The Calgary Flames get set for the San Jose Sharks tonight in another crucial game in their bid to remain in the Western Conference playoff hunt. Now, with 12 games remaining this season, the injuries start to pile up a little more than perhaps the Flames and their fans would like. For a third straight game, Chris Higgins will not play with a lower body injury while Curtis Glencross will miss his first game with a similarly vague lower body ailment.
Higgins was injured on Sunday in a game against Vancouver while Glencross left Wednesday’s game in Colorado in the third period. As such, Mikael Backlund will return to the Flames lineup tonight, playing on the 4th line with Eric Nystrom and Jamal Mayers. The other three lines stay much the same:
Bourque – Stajan – Iginla
Hagman – Langkow – Kotalik
Dawes – Conroy – Moss
Neither HIggins nor Glencross was anywhere to be found at morning skate today, and it’s believed that both players will be on the sidelines for the next while. Obviously, that’s about all anyone knows, as injury tidbits are a little hard to come by around here. Both injuries are unfortunate, especially for Calgary’s penalty kill.
Glencross has been a mainstay on the PK all year, and has shown an ability to be an offensive threat shorthanded. Plus, he’s speedy and can get to loose pucks. Higgins has been good on the PK as well, in fact really good. Before getting injured, he was leading Calgary forwards in shorthanded times in most games.
In terms of the PK, I thought David Moss did a really good job in the third period of Wednesday’s game against Colorado. We know Rene Bourque is one of the better PK guys on this team. Still, it’s injured regulars at the most crucial time of year. I guess this is why the Flames were so cautious with Backlund and not sending him down.