Jonas Hiller returns! With all the roster changes lately, including the demotion of Joni Ortio to Stockton and adding Markus Granlund to the mix, I'm really not surprised that the team has been struggling with their chemistry lately. But this is hockey and it comes with the territory. We're barely two months into the season, but I've accepted that it's going to take a lot to get back on track after the stellar season the Flames had last year. But it's still possible.
Lance Bouma is still on the injured list and we haven't heard much about his progress so don't expect him to slot back into the line-up in the next couple of weeks. T.J. Brodie has been quite consistent since his return though, which is a small sigh of relief. During last night's game against Arizona, Dougie Hamilton did well. I hope he can continue that smart play tonight. I'm hoping Jiri Hudler can step it up a notch tonight - last night he seemed a little "off" but it could be the remnants of the flu he's been battling that left him sidelined for a couple games. And who isn't impressed with Johnny Gaudreau?? Almost every single night, he brings his best game and shows all the nay-sayers exactly why he's playing at the professional level while he's only 5'8" tall - it's not all about being big and intimidating. Sometimes the most intimidating players come in the smaller packages (a la Mike Cammalleri).
So, the San Jose Sharks are at a 13-9-0 record while the Flames sit at 8-13-2. With the offensive defense of Brent Burns and the skilled players like Couture, Hertl, and Marleau, the Flames will have to keep the pace tonight against a team that is rising in the ranks.
Go Flames Go!