News and Notes – March 20 2014

It’s a practice day for your Calgary Flames as they prepare for a clash on Friday night with NHL Draft implications with the Nashville Predators!

Here’s what’s happening.

TALKIN’ BOUT PRACTICE

It appears that goalie Karri Ramo and forward Jiri Hudler are close to returning. Both participated in full practice today. Lines, for the curious:

  • Cammalleri – Backlund – Byron
  • Glencross – Stajan – Hudler
  • Agostino – Monahan – Colborne
  • Bouma – Galiardi – McGrattan
  • Brodie & Giordano
  • Butler & Russell
  • Smid & Wotherspoon

After practice, it was confirmed by coach Bob Hartley that Joni Ortio will start but Ramo won’t dress. Agostino gets his first NHL game in. Guys wearing the green “healthy scratch” jerseys were Ben Hanowski (he of the brutal giveaway that led to Buffalo’s only goal) and Kevin Westgarth.

In terms of injuries, don’t expect Dennis Wideman back this season. And Markus Granlund and/or David Jones probably won’t be back until close to the end of things.

PLAYOFF, ER, DRAFT IMPLICATIONS

Nashville is five points up on Calgary with the Flames having a game in hand.

  • Calgary wins? Predators have 68 points (with 11 games left), Flames have 65 points (with 12 games left)
  • Nashville wins? Predators have 70 points (with 11 games left), Flames have 63 points (with 12 games left)

Add in a Saturday night date up in Shelbyville with lowly Edmonton Oilers, there’s a decent chance the Flames could really close the gap with Nashville by early next week. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Don’t get too cozy with the Flames drafting 5th, gang. Nashville, Carolina and Ottawa are *right there*, and with the way Calgary’s been competing, they could catch at least one of ’em.

ABBY UPDATE

The players eligible to play in AHL post-season are (1) anyone on the AHL roster as of the NHL trade deadline, (2) anyone called up from the ECHL on a PTO contract or (3) anybody brought in from college or major-junior on an amateur (ATO) contract.

In terms of players with names? Here’s the players that would fit into those three groups. Bolded names are under Flames contracts.

  • G: Joey MacDonald, Joni Ortio, Olivier Roy, Aaron Dell
  • D: Brady Lamb, Tyler Wotherspoon, Dean Arsene, Chris Breen, Derek Smith, John Ramage, Shane O’Brien, Chad Billins, Kane LaFranchise, Patrick Sieloff
  • F: Ben Street, Turner Elson, Sven Baertschi, Josh Jooris, Evan Trupp, Jordan Kremyr, Blair Jones, Corey Locke, Michael Ferland, Carter Bancks, Adrian Foster, Trevor Gillies, Brett Olson, Brett Lyon, Ben Hanowski, Corban Knight, Markus Granlund, Max Reinhart, Tim Miller, Brendan Connolly, Garnet Hathaway, Kyle Ostrow, Allan McPherson

Basically, the “on roster at deadline” rule is designed to protect from NHL teams dumping bubble guys that spent the year in the NHL onto AHL rosters for the playoffs.

As of this morning, the Heat need 18 points – either earned by them or lost by 9th place Oklahoma City – to clinch a playoff spot.

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