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BLUELINERS COMING UP BIG

Stone, Bartkowski get rave reviews from coach, captain

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

Reliable and really good in the dressing room.

Can't ask for more from two late-season acquisitions who were brought in to provide depth on the blueline and add character for the Flames' playoff drive.

"I think just some stability there," said coach Glen Gulutzan, when asked what defenceman Ryan Stone and Matt Bartkowski have brought to the table. "Everybody talks about Stoney and I like to say that both Bart and Stoney have come in and given us some real good games here. They've both been able to get guys to the wall. Stoney can really shoot the puck, Bart can really skate. I just think they've given us a little bit of chemistry it seems and depth and all those types of things but good people, great in the locker-room. We added those two guys and (they) gave us a little bit of a boost in there and they've been really good for us."

 

Bartkowski is plus-2 in six games with the Flames while Stone has collected a pair of assists and is plus-4 in five games.

Numbers don't tell the full tale, though.

"They've come in and done a great job," said captain Mark Giordano. "Playing against both of them over the years you knew what type of players … they were. Especially playing against Stoney a lot in Phoenix, I knew he had all the tools and he was coming off a pretty serious injury last year so he's stepped in and played a huge role on our team, Bart as well, just the way he can get up and down the ice. They fit in pretty quickly which is pretty impressive."

Giordano added that Stone has one big attribute to his game the team needs to start taking advantage of more often.

"He's a physical guy, big guy who gets guys in our own zone, he hits guys, get them to the wall," said Giordano. "But offensively he has a really, really heavy shot and I think sometimes that can go unnoticed. But if you see him out there in practice and in the games when he gets them off they're bombs from the point. So we gotta use that, get him the puck more."

 

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