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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Red Wings

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


On Thursday morning, rumours began to float around the Joe Louis Arena that the Flames would be drastically altering their line combinations and head coach Brent Sutter confirmed fans can expect to see revamped lines tonight.

"We'll have a different look on three lines tonight, to start with anyway," Sutter said after the pre-game skate. "We want to do certain things with certain guys to help them get going. That's all part of it, as far as coaches, is to get guys through their early struggles.

"We're going to do what we can to help them."

Jarome Iginla will have two different linemates tonight as Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross appear to be moving up to the top line. When asked about placing Jokinen and captain together - a move that didn't pan out when tried in the past - Sutter made it clear the situation is completely different in comparison to Jokinen's initial season with the Flames.

"With Jarome playing with him, you're not looking at the same Olli. You're looking at a different Olli.

"His role has changed. He's playing a different brand of hockey for us then he has and he's being rewarded for his change in his game."

Other notable projected moves include Brendan Morrison centering Alex Tanguay and Lee Stempniak while David Moss is expected to play with Rene Bourque and Roman Horak.

Defensively, Mark Giordano will be reunited with Cory Sarich - a pairing that was very successful in past seasons - while Scott Hannan and Anton Babchuk look like they will skate together tonight.


After Tuesday's dismal performance against the Vancouver Canucks, the Flames are looking for a solid bounce back effort against a club that has struggled as of late.

The Red Wings have lost five straight games and currently sit 10th in the Western Conference.

"We know they haven't been playing well as they want to lately so I think the start tonight is going to be key," said Brendan Morrison. "Go right after these guys early on. Really push them."

While their record in the early stages of the season isn't great, Morrison noted the team absolutely cannot take Detroit lightly and needs to play a disciplined game if they want to leave Motown with two points.

"We know we're playing another great team. A team that has a great power play so obviously, number one, stay out of the box. Don't give these guys any extra chances to feel comfortable about their game and get into the game."

According to Iginla, the team cannot dwell on their outing against the Canucks and must continue to march forward.

"We've got to throw it out and now we've got to bounce back quickly, get back to .500," he said. "We play a lot of games the next few nights and it's important to learn from it but also forget it."


"I think it should be a good matchup tonight. Both teams are desperate." - Morrison

"He's played really well for us again this year, off to a really great start." - Iginla on Jokinen

Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson

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