Playing simple, never quit," Hartley mentioned. "Always second, third efforts. We’re playing a good team game and it’s a great group so it’s easy to get along and they work hard and take pride in what they’re doing."
Cammalleri echoed Hartley’s comments and expressed it’s nothing more than hard work.
"I think we’re just working our butts off right now," said Cammalleri. "I think that that is really the main thing you can put a finger on right now. We just keep working and working and working and working until they make us get off the ice and hope the results chase us."
GLENCROSS CLOSING IN ON RETURN
Curtis Glencross skated with the team this morning and participated in full-contact for the first time since being sidelined on Dec. 21 with an ankle ailment.
Bob Hartley revealed that the 31-year-old forward, who has missed 26 games, will return to game action this week.
"He’s pretty close," said Hartley. "I would say that he should be playing this week—Wednesday or Friday or Saturday—I can’t tell you right now but he’s real close."
Kevin Westgarth also skated today and has missed the past four games with a concussion he suffered in a bout with Luke Gazdic of Edmonton on Mar. 1. Hartley said Westgarth will play on Wednesday.
"He feels good and he’s cleared to play so the fact that he didn’t play for a week we felt it wasn’t fair to just throw him in the lineup tonight so most likely Wednesday he’ll be in the lineup,” Hartley said.
Calgary's All-time record vs. LA: 111-83-21-1-3
All-time record LA at CGY: 65-32-12-0-1
LAST TEN GAMES LA VS CGY: 4-6-0-0
Calgary has won two of the last three games against LA. Three of the last eight games have resulted in a shutout for the winner with the Kings earning two and the Flames one.
LAST TEN GAMES LA AT CGY: 5-4-0-1
Los Angeles has won the last five consecutive games at the Scotiabank Saddedome. The last Flames win over the Kings on home ice was October 10, 2010 (3-1).
Tonight's game can be seen on Sportsnet West, beginning at 7:00 PM MST. Sportsnet 960 The FAN will carry the radio broadcast.