Flames Today: 17.03.14
CAMMY FINDING GROOVE
After notching two goals and four points in back-to-back road games against the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri is starting to find his groove.
“It’s nice to have some production for sure,” Cammalleri said.
Prior to the NHL trade deadline, Cammalleri had found the back of the net just twice since the New Year.
“There was a stint this year that was quite unproductive for me personally,” he said. “Overall, I just tried to stick with it, do the right things, be the best teammate I can be and know the puck would start going in again.”
But since the NHL Trade Deadline passed on March 5, the 31-year-old has scored five goals and added three assists in seven games, and has be held off the score sheet just once in that stretch.
“That’s [scoring] a big part of our responsibilities, to produce offence and it’s nice to be contributing that way,” he said.
RAMO ON THE MEND
Goaltender Karri Ramo, who has missed the past 13 games with a lower body injury, joined the team in Monday’s skate and took shots during practice.
He’s has been out since Feb. 1, but said he is feeling better and is taking it day by day.
“You have to work hard to get back into shape and let it heal,” said Ramo, who is 11-10-4-1 with a 2.66 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 26 starts. “Getting back into game speed is going to take a few practices, but its part of the game so you have to be prepared [to return.]”
There is no set timeline for Ramo’s return, but the 27-year-old is hoping to be back in the Flames lineup in the near future.
“It’s getting better, a lot better than last week,” he said.
Forward Jiri Hudler skated before practice but did not stay on with the team. He has been out since March 6 with a lower body injury.
Forward Matt Stajan returned to practice with teammates for the first time since the passing of son Emerson on March 3rd following childbirth.
Stajan is expected to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s contest against the Buffalo Sabres after missing eight games for the Flames.
“I want to play,” Stajan said. “You’ve got to keep taking steps forward. I want to get right back into game action. That’s what hockey players want to do. That’s the plan and I’m excited to get right back at it.”
Stajan was welcomed back with open arms by teammates.
“It’s awesome to see him back,” Lance Bouma said. “He is such a great guy, a huge part of this team, and a great leader.”
Stajan has 10 goals and 13 assists in 52 games with the Flames this year.
“We’re a tight group, they [the team] take care of each other when one is down, there is a group around him [Stajan] to pick him up and that’s what is going to happen here. We’re a team, but more importantly we are a family.”
– Coach Bob Hartley on Stajan
The Flames begin a two-game home stand when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Scotiabank Saddledome Tuesday (7 p.m. MST, SNET-FLAMES, Sportsnet 960 The FAN). Calgary will conclude the stand against the Nashville Predators on Friday (7 p.m. MST, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The FAN).