The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week, usually on non-game days.
| March 18, 2010 |
|Toskala on a roll |
Goaltender Vesa Toskala is now 2-0 as a Calgary Flame.
But that doesn't mean he'll do anything more than play the back-up role to Miikka Kiprusoff. He's not here to push his fellow Finn and friend Kiprusoff out of the No. 1 position.
"That's not even my goal," smiled Toskala on Thursday, a day after defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 with a 32-save performance in Denver."I'm here to give him a day off and when I am playing, trying to get the win."
So far, that's been the case for Toskala, acquired from Anaheim on trade deadline day in a deal that sent then back-up Curtis McElhinney to the Ducks. For Toskala, it was the second trade of the season -- he was dealt from Toronto to Anaheim earlier in the year.
"There are lots of things in this league that you can't control. Trades are one of them," said Toskala. "I'm just here trying to help this team make the playoffs."
The goaltender said the transition to a new team has been fairly seamless.
"This team keeps the shots outside. It's been pretty good for me."
"He is a quality goaltender," said head coach Brent Sutter. "He has been a number one goaltender in the NHL. In the two games he has played, I 've been very happy with him. I have no problem playing Vesa any time."
Toskala's first win as a Flames came March 7 versus Minnesota. He was also strong in an off-the-bench effort against Vancouver on March 14.
Forward Curtis Glencross, part of a Flames energy line with Jamal Mayers and Eric Nystrom that has been providing offence as well as grit lately, probably won't be in the line-up Friday when the Flames host San Jose.
Glencross had a knee-on-knee collision with Matt Hendricks in Wednesday's game against the Colorado Avalanche. There was no penalty on the play.
Flames head coach Brent Sutter isn't talking about specific injuries at this time of the season. However, he did acknowledge that Glencross is "banged up."
"It was a knee-on-knee, no question," said Sutter. "Unfortunately we've got a guy banged from it. Hopefully he will be okay."
The Flames have not had forward Chris Higgins in the line-up for two games because of an undisclosed injury. Nigel Dawes has drawn into the line-up as his replacement.
The Flames have two forwards on hand who can fill in for Glencross if he doesn't play -- Mikael Backlund and Brian McGrattan.
"Glennie does a lot for us. Killing penalties, scoring key goals. And using his speed. Our game won't change. I am not sure who we are going to be with but we'll just grind it out," said Mayers.
Here come the Sharks
The Flames have had a close game and a blowout against San Jose this season. After winning 2-1 in San Jose in December the Flames were thumped 9-1 by the Sharks in December. Both games were in San Jose. Now the Sharks come to Calgary for the first time this season, Friday at the 'Dome.
It might be two months ago but being beaten 9-1 tends to stick on the brain. "That was embarrassing. They beat us pretty handily," said forward Craig Conroy.
"In the hockey world you never have a short memory," said head coach Brent Sutter. "We have other goals we have to achieve here. It becomes the biggest game of the year for us."
"These games are all huge," said forward Eric Nystrom. "There's no reason we can't win these games and secure ourselves a playoff spot."
Conroy said the team expects to build on that big win in Denver on Wednesday.
"It is something to build on. We have another even better team coming in. You can't look too far ahead. We believe we are going to make the playoffs and that's good because we will be playing well at that time."
The Sharks will have played the night before in Vancouver.
"Any time we get a team that is on a back-to-back we have to take advantage of it," said Conroy.
Gametime tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome is 7 p.m. The game is also on Sportsnet West and The Fan 960 radio.