The Calgary Flames returned to the ice for a rare afternoon practice, as they faced the unique imperfect storm of their five-day bye week ending right as they have to prepare for an afternoon home game on Saturday.
Despite the peculiarities of the situation, spirits were high as the Flames hope to extend their seven-game winning streak when they host the Winnipeg Jets.
Here’s what went down at practice.
Talkin’ bout practice
It was not a terribly long practice, a little bit shy of an hour, but the entire ice time seemed aimed towards getting them playing with some pace. It was a mixture of some fun drills, some transition drills, some battle drills and some simulated scrimmage time.
The lineup was more or less what you would expect. Sean Monahan back as a full participant after missing the game in Carolina with an illness.
#Flames lines and pairings …
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) January 19, 2018
Matt Bartkowski and Marek Hrivik skated as the extra bodies.
News and notes
While neither Garnet Hathaway nor David Rittich have been told to find permanent residences in Calgary as of yet, head coach Glen Gulutzan noted after practice that neither player is going anywhere.
“I can’t see either of those guys going anywhere now with the way we’re utilizing them. So I don’t think that’s up in the air. We haven’t made any definitive decisions, I’m sure we’re going to make that soon. From my perspective, neither guy is going to go anywhere.”
In terms of injuries: Michael Frolik (jaw) and Jaromir Jagr (lower body) are both skating, though still a little ways away from skating with the main group. Kris Versteeg (hip) is in town doing his rehab and is (per Postmedia’s Kristen Odland) meeting with his doctor later this month, at which point there will be a timeline for his return.
Gulutzan had some high praise for his team’s goaltending:
What’s happened is they’ve given us a chance almost every night. We’ve gotten good goaltending all year. During this last little stretch we’ve added that our penalty kill is starting to come around. We’ve started to score a little bit easier, and our power play scored some timely goals, though we think it can be better. At the end of the day, you add that into that bowl with the goaltending that we’ve been getting and we’re starting to get wins out of it.