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Posted On Tuesday, 12.01.2015 / 3:51 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Flames

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have several question marks surrounding their lineup when they open a five-game homestand at Scotiabank Saddledome against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-SW+).

"We have a few guys sick and we have a few guys injured," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Everyone was on the ice and we have some decisions to make once we meet with the medical staff. We're not sure yet. The only thing I can tell you is that Karri Ramo will start in net."

Defenseman Kris Russell and forward Michael Frolik were absent from practice Monday because of maintenance, and forward Johnny Gaudreau didn't skate (flu). Forward Sean Monahan left early in the practice because of illness.

Posted On Friday, 11.20.2015 / 4:14 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Flames

CALGARY -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be without forward Marko Dano because of an illness Friday as they continue a six-game road trip against the Calgary Flames (7-12-1) at Scotiabank Saddledome (9 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, SNW).

"He's not feeling good today," Blackhawks (11-7-1) coach Joel Quenneville said.

Dano participated in Chicago's optional practice Thursday but did not skate with the team Friday. Andrew Shaw will replace Dano on a line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

"[Shaw] gives us some offense; gives us some personality on the line as well," Quenneville said. "Playing against top lines and top defense so there's always important shifts as far as both sides of the puck, and I think he can add something to that line to get some consistency in that line. That's what we're looking for."

Shaw has two goals and five points in 19 games this season.

Posted On Tuesday, 11.17.2015 / 4:13 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Flames

CALGARY -- With unflattering predictions about the New Jersey Devils, defenseman Damon Severson told MSG Network in training camp, “Let’s be this year’s Calgary Flames.”

So far they are.

The Devils (10-6-1) have been among the NHL’s most surprising teams, and enter the game against the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNW) winners of 10 of the past 13 games.

“No one expected us to win,” Severson said. “No one expected us to do well. It was up to us. We could either play hockey and be OK with losing and be OK with what everyone’s saying and everyone is going to be like, ‘Oh, they were right.’ Or we could go ahead and prove them wrong and it’ll be a whole new story. We’re glad to be on the good side of the story.”

Posted On Saturday, 11.07.2015 / 2:56 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Flames

CALGARY -- The struggling Calgary Flames will attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time this season as they finish a two-game homestand against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ROOT).

"I think overall our game just hasn't been good enough, to be honest, in the first 14 games," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "There's been spots and at times our game has been really good. We just have to find our consistency. The good thing is we're not too far out of it and we can make that ground back up over the next 68 games. I just feel like we have to keep going in that direction. We took a step the other night defensively and we've got to keep going in that direction."

The Flames (4-9-1), last in the NHL in allowing 4.00 goals against per game, come off a 2-1 overtime victory Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers to snap a stretch of six straight games in which they've surrendered four or more goals.

Posted On Thursday, 11.05.2015 / 4:24 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Flames

CALGARY -- Forward Sean Couturier will return to the Philadelphia Flyers lineup Thursday against the Calgary Flames (9 p.m. ET; SN360, CSN-PH) after missing the past six games because of a concussion.

Couturier sustained the injury on a high hit from former teammate and Boston Bruins forward Zac Rinaldo on Oct. 21. Rinaldo was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct, but was not suspended.

"It's been tough," said Couturier, who will center a line with Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds. "There's nothing you can really control, especially with a concussion. You can't speed up the process of recovery. I had to wait and rest and recover. Now that I feel good, I feel that I can help the team get back on track."

Posted On Friday, 10.30.2015 / 3:40 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Flames

CALGARY -- Goaltender Joni Ortio will make his second start of the season and fourth consecutive appearance when the Calgary Flames host the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9 p.m. ET; RDS, CITYM, SNF).

The Flames (2-7-1) return to Calgary winless after a three-game road trip that all featured appearances from Ortio.

"I think we've got to take the positives and move forward," said Ortio, who is 0-1-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 80 minutes of work. "We haven't been scoring a lot of goals and scored four the other night. Obviously we've got to cut down on goals against and chances against, but now we're actually producing offensively, which is a good thing."

Posted On Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:36 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Flames

CALGARY -- The Detroit Red Wings will be without center Brad Richards because of a back injury when they look to halt a three-game losing streak against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-D).

"His back is acting up a little bit so it looks like he might be out," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We were hoping he'd be fine but it wasn't too good today, so he won't go today. It's a day-to-day thing right now, as far as I know."

Richards signed a one-year contract with Detroit (3-3-0) on July 1 and has two assists in six games. He had 12 goals and 37 points with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, and 14 points in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help Chicago win the Stanley Cup.

Forward Joakim Andersson is expected to take his place in the lineup.

Posted On Tuesday, 10.20.2015 / 3:54 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Flames

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne will make his season debut against the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SN 360, CSN-DC).

"It's just excitement right now," Colborne said after the morning skate. "It's been a long time coming and it feels like the training camp would never end for me. It's tough watching your team go out there. It's a little easier when they're winning, but I'm just excited to get back and help the team win any way I can."

Colborne missed each of the first five games of the season with a broken thumb, an injury sustained when he blocking a slap shot from Andrew Ladd during a 3-1 pre-season loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 1.

Posted On Saturday, 10.17.2015 / 4:00 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Flames

CALGARY -- Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid will get his first taste of the Battle of Alberta, making his debut in the provincial rivalry against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1).

"I'm excited," said McDavid, who has one goal in four games to start his NHL career. "It's something that is covered pretty well in the media and a lot of people are watching. I'm excited to play in it. We both have young teams. It's exciting to be a part of. It should be a good game."

The Flames (1-3-0) are well aware of what to expect out from McDavid, their new northern neighbor, who received plenty of press before and after becoming the No. 1 selection in the 2015 NHL Draft last June.

"I think he's going to be a superstar in this League for a long time and I know he gets a lot of coverage but he's handling it well," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "He's going to be a top-line player tonight on the other team, so we've got to find a way to hopefully limit his time and space and contain him, but they're a pretty skilled group over there."

Posted On Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 4:26 PM

By Aaron Vickers - Correspondent / - 2015-16 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Flames

CALGARY -- Forward Scottie Upshall will make his St. Louis Blues debut Tuesday against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Upshall will dress in place of injured Robby Fabbri, 19, who is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion in the first period of a 3-2 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

"It's an exciting time of year," said Upshall, who had eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with the Florida Panthers last season. "It's been a long summer. I'm excited to get back in there and help this team do big things. It's a new team, new bunch of guys, new linemates. I'm hungry to get in there and poised for a big night. I feel this trip is a big trip for us to start the season and I just want to get in there and have some fun."

While the start of Fabbri's career has been halted, Upshall is trying to resurrect his.

The veteran of 553 games, Upshall attended training camp on a professional tryout and parlayed that into a one-year, two-way contract signed Oct. 5, two days prior to his 32nd birthday.

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Guys were making fun of him a little bit after his breakaway that he shot right in [Jake Allen's] chest, but after that he turned it up to beast mode and buried a couple there.

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