The Calgary Flames and the Ottawa Senators meet today to see who wins the deciding game of their three-game mini-series. The Senators won the first game by a 6-1 score; the Flames won the second game 6-3 – and snapped Ottawa’s three-game winning streak in doing so.
Later today is the rubber match. Can the Flames overwhelm the Senators again tonight as they did on Saturday, or will the Senators be able to take it to the Flames as they did on Thursday?
In this edition of Flames News & Rumors, I’ll look at what’s happening within the organization as the Flames prepare for their game this evening.
Item One: Will Jacob Markstrom Be Ready on Monday?
The Flames could have starting goalie Jacob Markstrom for Monday’s game, although it seems unlikely. Markstrom has been out of the active lineup for the past four games because of an upper-body injury. However, he did engage in a short practice session before the rest of the team held its regular practice.
He’s listed as day-to-day, but it seems unlikely that this is the day. Still, it’s good news that Markstrom is making progress. The next step is to engage in the full-team practice.
If Markstrom can’t play, backup goalie David Rittich should get the start.
Item Two: Derek Ryan Has Started Skating Again
It’s been about three weeks since Derek Ryan broke his finger trying to block a shot. Now, there’s news that Ryan has resumed skating after the injury.
Head coach Geoff Ward noted that Ryan “is skating. The biggest thing is how he can handle the puck.”
Ward added, “He’s been skating for a while now, his (fitness) should be fine. Ultimately, it’s how comfortable he feels with his hand on the stick and what he’s able to do with the puck.” (from “SNAPSHOTS: Flames rebound with complete effort in win over Senators, Daniel Austin, Calgary Sun, 27/02/21).
Item Three: Glenn Gawdin Moved to Flames’ Taxi Squad
Glenn Gawdin was moved to the Flames’ taxi squad on Sunday. He had been a part of the Flames’ lineup but was only skating fewer than six minutes per game. He hasn’t scored yet for the team. He might be called back before tonight’s game, but right now he seems to be in a position where he’ll get little ice time.
During the 2017-18 season with the Swift Current Broncos, Gawdin had an amazing season when he scored 125 points (56 goals and 69 assists) in 67 games. He’s also had some good AHL seasons in Stockton, so it seems as if the 23-year-old British Columbia native is worth being patient with to see how he develops.
Item Four: Oliver Kylington Moved Down to Flames’ Taxi Squad
In another player movement on Sunday, 23-year-old Oliver Kylington was dropped to the team’s taxi squad. Kylington’s only played in two games with the Flames this season. He’ll likely continue to be on a yo-yo between the team’s active roster and its taxi squad.
Even if the Swedish defenseman does crack the Flames’ line-up, he’ll probably be stuck in a bottom-pairing role or filling in for an injury.
What’s Next for the Flames?
Can the Flames build off Saturday’s strong game against the Senators? It’s been an interesting season for the team, seemingly bouncing between strong games and then poorer performances. The team seems unable to get on a roll and haven’t won two games in a row since early February, when the team beat the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and Vancouver Canucks for three-straight victories.
As a head coach, Ward is preaching perspective. He noted that, “The perception is the important thing. You look at the stretch, it’s 2-1-1 and with everything everybody’s been feeling, it feels like it’s been 0-5. You’ve got to keep everything in perspective. It’s not always what happens, it’s how you react to it that’s most important. Now, all we’re worried about putting a good game on the ice on Monday. If we can do that and come off the road, we’ll go from there.”
We’ll see if the team can win that second game in a row that’s been so elusive for more almost three weeks.
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act). He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf