For the second day in a row, the Calgary Flames hit the practice ice to hone their skills as they prepare for the first pre-season action on Monday night. Two groups skated on Saturday afternoon in hour-long sessions.
Both sessions were run by head coach Bill Peters, who really emphasized attention to detail during the drills. A few times he halted things and shouted out corrective instructions, as seemingly he doesn’t want bad habits to creep in or allow things to slip early in camp.
The drills in practice for both groups had an emphasis on team play – playing in cohesive groups of five – and quick transitions, with short passes and quick break-outs into the offensive zone. It’ll be interesting to see if this has any immediate positive impacts in Monday’s pair of games against the Vancouver Canucks.
Here are how the two groups lined up:
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
Sam Bennett – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik
Milan Lucic – Derek Ryan – Austin Czarnik
Dillon Dube – Mark Jankowski – Tobias Rieder
Zac Rinaldo – Alan Quine – Devante Smith-Pelly
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Noah Hanifin – Travis Hamonic
Andrew MacDonald – Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington – Michael Stone
Jakob Pelletier – Glenn Gawdin – Matthew Phillips
Alex Gallant – Milos Roman – Jeremy McKenna
Ryan Lomberg – Byron Froese – Alexandre Grenier
Justin Kirkland – Adam Ruzicka – Buddy Robinson
Martin Pospisil – Luke Philp – Eetu Tuulola
rotating – Mason Morelli – Dmitry Zavgorodniy
Andrew Nielsen – Eric Gryba
Brandon Davidson – Alexander Yelesin
Corey Schueneman – Rinat Valiev
Rob Hamilton – Zac Leslie
The Flames will play Vancouver twice on Monday – once in Calgary and once in Victoria – and so we’ll likely see eight forward lines and six defensive pairings pulled intact from these two groups. A more star-laden group will likely stay in Calgary, but expect to see a mixture of the NHL group’s bottom six and the AHL group’s notables make the trek to Victoria.