HORAK TO PLAY IN HIS FIRST NHL TILT
In mere hours, 20 year-old Roman Horak will make his NHL debut - something he's still trying to wrap his head around.
"It's just ... yeah," he sighed, a grin spreading across his face. "I'm nervous but I'm excited at the same time. I'm just going to play my game and see what happens."
Like the vast majority of players, Horak generally opts to take a pre-game nap but sleep may allude him this afternoon.
"I honestly have no clue (if I'll be able to sleep)," he chuckled. "We'll see, we'll see. I'll try to keep my emotion under control and we'll see."
Hailing from Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic, Horak has played the last two seasons with the Chilliwack Bruins. He amassed 47 goals and 125 points over 130 games and aided linemate Ryan Howse in reaching the 50-goal plateau with his incredible playmaking skills.
He was acquired in the deal that sent defenceman Tim Erixon's rights to the New York Rangers. The Flames also received two second-round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
BUTLER ANXIOUS TO GET THE SEASON UNDERWAY
If defenceman Chris Butler had a time machine, he would fast-forward to 8:00 PM tonight.
"Obviously, I'm anxious to get going. Watching other teams play the last couple of nights and just sitting there on the couch, it kind of makes you feel like you're left out a bit.
"We've had a long stretch off here, preparing, getting to know each other and building chemistry. Now tonight we put it into place."
The 24 year-old was part of the Robyn Regehr trade in the off-season and he knows a lot of eyes will be on him to see what kind of game he brings to the table. That scrutiny doesn't bother Butler in the least as he is more focused on helping his team put together an excellent season.
"I'm just going to go out there and play the same type of game," he said. "I'm going to try to play the same game 82 times this year so that my teammates can know exactly what they're going to get out of me, night in and night out."
NOTABLE MILESTONES THAT COULD BE REACHED
Miikka Kiprusoff is one win away from passing Mike Vernon as the franchise leader in victories. The two are tied with 262 wins to their respective names.
Jarome Iginla and Lanny McDonald are tied with 1,006 career points and if the captain can pick up a point tonight, he'll pass the former Flame for 75th on NHL all-time points leaders list.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Niklas Hagman will play in his 700th NHL contest tonight.PROJECTED FLAMES LINES & PAIRINGSAlex Tanguay
- David Moss
- Jarome IginlaCurtis Glencross
- Olli Jokinen
- Lee Stempniak
Niklas Hagman - Roman Horak - Rene BourqueTom Kostopoulos
- Matt Stajan
- Tim JackmanMark Giordano
- Scott HannanChris Butler
- Jay BouwmeesterAnton Babchuk
- Cory SarichMiikka Kiprusoff
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