32Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik

Injured Flames ‘not close’ to returning

The Calgary Flames returned to the practice ice this morning after an off-day on Monday. In the post-practice media availability, head coach Bill Peters provided a brief update on the quartet of injured Flames.

The Flames are presently without four regulars:

  • Michael Stone hasn’t played since Nov. 11 and has been out due to a blood clot in his arm. He’s been on the injured reserve for nine games.
  • Michael Frolik hasn’t played since Nov. 19 due to a lower body injury suffered against Vegas. He’s missed 10 games.
  • Juuso Valimaki hasn’t played since Nov. 23 due to a lower body injury suffered against Vegas. He’s missed eight games so far.
  • Mikael Backlund hasn’t played since Dec. 8 and is currently working through the concussion protocol after a hit suffered against Minnesota. He’s missed two games.

With no returns from injury imminent, the Flames are likely going with the lineup that they have. (Dalton Prout and Ryan Lomberg skated as extras; Lomberg is still suspended for one game.)

    • L.Kolkind

      I wonder if he is in the same situation as Lazar was, he has all the effort, but can’t get any points to save his life. I think management would be smart to try and give him a 2-week conditioning stint in the AHL when possible to get his point producing up to where it needs to be. He hasn’t looked confident with his shots and even when he makes good set up passes the puck doesn’t go in. A couple weeks of scoring goals playing on the 1st line and hopefully dominating is exactly what he needs.

      • Robhouli

        Sam Bennett would have to clear waivers to be able to send him to the AHL. You would have to risk losing him for nothing to be able to send him down to the minors.

        • L.Kolkind

          13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a Player consents, he shall not be Loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league club. Such Conditioning Loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is Loaned on a Conditioning Loan. If the Commissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade the Re-Entry Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. The Player shall continue, during the period of such Conditioning Loan, to receive the same Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, that he would have received had he continued to play with the Club.

          So they can send him down, but only for 2 weeks.

    • MDG1600

      Pretty much the same thing that has always gone in with Sam. He has 270 GP and he is pretty much on his career average ~ 30 pts per season pace and tracking to be a career bottom 6 player. I think people expecting some sort of a “breakout” campaign are engaged in wishful thinking because he was a top 10 draft pick. If we can all find a way to look past where he was drafted he is an excellent bottom 6 forward, can bring a lot energy, physical play and speed to the line up. As long as he gets paid like a bottom 6 forward I want him on the team.

  • L.Kolkind

    Despite the injuries I think this is the best our blue line has looked in years. Personally I think Kylington is more NHL ready than Valimkaki, which isn’t a shot against Valimaki Kylington has just been playing great and has undoubtedly earned an NHL spot.

    For the forwards mainly missing Backlund is the real blow as losing any of the top 5 forwards would be really hard to replace. I think Mangiapane has stepped it up and almost all of our forwards could be an NHL regular on everyteam. Maybe not Hathaway, but Quine didn’t look out of place over the weekend.

      • L.Kolkind

        I didn’t say Quine is amazing, but as a 4th liner can you really tell him apart from Stajan? Look at NHL regular 4th liners on every team and Quine is about their level or better.

        Ex. Lucic, Beagle, Archibald, Brian Gibbons, Carter Rowney, Tyler Motter, Tim Schaller, Michael Chaput….

        Just go to Daily faceoff look at the 4th lines and think is Quine around that level or better? From the only 2 games I’ve seen him play I thought he looked decent and as a 4th liner is very acceptable possible. If Beagle is allowed to be considered an NHL regular and you’re complaining about a guy on less than 1/4 his salary playing better than your standard of NHL regular doesn’t match up with the reality that some NHL regulars aren’t great, but are in the NHL and are NHL regulars.

        • everton fc

          I’ve read Quine played well in his stints w/two other NHL teams, but injuries slowed him down. We may have found another good depth for the cupboard. Not a bad thing.

  • Toma41

    If I remember correctly, when Backlund gets injured, its usually for a long time. I really hope that’s not the case. Derek Ryan on the second line scares me. I would rather janko. Now is the time to let him have a run and see if he can handle 2nd line centre. Not Derek Ryan. Can we please stop the top 6 Bennett talk. He is a 4th line grinder. A good one. Let’s leave it at that.

  • everton fc

    You don’t send Bennett to the AHL. If he is not going to progress further, here (I say hold him, as a 3rd line, two-way forward), then you package him in a deal for another commodity.

  • Squishin

    The injury situation is the worst it’s been in a few years. Can you imagine what would have happened to this team had these same injuries happened last year? Gulutzan would not have known what to do without his precious 3M line. We would have lost every single game.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    With Ferland traded and every single Mike on the team currently injured right now, our Mike to other first names ratio is dangerously thin and certainly the worst it’s been in years…

  • Juana

    19 shots on goal and 5 goals allowed – sounds about right. Only delusional Flames fans don’t see the problem here. I hope the Flames have 5-7 goals in them every night cause that’s what it will take to win with goaltending like that – even when they’re playing a basement team: http://www.etickets.ca

  • Garry T

    This team has the pieces. Every player either is high strung or wants to play to their optimal levels. So who are the characters and what are their desires and issues? Where do they want to play in order to contribute to this club? I am talking about Jankowski, Neale, Frolik and Bennett, as strong pieces.

    The Monahan line stays intact period.
    Tkachuk Backlund and Frolik have the magic.
    But Neale wants first line with Johnny and Monny.
    Can’t happen.

    So here is what I would suggest. Team meeting
    regarding lines, desires and skill sets. I am talking to everybody but I am talking to Tkachuk, Backlund Frolik Neale, Jankowski and Bennett with a form of focus. All with a view to finding a strong three line trio.
    Neale is really the focal point but Frolik and Bennett are equally as important. In Winnipeg and here in Calgary, Frolik has been able to show that he can produce and he is a very important piece in this meeting.

    For the team, I am telling him we need balance. We need a high tempo 2nd line that focuses on scoring. The trial second line will be Tkachuk Backlund and Neale, telling Neale we are shaking up a terrific checking line
    to get him doing what he was doing in Vegas. Producing! This line is changing it’s role with purpose in mind. It reverts to a scoring line. Backlund
    must adjust as part of the process to place this team with an opportunity to make it elite. So line 2 is Chucky Backlund Neale, scoring line number 2.
    Line 3, Bennett Jankowski and Frolik now become a “ Flex “ line, becoming our shut down line but, but when the puck get’s turned over to them , we need an instant personality change. We want them poring it on in the offensive zone. Frolik has 2 very important jobs that he is more than capable of. Defensive specialist and the fun part for him, will be the change of possession conversion from D to Scoring. Line 4 Mangiapane Ryan Hathaway. Same focus as line 3, but an energy line that can have a lot of fun and shape themselves to become a “ game changer “ line.

    Neale is not on line 1 but his minutes and opportunities are going way up. Now it is his responsibility to start scoring, skating harder, creating and being effective shooting hard as he drives the net or is pouncing on rebounds. Frolik is man enough to do what is being asked. Neale in the Philly game knows this team could be Vegas 2.0. That million watt smile when Johnny scored shows he is settling in and wants to do better. He now knows that Frolik has been taken off a very good line to get Neale going. It is now time to show what you can do, and if not, it will be the 3rd. line because that is where you have shown you belong. Or be prepared at the deadline because as much as we thought you were a great fit for this club, it just did not work out!

    Will this work? I hope so because we need to start seeing the shape of this squad and it has to develop the above identity with everyone moving forward for the Team. Go Flames.