It’s an off-day for the Calgary Flames after their big win (and the Kings’ big loss) last night, and so it was a relatively low-key practice day for the locals.
But the arena was reasonably abuzz with talk of the importance of tomorrow night’s big game.
The official update on Lance Bouma, per coach Hartley, is day-to-day with what’s being called an upper-body injury. Also out of the line-up are Karri Ramo (lower body), Paul Byron (lower body), Ladislav Smid (neck) and Mark Giordano (bicep). Smid and Giordano are, of course, shut down for the season.
For the curious, Joni Ortio did work out on-ice with Jordan Sigalet and the guys that skated today (which, per Pat Steinberg, were as follows):
Skaters out there: Raymond, Bennett, Ferland, Granlund, Bollig, Shore, Schlemko, Wotherspoon, Potter. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 8, 2015
Ortio didn’t practice with this “main group,” leaving the ice as the official practice was to begin.
The expectation seems to be that Brandon Bollig moves into the line-up, as the most veteran left-handed shot, with Bouma (a lefty) likely not available for tomorrow. That said, he also has played some of his best games of the season against the Kings, so I’m not wholly unconvinced that he wouldn’t have been slotted in regardless.
Given the small amount of players, lines were impossible. I’d wager something like this:
Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler
Raymond – Backlund – Colborne
Ferland – Granlund – Jooris
Bollig – Stajan – Jones
Russell – Wideman
Brodie – Engelland
Schlemko – Potter
And yes, that means the same healthy scratches as usual (minus Bollig): Tyler Wotherspoon, Drew Shore and Sam Bennett. This scenario keeps the top line and the kid line together, and Bollig has played with Stajan a ton this season, so there’s a fit.
Peter Maher was in the house this morning, and for good reason – the presentation of the team award that bears his name.
Joe Colborne, recipient of the “Peter Maher Award” for demonstrating sincerity, integrity, dedication and respect pic.twitter.com/OFEidh5tYK
— Jermain Franklin (@TSNJFranklin) April 8, 2015
Colborne picks up the award for the second straight year. It’s voted on by the traveling media members.
“We’ve been playing playoff hockey since our first game of the season. We asked the players to be in the mindset to compete hard every day, practice hard every day, to have full commitment to allow us to be in this spot. Our players deserve it.”
-Bob Hartley, on his team’s approach to the big game tomorrow night.
“Lots of times, it’s not the toughest army that’s going to win, it’s gonna be the smartest one.”
–Hartley, on team discipline.
“We haven’t accomplished anything yet. Obviously, we know that making the post-season is our number-one goal, and once we make the post-season is to be successful in the post-season.”
-Brandon Bollig, on the team’s mindset heading into tomorrow’s big game.
“Everyone in this room is willing to do that. Guys have their little nagging injuries, but knowing that we’re in the driver’s seat, knowing that we need just two points to get into the post-season, it makes guys forget all of that. Yes, like you said, it definitely energizes guys and puts a spark in us.”
-Bollig, on Bouma’s bodily sacrifices and the team being masters of their own destiny.