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Flames await news on Brodie injury

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- TJ Brodie tried. He couldn’t continue.

And his status wasn’t immediately updated Thursday.

“TJ will be checked by our medical staff later on today,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “Obviously we will know his status. There’s nothing changed from last night to this point.

“We’re just waiting for results. I feel pretty good (but) obviously there’s no diploma on my wall.”

Brodie left the 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes with 5:36 remaining in the second period because of a lower body injury sustained after blocking a shot by Justin Faulk earlier in the period.

The 25-year-old defenceman did not return, and was absent from practice Thursday.

Brodie leads the Flames in ice time, averaging 25:08 per game.

His 25 points in 40 games places him fifth in team scoring.

“It would be a real challenge for us,” centre Matt Stajan said. “No one is going to replace TJ Brodie. We’d have guys that would have to step up and guys are up for the challenge. It would be as a team. We just focus on the games and whoever is ready to go is going to make a game plan and go out there and apply that.

“He’s going to do everything he can to be ready to go and if not, we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing what we can to win a hockey game.”

Brodie set new career highs in goals (11), assists (30) and points (41) last season.

“I’m sure Brodie’s going to be back,” defenseman Kris Russell said. “Regardless who’s in the lineup, we have to make sure we compete, we execute and we work for each other.”

Brodie missed the first nine games of the season after sustaining a broken bone in his right hand blocking a shot in a pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Flames started the season 2-7-0 without him. They’re 20-17-3 with Brodie in the lineup.

“He’s been one of our best players all year,” Stajan said. “Our season at the start of the year turned around when he came back from his injury in pre-season. Hopefully he’s back tomorrow night. If not, sooner rather than later. Him and [Giordano] are 1A, 1B. They’re our rocks on the back end. Hopefully he’s okay because obviously he’s a part of this club.”

Defenceman Jakub Nakladal could step into the lineup in place of Brodie. Nakladal was recalled from Stockton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

“We could see him at any time,” Hartley said. “Right now [Brodie]’s status will decide on many of our decisions, but lets wait and see. I felt that last night our six defencemen played very well, but at the same time one thing with [Nakladal], he has lots of international experience. He had a great training camp. He’s been very good for us in Stockton. I wouldn’t hesitate one second to put him in the lineup.”

NOTES: Suspended defenseman Dennis Wideman skated with the Flames on Thursday. Defencemen Mark Giordano (maintenance) did not participate in the skate. Goaltender Karri Ramo is expected to start Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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