The fifth day of Flames camp has come and gone, and the highlight of the day was a scrimmage, as well as players being put on waivers.
NEWS AND NOTES
Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff was absent from the nets on Thursday, as the Flames coaching staff opted to give their #1 goalie a rest.
A report from Czech website iSport.cz (via Roger Millions’ Twitter) indicates that Jiri Hudler’s going to try to make it back for Sunday’s season-opening game. Yes, he’s burying his father and then flying half-way around the world to suit up. If it happens, Hudler is a tremendous character guy.
The Flames placed defenseman Brett Carson, forward Paul Byron and goaltenders Henrik Karlsson AND Leland Irving on waivers, presumably for the purposes of sending some (or all) of them to the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL.
Much like yesterday, Bob Hartley’s staff ran an up-tempo practice that primarily focused on special teams work.
The session began with some odd-man rushes and break-outs for a warm-up, and then it was straight into power-play work. Once again, the club had the same ten men wearing black and manning the power-play: Curtis Glencross, Mike Cammalleri, Jarome Iginla, Sven Baertschi, Mikael Backlund, Lee Stempniak, Alex Tanguay, Dennis Wideman, Mark Giordano and Jay Bouwmeester.
After that, the Flames broke into lines and practices line-rushes and quick transition drills. The lines looked roughly like this once again:
- Glencross – Tanguay – Iginla
- Baertschi – Backlund – Cammalleri
- Horak – Stajan – Stempniak
- Comeau – Jones – Jackman
- Begin/Byron – Street – Winchester
- Giordano – Bouwmeester
- Butler – Wideman
- Smith – Sarich
- Brodie – Carson
- Breen – McCarthy
There was one pretty cool drill. Basically, they started with a one-on-one break-in on a forecheck. Then, the offensive side gained a man, as if he was coming in off a line change. Then the defense gained a man, and they went like this until it was essentially 5-on-2 for the offensive side. It seemed to be meant to replicate a quick line-change and condition players to be looking for the pass when coming in on a rush from off the bench.
Once again, the scrimmage focused on special teams, with the referees sending men off at random increments to give each side chances at practicing 5-on-4s and 5-on-3s.
The line-ups broke down like this.
Glencross / Cammalleri / Iginla / Wideman / Tanguay
Comeau / Jones / Jackman / Smith / Breen
Winchester / Byron / Begin / Carson / McCarthy
Baertschi / Backlund / Stempniak / Giordano / Bouwmeester
Horak / Stajan / Street / Brodie / Butler / Sarich
Moir / Yaworski (locals joining to even out the sides)
Team Black won 4-0, off goals by Blair Jones, Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri and Tim Jackman. Leland Irving stood on his head, making a series of saves through screens and off scrambles in front of his net. He was every bit as good today as he was shaky in the days prior.
Outside of Irving, players that stood out included Jones (with nice defending on a 5-on-3), Mikael Backlund and Dennis Wideman. Steve Begin and Brad Winchester seemed to lack a bit of jump in their step, and were noticably slower on the ice than their teammates.
In a very nice touch, the Flames entire camp roster (sans the injured and absent) went out to centre ice at the end of the scrimmage and saluted the fans. Sven Baertschi and other players signed autographs for about 10 minutes following the conclusion of the scrimmage.
At the time of this writing, cuts were expected to be made sometime later today. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.