CALGARY -- Michael Cammalleri
has become the center of attention for the Calgary Flames
With the loss of Mikael Backlund
for upwards of eight weeks in Calgary's 3-2 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks
on Saturday and with five other forwards on injured reserve, a depleted Flames squad will see Cammalleri down the middle between Tom Kostopoulos
and Blake Comeau
The adjustment to center will be one of ease for Cammalleri, said coach Brent Sutter
"I'm not too worried about it, to be honest," Sutter said. "I think Cammie is going to handle it just fine. I'm fine with his wingers because they can play down low, too, if they need to. The three of the guys together are smart players and are responsible players."
Kostopoulos, who has been centered by Cammalleri before, agreed.
"He's too smart of a player for it to be difficult for him," he said. "I don't see it being a problem for him. He's a fun guy to play with. He's very talented and creative out there, and he is definitely the type of guy who makes his wingers better. It should be fun."
The Flames have recalled Paul Byron
in Backlund's absence. Byron will know what to expect, having played 18 games this year with Calgary.
"I'm happy about the call-up," Byron said. "It's unfortunate that guys have to get hurt, but it's an opportunity for someone else. Other guys have to step up."
Calgary, which has lost 242 games due to injury this season, could be without Scott Hannan
, who is battling the flu. That could open the door for the return of Anton Babchuk
, who hasn't played since Jan. 17, a span of nine games.
Here is the Flames' projected lineup:
- Olli Jokinen
- Jarome Iginla
- Michael Cammalleri
- Blake Comeau
- Matt Stajan
- Tim Jackman
- Roman Horak
- Krys Kolanos
- Jay Bouwmeester
- Scott Hannan
- Cory Sarich