The Calgary Flames are in a bit of a good news/bad news situation regarding their young blueliners. Defenseman Juuso Valimaki missed Saturday’s practice with a lower-body injury, which may open the door for Oliver Kylington to play on Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes.
#Flames head coach Bill Peters said he hasn’t made a decision on the starting goaltender. Valimaki missed today’s practice with a lower body injury. And asked Peters about if they’ve considered sitting James Neal: “I haven’t. We think he’s trending in the right direction.”
— Kristen Anderson (@KdotAnderson) November 24, 2018
Recalled from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat earlier this week, Kylington was paired with Travis Hamonic in Saturday’s skate. A second round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Kylington has suited up for one NHL game in his pro career – on April 9, 2016, in a meaningless Game 82 outing – and this would be his first big league appearance in two and a half years. By all accounts he’s been superb for the Heat so far this season.
Projected defensive pairings would likely look like this in the two main scenarios:
|Valimaki in||Valimaki out|
|Giordano – Brodie||Giordano – Brodie|
|Hanifin – Hamonic||Hanifin – Andersson|
|Valimaki – Andersson||Kylington – Hamonic|
No other changes are expected to the Flames’ skaters, while it’s unclear which of David Rittich or Mike Smith would start in net.