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Westgarth could make Flames debut against Flyers

Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 2:08 PM

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

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Westgarth could make Flames debut against Flyers

CALGARY -- If Kevin Westgarth can make it to Scotiabank Saddledome in time, he will make his Calgary Flames debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Westgarth, acquired Monday from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade for Greg Nemisz, is trying but may not make it in time for puck drop on New Year's Eve.

"Right now the main thing is to try to get Kevin Westgarth in town," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “His flight has been delayed. We think he's going to show up early this afternoon, so if he does he's going to be in the lineup."

If he does have Westgarth at his disposal, Hartley said he expects one thing from his new forward.

"Toughness," he said. "That's why we got him."

David Jones is well aware of that toughness Westgarth brings. As a member of Dartmouth College, Jones was no stranger to skating opposite the 6-foot-4, 234-pound Princeton wing.

"I definitely remember him being a pretty big guy on the other team," Jones said. "He moved pretty well and he could finish his checks. Whenever you were out on the ice, you had to get your head up as soon as you got the puck because he was coming."

Because of his aggressiveness, Jones said Westgarth will fit right into the truculent style Calgary is trying to establish.

"I think that's a pretty safe assessment for sure," Jones said. "He's a guy that brings a lot of energy and is a big, strong body that isn't afraid of anyone. We're happy to have him."

Brian McGrattan certainly is. The forward leads the Flames with seven fighting majors this season.

"It's going to be a big help for our team, a big help for me," he said. "We can add a guy like that that has that presence and is physical, it's going to really help.

"If you look at Toronto with [Colton] Orr and [Frazer] McLaren, you don't see too many things happen or them getting pushed around. It's going to be hopefully a great 1-2 punch here."

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Paul Byron

Jiri Hudler - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Kevin Westgarth - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan

Ladislav Smid - Mark Giordano

Chris Butler - TJ Brodie

Shane O'Brien - Derek Smith

Reto Berra

Karri Ramo

Scratched: TJ Galiardi, Markus Granlund, Christopher Breen

Injured: Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), Kris Russell (MCL sprain), Dennis Wideman (broken hand), Blair Jones (meniscal tear)


Michael RafflClaude GirouxJakub Voracek

Scott HartnellBrayden SchennWayne Simmonds

Matt ReadSean CouturierVincent Lecavalier

Steve DownieAdam HallZac Rinaldo

Braydon CoburnKimmo Timonen

Mark StreitNicklas Grossmann

Luke SchennAndrej Meszaros

Ray Emery

Steve Mason

Scratched: Jay Rosehill, Hal Gill, Chris VandeVelde

Injured: Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Erik Gustafsson (knee)

Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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