Things haven’t gone terribly well for the Calgary Flames over the past several months. The team can’t buy a goal. They can’t buy a big save. They’ve lost five games in a row. Several key players are injured.
The news got even better for the team and its players, as the club noted today that star winger Johnny Gaudreau is headed back east to deal with a “family matter.” He’ll miss (at least) Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Gaudreau’s absence leads to some questions. If the team was working with a full complement of healthy players, things would be simple. But they’re not. Here are the scratches from Saturday afternoon’s game in San Jose:
- D Matt Bartkowski (healthy)
- F Sean Monahan (out, wrist surgery)
- F Kris Versteeg (out, hip injury recovery)
- F Matthew Tkachuk (out, upper-body injury)
- D T.J. Brodie (out, upper-body injury)
- F Matt Stajan (unclear)
Stajan’s status is the big question mark for tomorrow. Here’s the thought process:
- If Stajan’s good to go then he swaps into Gaudreau’s spot and the lines get shuffled around.
- If Stajan can’t play then either Bartkowski plays and they go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, or they call somebody up from Stockton on an emergency basis (since they won’t have 12 healthy forwards).
The most likely candidates for call-ups are probably Morgan Klimchuk or Spencer Foo. Klimchuk was the most recent short-term recall and he’s had nine points in 13 games since going back down. On the other hand, Foo has really gotten into a nice groove lately. In the same 13-game span since Klimchuk’s return from the NHL, Foo has 11 points and has become a very steady contributor for the Heat in the second half of the season. Why not give him a shot at making his NHL debut?
Based on reports from practice it sure sounds like Stajan should be good to go, so take everything else with a grain of salt. We’ll have more on tomorrow’s lineup as it becomes available.