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BIG SHOES TO FILL

Jankowski logging big minutes on the PK in Backlund's absence

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

The 1988 Cinderella classic was queued up and ready to play on the ol' 8 Track.

You Don't Know Whatcha Got 'Til it's Gone, indeed.

The loss of the Flames' do-it-all man Mikael Backlund was just that concerning for fans around these parts, but not so for the players inside the dressing room, even if their esteemed associate is one of the best around.

It's time to step up.

"When you lose a guy like Backs, that's an opportunity for guys like myself to step up and help fill the void," second-year centre Mark Jankowski said following Tuesday's practice. "Everyone has to.

"The depth of our organization is really shining right now because of it."

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LINEUP NOTES - 11.12.18

Giordano to return, injured players "not close," and more from practice

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

Welcome back, captain.

Mark Giordano will be back in the lineup tomorrow when the first-place Flames host the Philadelphia Flyers after serving a two-game suspension over the weekend.

Head coach Bill Peters, who just a few weeks ago hid the captain's skates in a comical effort to keep him off the ice on a non-game day, thinks the rest will have done their workhorse of a blueliner some good.

"I think he's going to be refreshed and excited about getting back out there and playing again," he said. "We're excited to have him back.

"It slots everybody in the right spots. Our play looked a little out of sync without him, and now we'll get him back on that first unit and move (Hanifin) to the second unit. I think everything will be a bit more familiar for those guys."

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THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED

From Norway to the United States to becoming a Flames draft pick, Pettersen's path is unique

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

Nestled in southeast Oslo lies the suburb of Manglerud.

Situated in the Østensjø borough, which houses approximately 50,000 of Oslo's population, it might be best known for being the hometown of the band a-ha's Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen.

But it is also has another distinction: hockey holds a special place in the hearts of residents.

With neighboring Sweden and Finland producing plenty of NHL talent year after year, Norway's exports have been limited to just a handful of players: Mats Zuccarello, Espen Knutsen, Patrick Thoresen, Andreas Martinsen, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Jonas Holøs, Anders Myrvold, and Bjørne Skaare - the first Norwegian to play in the NHL, limited to just a single game with the Detroit Red Wings in 1978-79.

Cross-country skiing, soccer, handball, biathalon … plenty of sports hold the hearts of Norwegians.   

But in Manglerud, according to Flames prospect Mathias Emilio Pettersen, hockey is No.-1.

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'IT'S HIS PASSION'

Hockey lover and young Flames fan with achondroplasia spends day with team and gets incredible surprise

by AARON VICKERS @aavickers / calgaryflames.com

The pain is always there each time he takes a stride on the ice. 

But the passion is, too.

And that's what has fuelled the love of hockey in Dallin, a nine-year-old from Calgary with achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder that causes disproportionate dwarfism and underdeveloped muscles and joints.

His sport so dear to him leaves him in tears.

But not playing surely would, too.

"It hurts him every time, and I can't get him off," says Arlee, his mother. "He can be on the ice, when they do practice, he can be crying in pain and he'll still go on the next day because he just loves it.

"It's his passion."

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HEAT REPORT - 11.12.18

Stockton Pipeline still pumping ... Lazar continues to find twine ... Team sitting at .500 third of the way through season

by CHRIS PICHER @chris_picher / CalgaryFlames.com

The Stockton Pipeline keeps pumping talent up to the big club.

Amidst injuries and suspensions to the Flames roster, seven players have been recalled from the Heat since Nov. 23. 

Alan Quine, Rinat Valiev, Anthony Peluso and Ryan Lomberg were all assigned, or in Lomberg's case re-assigned, to Calgary this week. 

Meanwhile back in sunny California, Stockton split their weekend series with the Winnipeg Jets' AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. 

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NEAL PARTNERS WITH CALGARY POLICE FOUNDATION

Throughout the season James will lend his time to Power Play, a free, weekly hockey drop-in program

by CALGARY FLAMES STAFF @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames forward James Neal, in partnership with the Calgary Police Foundation and the Calgary Flames Foundation, has launched a unique community initiative that will help youth facing various cultural barriers.

Throughout the season James will lend his time to Power Play, a free, weekly hockey drop in program delivered in partnership with the Calgary Police Service and Hockey Calgary. Power Play engages approximately 70-100 youth, ages 6 to 17, and gives the participants an opportunity to learn how to skate and play hockey while interacting with on-ice Calgary Police Officers in a safe and supportive environment.

"These interactions between professional hockey players and our Power Play kids can be life-changing," says Marla Cohen, Executive Director of the Calgary Police Foundation. "James is leaving his positive and contagious attitude on youth who look up to him as a hero. The youth and the Officers will be talking about it for years."

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FLAMES RECALL RYAN LOMBERG FROM STOCKTON

Rinat Valiev and Anthony Peluso assigned to the Heat

by CALGARY FLAMES STAFF @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Calgary, AB - The Calgary Flames announce today they have recalled forward Ryan Lomberg from the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League. Defenceman, Rinat Valiev and forward, Anthony Peluso have been assigned to Stockton.

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FLAMES EXTRA - WANDERLUST

Derek and Bonnie Ryan have travelled the world and beaten the odds, and now they're living out their dream here in Calgary

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Those second two years overseas, life in Villach, Austria, was an intimate slice of Frommer's travel-guide, fairy-tale heaven.

"We lived in a little red cottage," Derek Ryan is recalling, not a trifle wistfully, of the seasons spent wearing the eagle of EC VSV in the Erste Bank Hockey League with his wife Bonnie. "Not kidding. An actual little red cottage. Brand new but so European.

"We have all those fake kinda German cities in Washington (state). But this was the real deal.

"No kids yet, just a dog. Twenty minutes from Italy. 'Hey, honey, want to go Italy today for a pizza lunch?'

"Half an hour from Slovenia, an absolute hidden gem. Beautiful.

"We're learning German. Diving into the culture. Travelling. You just don't have those kinds of experiences with your wife early in many marriages.

"We cherish those memories."

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SHOOTING STAR

Johnny Gaudreau is the NHL's Third Star of the Week

by CALGARY FLAMES STAFF @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY - Johnny Gaudreau has been tabbed as the NHL's Third Star of the Week for Dec. 3-9.

Gaudreau ranked second in the NHL with two goals and six assists in four contests to help the Flames (19‑10-2, 40 points) pick up three wins and move atop the Western Conference standings.

He matched a career high with two goals and four points, his sixth career four-point performance, in a 9-6 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 4.

Gaudreau then posted two assists in each of his next two games, a 2-0 victory against the Minnesota Wild Dec. 6 and a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators Dec. 8, before being held off the scoresheet in a 1-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 9.

The 25-year-old leads Calgary in scoring and sits seventh in the entire NHL with 39 points in 31 outings this season. His 27 assists also share fifth place in the League.

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FUTURE WATCH UPDATE - 10.12.18

A look at how Calgary Flames prospects are doing in their respective leagues

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

WHL

Milos Roman - Center - Vancouver Giants

16 goals, 13 assists, 29 points in 29 games

OHL

Adam Ruzicka - Centre - Sarnia Sting

10 goals, 21 assists, 31 points in 31 games

QMJHL

D'Artagnan Joly - Right Wing - Baie-Comeau Drakkar

11 goals, 15 assists, 26 points in 31 games

Dmitry Zavgorodniy - Left Wing - Rimouski Oceanic

17 goals, 22 assists, 39 points in 31 games

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