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Flames Update: Lombardi day-to-day

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Each week of the season we start a new Flames Update page.

It includes Calgary Flames news, notes, quotes and anecdotes updated throughout the week with information from practices, games and morning skates.

Below is the Flames Update for the week beginning Oct. 19, 2008

October 24, 2008:
Lombardi is day-to-day

Flames forward Matthew Lombardi is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Lombardi appeared to injure his should in a game against Nashville on Thursday.

At the time ombardi had been promoted to the top line and was playing with Jarome Iginla and Todd Bertuzzi.

NHL teams are no longer required to disclose a player's injury. However the Flames did say they will assess Lombardi on a day-to-day basis. He will miss the game in Phoenix on Saturday.

October 23, 2008:
Watt re-assigned

The Quad City Flames, Calgary's top affiliate in the AHL,  announced that right wing J.D. Watt has been re-assigned to the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL.

Watt appeared in five games with the Flames. He was held pointless while accumulating 28 penalty minutes. At the time of his departure, Watt leads the 2008-09 Baby Flames in penalty minutes.

Watt made his professional debut on October 11 with the Quad City Flames.

His professional career began following four full seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Vancouver Giants, Red Deer Rebels and Regina Pats.

October 22, 2008:
The nine minute surprise


In all his coaching years, Mike Keenan had never seen a nine-minute penalty assessed to player.

But, after referee Bill McCreary explained why he had given Rene Bourque nine minutes for grabbing Washington defencemen Tyler Sloan in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Caps, he understood the call.

Sloan had belted Daymond Langkow in the neutral zone and Bourque jumped in to exact some revenge. Sloan had no time to react and never threw a punch in the melee while Bourque did throw punches.

“I’ve seen it (9 min power play) one time…tonight," said Keenan.

"Bill (McCreary) came over and explained it to me. It was the instigator plus the additional two because of the visor, which gives you four and it’s five for the major.  The only question I had of him was the engagement in the fight with a non-combatant, maybe it would be four for roughing rather than a five major and he said no, he extended himself excessively to the point where he felt he had to give him five and that was the end of the discussion and he was a gentleman in terms of coming over. He came over and said this was a tough call so I want to explain it rather than you hear it from the P.A. system."

Bourque received two minutes for instigating, two minutes and a misconduct for instigating with a visor, and the fighting major for a total of 19 minutes, although the misconduct doesn't put a team shorthanded.

The Flames did not allow a goal through the penalties.
“Well it (penalty kill) was huge as they’re one of the most if not the most skilled team on the East side, in the Eastern Conference. To hold them to I believe it was two shots, over that period of time, that’s an exceptional job well-done by our penalty-killing," said Keenan.

"The work that you have to put in to hold a team down like that over that period of time, that takes a great effort and I’m really happy and proud of the team for being able to withstand that kind of pressure, being a game that’s such a big game for us, and handling it well and staying focused and being ready over a long period of time.”

Nashville next

The Flames left after practice Wednesday for Nashville for a game Thursday. The city has not been all that friendly to the Flames -- they have a 5-13-1 record in the Music City. However, they visited Nashville last season on Oct. 13 and thrashed them 7-4.

The game, which is only available on Flames Pay-Per-View,  will mark No. 800 for Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi.

October 21, 2008:
Prust a gamer

Flames forward Brandon Prust is certainly willing. In his first season with the Flames after toiling in the Flames farm system, the feisty Prust has shown he won't back down in the big NHL. Even if his opponent is the six-foot-six Steve MacIntyre, or SmackIntyre, in Edmonton. When MacIntyre crushed Dustin Boyd into the end boards Saturday in Edmonton,  the 190-pound Prust jumped right in, despite giving up six inches and 65 pounds to the Oiler fighter.

Prust took his share of body shots but handled himself quite well, size difference and all.

"I did as well as I could have," Prust was telling reporters. "He's a big boy. Anyone on the team would have done what I did. You see something like that happen and it is automatic -- you go in a stick up for your teammates."

With four more meetings between the two teams this season, he is bound to come up against MacIntyre again. "I'm not going to chase him around the rink or go looking for him. But if something like that happens I won't be shy to step in."

Prust jokes that he usually gives up size in a fight. In the minors he noted he fought some other big customers, including Chris McAllister ( 6'7", 238 pounds) and Brent Henley (6'7", 250 pounds).

Calgary connection

The Washington Capitals dressed three Calgary products against the Flames on Tuesday. All of them defencemen.


Tyler Sloan, a seven-year journeyman, dressed for his first NHL game while two other Calgary products, Jeff Schultz and Mike Green, also played on the Caps blueline. Green had played in front of the hometown crowd before as an NHLer but it was the first time for Schultz.

However, he was pretty familiar with the Saddledome, having played his junior hockey with the Calgary Hitmen.

October 20, 2008:
Awaiting the Big O


Last season it was Sidney Crosby. This year the young star to come through Calgary is Alexander Ovechkin, the league MVP and leading scorer in the NHL last season.

The Russian forward is a dynamo scorer for the Washington Capitals but he is not afraid to throw his body around. The Flames know his talent and know it will take a team effort to shut down the offensive-minded Ovechkin even though he hasn't started quickly with three points in his first five games.
There's another Alex the Flames will be dealing with -- Alexander Semin has 10 points, including six goals, in five games with the Caps this season.

"Very skilled team," said head coach Mike Keenan. Very prolific when it comes to skill."

No panic

The Flames might be 1-3-1 after five games but they are not in panic mode. They are looking at some excellent first periods and ways to keep the leads that they build in the early going.

Calgary has held the lead after the first period in three of their first five games and were tied after the first in another.

"The assessment is we give up leads. That points to defensive zone coverage and defence," said Keenan. "We have worked hard to get the leads, that's the good news."

"I think it is staying focussed and keeping an even keel," said forward David Moss of carrying through the starts.

Added captain Jarome Iginla: "We've had good first periods and we have to continue that."

New line for the Flames

The Flames have made a swtich ont he No. 1 line, moving Mike Cammalleri into the centre spot between Todd Bertuzzi and Jarome Iginla.

The threesome played together in the third period of Saturday's 3-2 loss in Edmonton and were back together on a line at practice on Monday.

Cammalleri played centre at the University of Michigan and, at times, with the Los Angeles Kings, before arriving in Calgary.

The move shifts Daymond Langkow to the second line with Matthew Lombardi and Rene Bourque.

"We'll have a look at it and see how it works out," said head coach Mike Keenan, never one to hesitate when it comes to juggling the lines.

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