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Morning Skate Report: Flames @ Red Wings

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

DETROIT, MI -- Thursday’s dramatic 4-3 shootout win against teh Boston Bruins, courtesy a David Schlemko stunner, created a buzz. But it’s already long forgotten by the Calgary Flames.

“That has been our mindset from Day 1,” coach Bob Hartley said in advance of Friday’s tilt with the Detroit Red Wings. “We don’t live in the past, good or bad. From a bad loss the next morning, we address it and it’s over. From a good win, we already addressed it. It’s over.

“We’re looking for tonight’s game.”

And Friday’s opponent.

The Red Wings pose the latest challenge to Calgary, who is in the home stretch of a season-high seven-game road trip through the Eastern Conference. Detroit (36-15-11) is third in the Atlantic Division with 83 points, has won three straight games and has a nine-point edge on the fourth-place Bruins.

The Red Wings haven’t missed the playoffs since 1990.

“The way they play, I think, their style hasn’t changed,” centre Matt Stajan said. “You see teams change their style. It’s always the same when you come to this building. They like to control the puck and hold onto it. They rarely give up possession.

“Their top players are their hardest workers. It’s kind of like our team. You follow the lead of those guys. This is never an easy game to go into but it’s a great challenge for us and it’s a big two points for us.”

Detroit is paced by the duo of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who sit 1-2 in scoring for the Red Wings.

It’s Sean Monahan, who played to a career-high 27:39 against Boston, who will likely be tasked with keeping at least one at bay.

“I like to play against those types of players,” said Monahan, who’s previous best was 25:19. “I think it makes you raise your game. [Datsyuk]’s a skilled player and likes to hang onto the puck so it’s going to come down to smartness and just playing that full 60, compete the whole game.”


Stajan might inherit some of the responsibility, too. He’ll jump back into the lineup after missing the opening five games after he and wife Katie welcomed baby Elliot into the world earlier in the week.

“I think there’s nothing like it,” the 31-year-old said. “You go through experiences in life and that’s what life’s all about. It was a good one. The last little while -- it’s been five, six days -- it’s been the best five, six days. It’s tough to be away when it’s that soon but I get constant updates and we’re in a great spot with our team here too. Everything is looking good and we’ve got to really take it all in and have fun with it.

“Last night was probably the best sleep I’ve had in five or six days. It was nice.”

Stajan isn’t the only addition to the lineup. After sitting for Thursday’s game, Michael Ferland will be re-inserted into the lineup.

Jonas Hiller will get his first start of the road trip, too.

David Jones (lower body) and Emile Poirier are expected to come out after playing against the Bruins.


While Schlemko’s highlight-reel shootout winner went viral on the Internet, Kris Russell’s 15 blocked shots in Boston quietly established a new NHL record, eclipsing the mark of 12 set by Brett Clark while with the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 6, 2009, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

“He’s a heart and soul guy,” Monahan said. “That’s why he has a letter on his jersey. He does all the little things well for us and to see a guy like that with that size of body to step up and all those little things well and play hard it gets the bench going.”

Russell leads the NHL in blocked shots with 218. Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators sits a distant second with 175.

His approach, Stajan admitted, gives the team a boost.

“When you watch a game, there’s little things that happen that usually go unnoticed by most people but on the bench, we see everything,” he said. “[Russell] has been doing it all year. Last year was amazing to see how many he had. Those are the momentum swings we need in order to take control of games.”

Added Hartley: “We started our culture on pride, on paying the price,” he started. “When you see Kris Russell, we didn’t give him a letter on his jersey by charity this summer. We’ve seen this young man grow in our organization. He’s a trooper. He doesn’t do anything halfway. It’s always with pride. It’s always with commitment.

“Last night, 15 blocked shots, it’s an NHL record. It’s pretty amazing.”


“I think it’s the way they scout, they recruit, they develop their players well and they always seem to find those late-round gems. They always have a great combination of kids and veterans and always good goaltending. You look at some organizations. They were very good before the first work stoppage with the salary cap and now in the new salary cap era, if you add both eras, I think it’s safe to say the Detroit Red Wings have been the most consistent team before and after the first work stoppage.”

-Hartley on the Red Wings


Tonight's game will be broadcast on Sportsnet West (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio). Game time is 5:30 PM MT. Channel numbers for Telus, Shaw, and Bell users can be found on our Broadcast Schedule page.

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 Twitter using the hashtag #CGYvsDET.

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.

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