Compared to what we've seen as of late, the Flames held a rather fun and light-hearted skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome Tuesday.
"We come here very business-like to get stuff out of practice," said coach Brent Sutter.
"If we have a practice where we're doing things right and doing it the way we're supposed to be doing it, we always throw things in that we can get away from talking strictly about our systems and do some fun drills with the guys."
The players seemed to be enjoying practice as the smiles and chuckles were all over the ice. They understand and recognize the importance of working hard and getting better but at the same time need to find the light side of work every so often.
"We need to practice and work and get better," said Jarome Iginla
. "We are playing in the NHL but no matter what you do, you have to find ways to have fun at work. You have to be ready but you still have to be loose, you can't be too tight. We can't approach every game like it's game 7 and it's do or die. At times we do that a little too much."
"There's a time to be serious and there's time to buckle down but sometimes we have to keep it light." said Brendan Morrison.
Other noteable observations from Tuesday's practice include Olli Jokinen
not skating after leaving Monday's practice early. Coach Sutter said he was taking time off the ice to ensure he is 100% for Wednesday's game against Detroit. Alex Tanguay
returned to practice, this time sporting a full face shield after taking a stick in the face against Washington on Saturday.
The top line of Jarome Iginla
, Matt Stajan
and Alex Tanguay
were all wearing green jerseys today. So was tefan Meyer.
Wearing black sweaters to make up the second line were Niklas Hagman, Brett Sutter and Brendan Morrison.
In blue was Curtis Glencross
and Craig Conroy and in wearing red jerseys were Rene Bourque, Mikael Backlund
and David Moss
The 17 goals-against in three games is something that no one is happy about in the Flames organization. The Flames have a reputation of being a very strong defensive team and that hasn't been the case lately.
"No we're not [happy about it]," head coach Brent Sutter said. "That's certainly been addressed in the last three days. That's something we have to be very prideful in -- to want to be a good team that keeps their scoring chances down, keeps the shots-against down, and keeps goals-against down. When we're playing the game the right way, we're good at it and we're also getting enough quality scoring chances to allow us to score enough goals. We just have to do it on a consistent basis."
The entire room has seen the scoreboard over the last couple games and know that they have to get back to playing like the team they know they can be. Start shutting down the other team's time and quality chances and keep the goals-against low.
“It’s a big concern,” said Brendan Morrison. “Seventeen goals against in three games is horrific. This team has always been known as a defensive team and it’s still in there, it’s in this room. We got away from it the last couple games. We just have to have it in our heads that if we play sound defensively, we’re going to have the puck more offensively and we’re going to get more chances.” MOSS BACK? BOURQUE MOVES TO LW
David Moss is still waiting for the green light to get back in the line-up. He has been very close for the last week. At practice Tuesday, Moss was placed on the right wing on a line that included Rene Bourque on the left side and Mikael Backlund at centre.
“I’m not saying this is a for sure thing going past tomorrow night but you always look at your opposition and you try to make it work to what your lines should look like,” Sutter said.
“With Moss coming back we felt that he will come back on the right side. That’s not saying that we may not put him at centre ice at some point either because I thought he was playing very well when he got hurt at centre ice.”
Mosssays he’s more than ready to get back into game action and help his team.
“It has felt good for a few days now,” said Moss. “I feel like I’m ready. A couple hard practices and ya definitely, I’m itchin'.”
“It'll be determined (Wednesday prior to the game against Detroit),” said Sutter. “I would think that he is very very close so we’ll make that decision in the morning.”
Author: Kristi Hennessy