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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 10.31.2014 / 3:09 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Flames

CALGARY -- Injury breeds opportunity for the Calgary Flames. At least that's what coach Bob Hartley is hoping.

After a run of injuries that has seen Mason Raymond (shoulder), Matt Stajan (knee), Joe Colborne (upper body) and Mikael Backlund (abdominal strain) all exit the lineup this week, Hartley is hoping that the injection of American Hockey League call-ups Markus Granlund and Michael Ferland can help ease the pain against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

"You always have to be ready for this and the good part is [Ferland and Granlund], we know those young players," Hartley said. "They've been with us and they played many games in preseason. That was the investment we committed because unfortunately, not that we were hoping for it, but you always have to get ready.

"Those two young guys will play very well for us."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 2:42 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames will welcome one familiar face back to the lineup when hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, but will see another ushered off to injured reserve.

Forward David Jones, who has missed eight games, is set to return while forward Mason Raymond will miss his first due to a shoulder injury when the Flames host Montreal at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"Any time you get hurt is tough," Jones said. "The most important thing is that you stay positive. The toughest part is just being away from the team. You play this game to play the games, not to practice. That's the toughest thing for me, being away from the guys and coming in early and getting treatment. It's hockey. These things happen. You've just got to stay positive."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.25.2014 / 3:40 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Flames

CALGARY -- A year ago to the day, the Calgary Flames were able to chase Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby in a 5-2 win at Scotiabank Saddledome. They're hoping to do it again Saturday.

Holtby is expected to start his second consecutive game as the Capitals look to avoid an Alberta sweep against the Calgary Flames.

"It's a long time ago," said Holtby, who is one win shy of passing Jose Theodore for seventh on the Capitals all-time win list. "You kind of have to look at every game singularly, not based on the team you're playing against. It had a lot less to do with Calgary and a lot more to do with us and myself. It's going to happen against any team, every team, throughout your career. You just have to put it behind you and move forward."

Holtby hasn't found much in the way of success against the Flames recently. He was pulled in Washington's 5-4 shootout win Oct 3, 2013, Calgary's first game of the season. In all, the 25-year-old had a 12.41 goals-against average and .760 save percentage in 29:10 of work against Calgary last season.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:22 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames will continue their goaltending rotation in hopes of finding their first win of the season on home ice when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

The Flames, who are 0-1-1 at home, will start Jonas Hiller in net, his fifth game of the season. He and Karri Ramo have alternated starts, with neither goalie having played in back-to-back games.

"That's not a problem with me," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "That's not a controversy. I hope [the media] will ask me those questions in April, May and June."

Hiller is 2-2-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. Ramo is 2-1-1 with a 2.20 GAA and .917 save percentage.

The competition, Hiller said, has helped fuel the tandem.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.21.2014 / 6:07 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames vow not to rest on their laurels following a successful 4-2-0 road trip when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday in the first of five straight home games.

After dropping their home opener, the Flames took eight of a possible 12 points on an 11-day road trip.

"You've got to make it count when you have a good, successful trip like we did," captain Mark Giordanosaid. "We got the points we wanted out of the trip. You have to make it count. What I mean by saying that is we have to have a successful homestand here. We have to get points in a lot of these games. We can put ourselves in a pretty good spot here early in the year."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:11 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Flames' Monahan to be a game-time decision

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames could open the 2014-15 season Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks without an integral piece of their forward core.

Sean Monahan did not participate in Calgary's morning skate because he is sick and will be a game-time decision against the Canucks, coach Bob Hartley said.

"You guys asked me for the lineup [Tuesday] and I told you, 'Wait until [Wednesday], I'll probably have something new for you,'" Hartley said. "He [Monahan] is going to be a game-time decision. He was sick. Right now he's at home. He's resting. If he's good to go, the medical staff and [Monahan] will let us know later on."

As a rookie last season, the 19-year-old Monahan finished second on the Flames with 22 goals.

He was expected to form a top line centering Curtis Glencross and Jiri Hudler. If he's unable to go, Hartley said to expect plenty of line juggling, but center Joe Colborne initially will step into Monahan's place.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 5:39 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - NHL Training Camps blog

Flames forward Bennett out with shoulder injury

CALGARY -- Sam Bennett's bid to make the Calgary Flames as an 18-year-old came up short because of a shoulder injury.

Bennett, the fourth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft and No. 8 on the Top 60 prospect ranking, was trying to play through pain in an attempt to be in uniform for the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, SN). Bennett was placed on the injured/non-roster list to start the season.

"I guess, really, I wanted to play and I'd do anything to make the team and to play in the NHL this year," Bennett said. "I guess maybe I should've come up sooner but I didn't think it was that big of deal. I guess it is a bit bigger of a deal than I thought."

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Posted On Friday, 04.11.2014 / 2:56 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Flames proud of recent accomplishments on home ice

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames hope to finish above .500 on home ice when hosting the Winnipeg Jets in their Scotiabank Saddledome finale on Friday.

"I think that would be a huge testament to the identity we've been working to create all year," said forward Kevin Westgarth, whose Flames sit 26th overall in the NHL and have long been out of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture. "Obviously we've had a lot of downs but a lot of ups as well, and to finish the season the way we have I think would be a huge plus going forward for next year."

The Flames, who conclude their 2013-14 season Sunday in Vancouver, have gone 12-4-0 at home since dropping a franchise record seven straight games at the Saddledome from Dec. 27-Jan. 16. They've outscored opponents 58-42 during their recent run.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings trying to stay sharp heading into postseason

CALGARY -- With three games remaining in the regular-season schedule, the Los Angeles Kings are in limbo.

Having clinched third place in the Pacific Division and unable to move up or down regardless of the outcome of their final games, the Kings await their first-round opponent when the puck drops on the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But there are still plenty of reasons to play, according to forward Justin Williams.

"It's where you learn how to be a professional," said Williams, whose Kings open a set of back-to-back games in Alberta against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. "It's all about professionalism and finishing off the right way. You have to be playing good hockey coming into the postseason. It's not a switch as many like to think that you can just flip on come playoff time. You have to be trending in the right direction, and these last three games are important for us."

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Posted On Friday, 03.28.2014 / 3:28 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Rangers trying to maintain focus against Flames

CALGARY -- With an eye on the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference standings, the New York Rangers kick off a four-game road trip against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

The Rangers, riding a five-game winning streak, sit second in the division, three points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers hold two games in hand.

"We need to push each other and we need to continue playing well because teams are winning around us," Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "Everyone is playing desperate hockey right now, and now is the time to just put it all out there. We only have eight games to go. It was a challenging start for us at the start of the year, but I think the second half we've been playing a lot better and the results have been there."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens