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MORNING SKATE REPORT - 05.11.17

With Hamonic sidelined, Stone will slot in beside Brodie .... Jagr to sit out sixth game

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

With Travis Hamonic out of the lineup, the Flames will have to make some adjustments to their defensive group for tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m., TV: SN360, Radio: Sportsnet960 The FAN).

"It's not a week-to-week thing," coach Glen Gulutzan said of Hamonic's lower-body injury, following the team's morning skate. "It's going to be a few days here … we're going to get him re-evaluated tomorrow again, and see where he's at."

Jaromir Jagr will also miss tonight's game, his sixth in a row, and remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

In the meantime, Matt Bartkowski is expected to draw in and play on the right side alongside Brett Kulak on the third pairing. Rasmus Andersson, who was recalled from the Stockton Heat, will watch tonight from the press box.

Michael Stone will also be moved up to the second pairing, where he will be reunited with TJ Brodie: a duo the Flames utilized at the end of last season.

Video: Brodie talks about playing with a new D partner

"He's good with the puck, good skater, and defensively he's good," Brodie said. "He's one of those guys that … can do everything."

Stone believes his and Brodie's games are good fits.

"I think you just have to be aware of his offensive abilities and what he is trying to do on the ice," Stone said. "I'm not going to think too much about what I need to be doing, I'm going to play the way I know how to play. And I think that's just a complement to how he's going to play. I don't think it's too much different."

Video: Stone talks about playing with Brodie

Gulutzan has a lot of faith in the pairing, too, recalling how his team improved once Stone came into the fold last season.

"I know it was right around the time that we got Stoney there that we really took off as a group," he said. "And I like that pair. TJ's game got better, I thought they played very well, so. Again, part of the plan is when Tre put everything together we had guys that could play both sides and we had guys that could step up and play, so that's the beauty of having a defenceman like Stoney."

Kulak, meanwhile, is getting increasingly comfortable as an NHLer. Tonight will be his sixth game of the season, and it's possible he could be called on to play a bigger role.

"I think I gotta stay the same way, and then just, you know, if I am called on (for) a higher role, just respond to that and do what I've been doing, just play hard and be effective in that role," he said. "And you know, obviously it's a big void to fill with Hammy out of the lineup, but I'm just going to, when I'm called upon, I'm going to do what I can to help the team."

 

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