CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames believed they were getting the right guys back from injury just in the nick of time for a playoff push.
It turns out the sick bay at the Scotiabank Saddledome was just going through a reorganization.
After seeing Curtis Glencross, Derek Smith and David Moss all return to the club in a span of a week in late February, the injured reserve list quickly filled back up in March with the likes of Blake Comeau and Lance Bouma. Though not listed on IR, the Flames added Michael Cammalleri to the list of walking wounded.
Diagnosed with what the team is calling an upper-body injury, Cammalleri will not be at Calgary's disposal Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
"It's amazing how many injuries we have had this year, but there's nothing you can do about it," captain Jarome Iginla said. "We've hung in there, and we plan on doing that and plan on making it. Unfortunately, we've had our share but we keep going. We need to win games, 16 left."
The rash of injuries has prompted the Flames to call up three members of the Abbotsford Heat in one dramatic swoop. Krys Kolanos, Greg Nemisz and Guillaume Desbiens, who have combined for 14 games with the Flames already this season, will comprise a line as Calgary hopes to end a five-game losing streak on home ice.
"That's why you have to have depth in your organization where can come in and step up and play," Glencross said.
The Abbotsford three are poised to do just that.
"The stakes are super high, and we know that," Desbiens said. "We can't afford to lose any points for the playoff race. It makes it a little more stressful, but it makes it so much more fun. It's the time of year you want to play."
"It's a critical situation and it makes me take it to another level and makes me that much more ready to embrace the challenge," he said.
The urgency isn’t lost on Nemisz, either.
"There's no time for us to feel it out," he said. "We've all been up here already, so we have to go out there and play our game."
All Flames coach Brent Sutter can ask of the three, who were summoned from the American Hockey League yesterday, is to simply bring it.
"They've been here before," Sutter said. "They've been through the situation and the importance of the games. I just want them to go out there and play like they can and give us what they can give us. We need them to be good for us."
Here's the projected lineup for the Flames:
Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla
Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - David Moss
Tom Kostopoulos - Roman Horak - Tim Jackman
Greg Nemisz - Krys Kolanos - Guillaume Desbiens
Mark Giordano - Derek Smith
Jay Bouwmeester - Cory Sarich
Cory Sarich - TJ Brodie