In order to inject a little life into their club against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, the Calgary Flames have turned to Guillaume Desbiens.
A rough-and-tumble forward recalled yesterday from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, Desbiens will make his Flames debut against the Broad Street Bullies.
It’s the perfect situation for his debut.
“They’re a physical team and I’m a physical player,” said Desbiens, who has 13 points with the Heat this season. “It’s going to be a good match for me and the kind of game I like to play in. I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to forecheck, be physical and try to bring some energy and try to spend some time in the offensive zone. If I can do that, I’ll be happy with my game.”
Lance Bouma, a fellow call-up from Abbotsford, thinks it’s the right situation for his teammate.
“That’s the type of player he is,” Bouma said. “He’s a big, strong guy who uses his body well. He’s not afraid to drop the gloves. He’s not shy with that at all. It’s a big game for him coming in.”
Coach Brent Sutter, whose Flames have shown little in the way of emotion in back-to-back losses to the Edmonton Oilers and Phoenix Coyotes earlier in the week, hopes Desbiens can provide that spark.
“He’s a big, strong guy who plays with emotion, plays with his heart on his sleeve,” Sutter said. “He’s going to bang, crash, go hard to the net. He’s not a real high-end skilled guy. It gives him an opportunity and gives us an opportunity to see where he’s at.”
Emotion shouldn’t be difficult to find for Desbiens, who has 102 penalty minutes in 51 games this season in the AHL.
“It’s a good time of the year,” he said. “Stakes are high. The team is doing pretty good so we’re hoping to make a final push for the playoffs. The stakes are really high. When you’re younger you dream about these games.
Here's the Flames' projected lineup:
Jarome Iginla – Olli Jokinen – Curtis Glencross
Alex Tanguay – Michael Cammalleri – Blake Comeau
Guillaume Desbiens – Roman Horak – Tim Jackman
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Tom Kostopoulos
Jay Bouwmeester – Derek Smith
Mark Giordano – Scott Hannan
TJ Brodie – Cory Sarich