After the dominating win over the San Jose Sharks Sunday night in Calgary, the Flames were all smiles at Monday morning's practice.
A new addition was on the ice for the first time in a long time. Sporting a bright yellow jersey was David Moss
. Both Moss and Brett Sutter wore yellow jerseys and both took reps with fourth-liners Craig Conroy, Stefan Meyer
and Tim Jackman
"It feels one hundred percent," said Moss. "It's just about getting my legs back. I took a bit (of contact) at the end but today's practice wasn't too much contact so I did some of my own at the end.
"It feels good. The brace is more for pre-cautionary reasons. I can take contact and I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow and Wednesday and go from there."David Moss
has been cleared to play full contact however it is still not clear when exactly he will be ready to return to the lineup. The other question will be where will he fit into the mix? Will he stay at centre or because of the new depth, will he go back to playing on the wing?
“We'll see," said coach Sutter. "He is getting closer everyday and when that time comes there will be a decision made at that point in time. Do we want to play him at center ice or put him on the wing? We'll make a decision then and we'll see."
The Flames dressed all seven defencemen for practice. Brendan Mikkelson, who saw 12:33 minutes of ice-time on Sunday against the Sharks, still has a lot to learn and even more to prove to the coaching staff if he wants to see many games.
"I thought the first game there were some things that were just a different system," explained Sutter. "I thought last night he was ok but we're going to need him to be better. There are things that we have to work on Brendan to allow that to happen.
"That's why we're training seven defencemen here. We need Brendan to play at the emotional level that we want our team playing at. That's going to come from him being around the guys and knowing what the expectations are and the accountability is from the coaching staff. He'll figure that out as we go along here."BOURQUE IS NHL'S FIRST STAR OF THE WEEK
Bourque scored a League-leading six goals, including three game-winners, and added an assist in four games to earn himself the NHL First Star of the week.
"It's good," Bourque commented about the league recognition. "I had a good week, our team had a good week. It's a weird war, you could have three good games in a different seven day span and not get it. This one just worked out like that."
He notched the third hat trick of his NHL career and added an assist in a 6-2 victory in Nashville Friday night and concluded the week with two more goals, including his third game-winner of the week, in the 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks Sunday night.
Bourque told media after Monday's skate that he is just feeling more relaxed. The line is playing very well and his shot is hard and accurate right now.
"Everybody's doing their part," said Bourque. "Even though I'm the one putting them in the net, I wouldn't be doing that if they weren't doing their job too.
The only thing that is slightly different in Bourque's routine is his stick. The forward decided to change up his curve and see what happened. The lone stick scored him a hat-trick on Friday night and a pair of goals in Sunday's win. Bourque has placed an order for his new sticks that will hopefully arrive this week."
"I just had this stick that I wanted to try out," Bourque said smiling. "It had been sitting in my locker for awhile. I gave it a shot the other night and it worked so I kept it last night too. I only have one though, so hopefully it doesn't break. I'm definitely not using it at practice. I didn't even use it during warm up yesterday because I was scared it was going to break."
"He's playing hard," Brent Sutter said about Bourque's play. "When he plays like that, he's a big strong guy who can skate, shoot the puck and is physical, he's a tough guy to contain. He's emotionally involved in the game and his intelligence in the game is there and he's finding the areas to get pucks and he's got such a great shot and such great release."
Author: Kristi Hennessy