FLAMES UNLUCKY IN LOSS TO LEAFS
A day after falling 4-2 despite outshooting the Toronto Maple Leafs 43-22, coach Bob Hartley liked everything about the performance of his Calgary Flames - except the result.
Hartley’s Flames thoroughly outplayed the Leafs through 60 minutes, but couldn’t come away with two points on Wednesday.
“This game sometimes is a little unfair,” Hartley said. “I felt that we deserved much better last night but we didn’t get rewarded. That’s the only part that I’m not satisfied about was the reward.”
The Flames tested Toronto starter Jonathan Bernier 15 times in the opening 20 minutes, threw another 20 his way during the middle frame and another eight in the third period but could only beat him twice.
“I liked everyone in our game last night, everybody did their job,” Hartley said. “Bernier did his job for the Leafs and tomorrow’s another day.”
COLBORNE RELISHING OPPORTUNITY
Against his former Leafs teammates, Joe Colborne played a career-high 23:54, nearly five minutes more than his previous best establishing in his NHL debut on April 11, 2009.
He’s enjoying the opportunity he’s been given in Calgary.
“Oh yeah, it’s not been lost on me that it’s an unbelievable opportunity,” said Colborne, who was acquired from Toronto in September. “I’m just doing everything I can to take advantage of it.”
The 6-foot-5, 213-pound pivot has seen his ice time grow over the past two games, jumping from 10:24 against the Dallas Stars on October 24th to 15:18 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday before Wednesday’s total against the Leafs.
That ice has come with the task of shutting down some of the opposition’s top players, including Alex Ovechkin and Phil Kessel. Neither star recorded points against the Flames.
He’ll face a similar threat in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg when the Detroit Red Wings visit on Friday.
“It’s no different then when you go up against a guy like Ovechkin or Phil,” the 23-year-old said. “They’re the top players in the world for a reason. As a team I thought we’ve done a pretty good job of shutting down Ovi and Phil. You just have to realize they’re going to get their chances no matter what.
“That’s why they’re paid the big bucks. It comes down to trying to minimize them and after they get their chances, don’t allow them to get a second one.”
MACDONALD READY FOR RED WINGS
Joey MacDonald will make his first start in four games when the Flames welcome the Red Wings to Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.
“I think that Mac gave us a real good run early on,” Hartley said. “Karri (Ramo) gave us a good run. Now lets hope that Mac will give us the same kind of run he gave us.”
MacDonald spent parts of three seasons with Detroit before Calgary claimed the 33-year-old off waivers last February.
He’s looking forward to facing his former team.
“I spent a lot of time in Detroit, a lot of guys I played with for a long time,” MacDonald said. “It’s going to be an exciting time to get back in there and do what we do.
“You spent that much time with the team and a lot of guys over there spent a lot of time with, it kinda boosts your energy a little bit and try to put yourself up to the game a little more, put a little more pressure on because you want to do well against your former team.”
“After having some of those chances we didn’t bury, I was up all night thinking about it. That’s hockey. Sometimes you run into a hot goalie. During the game, they’re good at clearing pucks out from in front of the net. That’s how they’re successful.”
The Flames play host to Datsyuk, Zetterberg and the Red Wings Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. MT.