Twas an optional skate day for both the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, as both teams attempt to regroup with the Flames up 2-1 in the series following last night’s Game 3 win for the locals.
Here’s a brief rundown of what was talked about after practice:
- On the ice for the Flames were goalies Jonas Hiller (briefly), Jon Gillies, Joni Ortio and Karri Ramo, plus defenders Tyler Wotherspoon and Corey Potter, along with forward Markus Granlund. Reportedly Ortio’s been in town for a couple days, but he was officially recalled from the AHL earlier today. Much of what was going on was the coaching staff working with the goalies.
- On the Canucks side, another optional skate with several absences, including but not limited to Eddie Lack and Alex Burrows.
- Regarding him taking so many face-offs in the offensive zone in Game 3, Joe Colborne related to me that he and Mikael Backlund often communicate regarding their comfort level. In other words, if Backlund is feeling in a groove or likes a match-up, he’ll probably elect to take the draw. But if he’s not feeling it, he can defer to Colborne, which seems to be what happened last night. He also noted that having two guys that can win draws helps them, given that they can be aggressive on draws without worrying too much about one of them getting thrown out of the draw and them being completely out of guys that can win ’em.
- Hartley’s presser was interesting. He had a lot of praise for the performances of Michael Ferland, Deryk Engelland, and Matt Stajan so far this series, and sparred a bit with a reporter regarding the phrasing of a question regarding the Alex Burrows non-suspension. When asked if he was pleased with Russell going after Burrows, he quickly rertorted with “Can you rephrase your question, I’ll give you another chance. Russell went after Burrows?” The reporter clarified a bit, and Hartley responded with “Maybe we should go in the video room,” in the sense that Hartley really objected to the notion that Russell engaged Burrows rather than the other way around.
- Hartley also referenced the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy in regards to Michael Ferland’s mother’s fondness for the Sedins. “Y’know, mama says…”
- Regarding the line-up changes from Game 3 (Raymond and Wotherspoon in for Granlund and Potter): the coaching staff likes David Schlemko on the right side and wanted to get Wotherspoon in so they could switch Schlemko over, and also because they wanted to get all the players involved in the playoff mix so the don’t have to throw a cold body into the fray in the event of an injury. Based on that, I’d expect Drew Shore to get rotated in eventually, but I don’t anticipate any changes for tomorrow night
- The NHL also announced that Game 5 on Thursday in Vancouver will begin at the same time every other game to-date has: 8pm MT. That game will be on CBC, as always.