The Flames may have gotten their season back on track with their 3-1 victory over the Los
Angeles Kings on Sunday but their injuries troubles piled up just five minutes into the contest.
First, Adam Pardy was aiming to check Wayne Simmonds hard into the glass but landed awkwardly. He went immediately to the locker room and never returned.
Then, Rene Bourque was run into by Kevin Westgarth behind the play. The clip initially looked harmless but as Bourque got to his feet, it was apparent he was shaken. He made his way to the bench, was quickly evaluated and then escorted back to see the team's medical staff. He was also out for the night.
"Hopefully we get this bad luck out early," sighed Curtis Glencross
. "It's something that last year, at the end of the year, kind of killed us a bit, having some injuries late in the season.
"You don't want them (injuries) obviously but hopefully the guys have quick recoveries and can get back in the lineup as soon as possible."
The sick bay has been filling up for the Flames since the preseason. Daymond Langkow (neck), Matt Stajan
(shoulder), Ryan Stone (knee), David Moss
(shoulder) and Ales Kotalik (knee) are listed as indefinite on the injured reserve. Tough guy Raitis Ivanans (head) is listed as day-to-day at the moment after his scrap with Oilers enforcer Steve MacIntyre.
After Sunday's game, head coach Brent Sutter said he wasn't aware of how severe either Pardy or Bourque's maladies were, adding the two will be evaluated over the next couple of days.
"We'll know more tomorrow. I can't really comment on it now because we don't really know a lot right now."
Glencross acknowledged the ever-growing list of names on injured list but says his crew is prepared for the challenge.
"Everyone else has to step up and fill in roles for those guys. It's part of the team - you lose a guy for a long time and you have to have guys that step up and play in those positions."
One bright spot on the injury front came this week when Stajan took to the ice on Sunday, donning a non-contact jersey, with the team for the first time since hurting his shoulder in the preseason.
"It’s nice to get out there with the team - feel the puck, get crisp passes back, just start to get the feeling back," said the forward. "So we’ll keep going with that, keep getting stronger. Then, hopefully, be back as soon as I can.
"I feel good. I feel really good I’m just trying to get my skating legs back. I’ve been skating for a week now. It’s getting better every day. I’m still day to day. I’ve got to get cleared."
Stajan isn't sure when he'll be given full medical clearance.
"It’s always your goal to be back as soon as you can. We’ll see. I haven’t taken any contact yet. Depending how it responds when that happens, I’ll be back as soon as I can."
Moss and Langkow also skated on Sunday morning but did so before the rest of the team hit the ice.
A short-handed boost
After being blanked by the Oilers last week, the Flames knew they needed to an offensive spark on Sunday evening when the Kings dropped by to visit. They got that boost in the form of a short-handed tally from Glecnross.
"He got a huge goal," said Brent Sutter. "It's a short-handed goal and it gives you a lead. I thought at that point in time we were playing pretty good too, with a shortened bench."
While the Flames were on the penalty kill, Brett Sutter managed to snag the puck in the neutral zone. As soon as he looked around for an area to dump the puck, he saw Glencross streaking through the zone. He deftly threw it over to the speedy winger and Glencross never looked back.
“Suttsie forced them . . . I jumped my guy at the point,” Glencross summarized. “Bobbled puck. Suttsie recovered it and made a nice pass. I didn’t think I was going to catch it. I was thinking I was running out of real estate. But it worked out in the end."
Glencross was able to trick rookie netminder Jonathan Bernier into committing to a short-side shot but the forward quickly flipped the puck to his backhand and sent the puck over the sprawling goaltender.
It turned out it was not just the Flames first marker of the season. It was Glencross' 100th NHL point.
"Didn't even know," he chuckled. "Kind of cool."Veteran presence
When Craig Conroy was signed to a one year, two-way deal this summer, he knew it would be a battle to make the lineup with the likes of Sutter and Stefan Meyer
breathing down his neck for spot.
So when Ivanans was rendered unable to play last week, the 39 year-old forward knew he had to impress on his first outing of the 2010-11 season.
He came up with what would be the eventual game winning goal.
"You just want to prove, 'Hey, I can still help the team.'" said Conroy. "Any way you can. I thought it was going to be more just win faceoffs and things like that tonight. But the goal ... I'll take it.