The high-tempo practices continued at the Saddledome on Tuesday. The club was missing some familiar faces but kept at it with another lengthy on-ice day. Here’s what went down.
NEWS AND NOTES
The Flames confirmed this morning that Jiri Hudler’s father has, in fact, passed away in the Czech Republic. No word on if he managed to get home in-time, although given the lengthy travel needed to get to Prague. Condolences go out to the whole Hudler family.
Not on the ice with the main group for the third consecutive day were Jarome Iginla (groin), Roman Cervenka (clotting) and Anton Babchuk (shoulder), although all three skated with coaches prior to the main group. Iginla’s being held out as a precaution, so don’t panic.
Once again, Craig Conroy joined the “official” coaching staff on the ice. The Sun’s Eric Francis had a chat with Conroy, who will be helping out Bob Hartley’s staff this year.
Once again, it was a long and up-tempo day. The first half of the session was devoted to break-outs and odd-man rushes. The lines broke down like this:
- Glencross – Tanguay – Stempniak
- Baertschi – Backlund – Cammalleri
- Horak – Stajan – Comeau
- Begin – Jones – Jackman
- Winchester – Byron – Street
- Giordano – Sarich
- Bouwmeester – Wideman
- Butler – Smith
- Brodie – Carson
- Breen – McCarthy
Notable, once again, is the persistence of the Baertschi/Backlund/Cammalleri combo, which has been kept together for a third day. Presume Stempniak drops to the Horak position when Iginla returns (and Horak perhaps to the Begin position) and these look like probable opening-game lines.
In the second half, the teams came out in two jerseys – red and black – effectively splitting the group into the power-play (red) and penalty-kill (black).
Wearing red: Glencross, Tanguay, Stempniak, Baertschi, Backlund, Cammalleri, Horak, Stajan, Comeau, Jones, Giordano, Bouwmeester, Wideman, Smith and Brodie. And black had Byron, Street, Begin, Winchester, Jackman, Sarich, Butler, Carson, Breen and McCarthy.
I’d expect things to shuffle around a bit as Hartley and his staff experiment a bit. The morning ended with shootout practice. Leland Irving was notable for letting a few goals in, while Mikael Backlund scored a few.
The tempo was a bit lessened in the second half, likely because the players had been on the ice for almost six hours over the past couple days and probably were losing their legs a bit. Either way, execution suffered a little bit.
The Flames are back on the ice at 10:30am on Wednesday for a practice and a scrimmage. As per usual, it’s open to the public, so come on down.