For the second day in a row, Lance Bouma took regular line rushes but the Calgary Flames aren't making an declarations about his status for tonight's Game 4 match-up with the Anaheim Ducks.
As per Bob Hartley, Bouma will be a game-time decision.
"This afternoon we will sit with our medical staff and we're going to go through all of our injuries, like we usually do," the bench boss explained. "Nothing has changed. We have a few options."
Bouma, who suffered an undisclosed injury on Apr. 7, has worked extremely hard to stay in shape while he recovered from his malady. In his past two practices with the team, he didn't look like he missed a beat and is very happy with how he has felt afterwards.
"I [feel] good," he smiled. "I feel like I’m ready.
"If I get tapped, I’m excited for sure. It’s what you play for all year to play in the playoffs, so, we’ll see what happens."
Also in question for tonight's game is rookie forward Micheal Ferland. The winger has been a game-time decision in Games 2 and 3 but the Flames medical and coaching staff felt it was safer to hold him out of those dates.
"I feel good, I'm ready to play," he said after the morning skate. "It's just going to come down to the coaches and the medical staff. I'm going to go about my day like I'm going to be playing tonight and hopefully I am."
In net, the Flames will once again turn to Karri Ramo. The Finn has been rock solid for his club in the postseason, turning aside 49 of the 54 shots he has faced in the last two games.
"He's a great competitor and there's no doubt in my mind now -- having spent two seasons with him -- he is probably one of the most mentally strong athletes that I've coached," Hartley stated. "You can throw him in at any point of the game, you can tell him the day of the game that he's starting and it's always cool with Karri."
HITTING THE NEXT GEAR
The Flames have made strides in each game of their second round series against the Ducks and they are looking to take their play to the next level in Game 4.
"I hope that we have many more gears to our game because you always want to get better," Hartley said. "That has been our mindset since day one of training camp and we always tell the players we're happy but we're never satisfied -- we always want more.
"What you do today you can do it again tomorrow but you can even do better. That's our role as coaches, we're pushing them and they're responding."
It goes without saying that there is a big difference between tying the series up at 2-2 or having the Ducks take a 3-1 lead back to Anaheim on Sunday. The Flames know the Ducks will be gunning to put them on the brink of elimination and are embracing the challenge.
"It's obviously huge. The guys are excited in the locker room," Johnny Gaudreau said. "We feel real comfortable and confident in our game, especially playing in front of our fans."
The Ducks made it known that they didn't play as physically as they would like in Game 3 and are planning on remedying that this evening. Knowing that, the Flames will be looking to utilize their speed and try to force turnovers created by a player over-committing to a hit.
"We've definitely got to be patient but with them being so aggressive, we've got to make quick plays in our end and get them over-committing maybe and create odd-man rushes," Deryk Engelland commented. "We can't be cheating out of our zone. We've got to wait for the opportunity when it is there."
"I love it personally. That goes well in the way I play. I can only hope to keep providing that presence for our team and we've got plenty of guys who step up and play that role throughout this postseason." - Brandon Bollig on playing in a physical series
Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Ducks will be broadcast on Sportsnet (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio). Game time is 7:30 PM MT.
The Calgary Flames official Twitter account (@NHLFlames) will be live-tweeting the game and providing pre and post-game content. Fans can also follow along on the Flames official Instagram account (@NHLFlames) for exclusive, behind-the-scenes content.
The Calgary Flames official app is another way to follow along with the action, with goal and period summary notifications. The app is free and available to download on iTunes and Google Play.