UPDATE: TJ Brodie will play tonight

When T.J. Brodie went down to the ice after blocking a shot and didn’t get back up, the entire season flashed by Flames’ fans eyes. We’d already seen this story: a broken hand early in the pre-season led to nine Brodie-less games to kick off the start of the season, and with that, the Flames were already starting from the bottom.

When you can only win two games without your best defenceman – and when those two wins come in overtime, no less – it’s kind of an indication you need your best defenceman. That’s easy to say for any team, but the Flames really, really need Brodie.

Fortunately, it appears his injury may not be as bad as initially feared, as Brodie took part in the morning skate – and, according to Bob Hartley, will play tonight.

The good news: Brodie is, evidently, still capable of skating. Skating is necessary to play hockey, so if Brodie can still move about on the ice, then even if he isn’t at 100%, he’s still capable of playing. (If things had been bad enough to have placed Brodie on the injured reserve retroactive to Wednesday night when he was first hurt, he’d have had to miss the next three games, including tonight’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets.)

The bad news: It’s possible Brodie may not be at 100%, but that’s really about it.

When that’s the worst news one can come up with, though, you’re in a pretty good situation. 

Let’s not forget Brodie wasn’t officially ruled out of the contest against the Carolina Hurricanes until the third period, when the Flames already had a 4-1 lead and looked good to win the game. Let’s also remember that tonight’s game is against the Blue Jackets who, with 45 points through 53 games this season, are literally the worst team in the NHL this season. 

As a general rule, the Flames need Brodie – but not having him tonight wouldn’t have been the end of the world, either, so that should speak to his health.

The Flames are keeping the same lineup from their victory over the Hurricanes, so Jakub Nakladal will not make his NHL debut. Deryk Engelland and Ladislav Smid will remain the Flames’ bottom pairing.

Though with the Flames travelling to play the second of a back-to-back for tomorrow, hopefully he at least makes his debut by then. The Flames have already recalled him as a just-in-case option only to sit him earlier this season, and considering how Nakladal was a European UFA the Flames beat out other teams to sign, it’s really not a good look to future prospects to simply never give him a shot.

  • Shoestring

    Good to hear Brodie isn’t going to be out long term. Would it be such a terrible thing to let him rest/recover for one more day allowing Nak to get a game in against an inferior opponent? Seems like a perfect opportunity.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Yes, it could be such a terrible thing as this is a must win game for the Flames if they still have delusions of going postseason. Brodie out of the lineup makes the task of winning that much harder.

      • Tomas Oppolzer

        Thing is, Calgary isn’t really in the hunt. If Bob honestly believes that, and isn’t putting Nakladal because of it, that’s just another bullet in the “fire Hartley” crowd’s chamber. They’re 8 points back of an Anaheim team that’s played really well since mid December. Chances are CGY isn’t making the playoffs which makes now exactly the time you should try out a player who is turning UFA at the end of the year.

        They’re also facing a CBJ team that is absolutely brutal and played yesterday all the way to a shootout in YVR yesterday. It’s not like 10 minutes from Nakladal against a depleted CBJ team is going to kill the team.

        The way Hartley has dealt with Nakladal is going to keep more foreign players from signing with CGY. It could make the next Panarin decide to not sign here because the Flames just don’t offer enough opportunity.

        • Tomas Oppolzer

          Give your head a shake man listening to the bs that u put on here is exhausting if u really think that other khl players won’t sign here because nak hasn’t got his chance yet your an idiot Ufa sign because of money ninety percent of the time the other ten percent sign for organization need ( right winger here) or a chance to win the cup so this isn’t another fire Hartley bullet

  • Shoestring

    Brodie in or out, this is a good time to see what Nakladal can do.

    Let’s face it, if he thinks he should be playing in the NHL and he’s been hosed by the Flames, they should be pumping his value, if they can, and seeing what they can get for him at the TDL because he would fit under most the cap for most teams. If he’s happy with how he has been treated, which I think is less likely than him being displeased with how things have gone, then they should be rewarding him for being a trooper.

  • Rad

    The Nakladal thing is already worrisome. If he’s not in the lineup next week, that’s a serious problem in terms of how we’re using callups. Give him a shot.

    Somewhat unrelated, but for Engelland, I think the biggest difference we’re seeing in him is his poise with the puck. So many times last year he’d just blindly pitch it up the boards for the mythical and elusive ‘stretch pass’ and ice it. This year he’s making much smarter decisions, and even carrying through the neutral zone for a controlled entry. Perfectly serviceable #6D at this point and that contract (while still not ideal) is at least not an albatross. Way of the NHL world, older guys get paid more than they’re worth.

  • Derzie

    Hartley is really killing our prospects pipeline. TJ should rest a night. There is no way he’s 100% given he couldn’t get up 2 days ago. Give the prospects some hope Bob. Create some healthy competition for spots. The plus side is Smid and Eng are playing well so spots are scarce but with TJ ailing and 30th place Columbus here on night one of a back to back, seems a no brainer to start Nak in his place.

    • RedMan

      Agree that Smid & Engelland have been performing adequately of late. How about Nakladal in for Russel, with the minutes spread out a little? After wathcing Russel’s pylon impersonation on the Lindholm and Jamie Benn goals, he’s prime for a press box view.

  • redhot1

    Makes a real good impression to non NHL FAs when we sign them, and never give them a chance.

    Bob is making the Flames look like a team that doesn’t give players a chance, when they’ve earned it and paid their dues in the minors.

    Why is this being allowed.

  • beloch

    Nakladal isn’t really a developing prospect in the usual sense. He’s a 28-year-old euro player who has spent the last half season adjusting to the North American game, and he’s evidently been successful. If Nakladal gets the full Wotherspoon treatment I doubt he’ll sign a new contract this summer.

  • Craik

    I do not care that Smid and Engelland have looked OK; Nakladal needs to play.
    Smid and Engelland are known commodities, now the team needs to understand what they have in Nakladal. To sign him past this year, or entice others, and to further develop the team.

    With Brodie hurt, and the team playing the worst team in the NHL that is on the second day of a back-to-back, I would think the situation would be perfect for his debut. If he can’t play now I imagine we’re in for a lot of Nakladal in the pressbox, game after game.

  • Shoestring

    How often has Smid played back to back this year? Seldom. It would nor surprise me to see Nakladal on the back to back. Saying that I still think we should have seen tonight. But alas none of us is the coach.