Author: Cam Tucker

Flames GM Treliving: ‘We’re starting to establish an identity’


With 11 games remaining on their schedule, the Calgary Flames are just clinging to a playoff position in the Pacific Division.

Along the way, they’ve become one of the surprise stories in the NHL. Polarizing, too, because when it comes to advanced stats, like Corsi, a proxy for puck possession, the Flames are among the worst teams in the league at five-on-five play, according to stats.hockeyanalysis. Because of this, combined with such a high team shooting percentage, second in the league, it’s been greatly debated about whether Calgary can sustain its winning ways, or would it be subject to a regression.

The Flames, comeback kids with 10 wins when trailing after two periods, are one point back of the Vancouver Canucks, and one ahead of the L.A. Kings, who are not in a playoff position at this time.

But with the season in its stretch drive, the Flames are still there in the thick of a playoff race.

And, according to a report in the Calgary Herald, other general managers around the league are taking notice, complimenting the Flames on the job they’ve done this season.

“It’s nice,” Flames GM Brad Treliving told the Calgary Herald. “Guys were really complimentary of where the team is at and how they compete on a nightly basis. People were saying it’s a tough outing, Calgary is a tough (opponent). Those things are nice to hear. So, we’re starting to establish an identity as a team.”

Video: Bishop flashes the leather twice to foil Red Wings

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The Detroit Red Wings had their chances to take an early lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning, but goalie Ben Bishop had other plans.

On an early Detroit power play, Bishop made not one but two glove saves in succession, moving to his left to deny Erik Cole at the end of a pretty passing play, and then Joakim Andersson on the rebound right after.

Report: Datsyuk (lower-body ache) to be evaluated before Red Wings host Blues


For a second consecutive game, the Detroit Red Wings, playing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, were without veteran forward Pavel Datsyuk.

He did not make the trip to Florida, as per the Detroit Free Press, with head coach Mike Babcock saying Datsyuk had a lower-body ache.

The Red Wings return back to Detroit, where they will host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. It remains to be seen if Datsyuk, who has 58 points in 57 games, will be in the lineup for that tilt.

‘I don’t think he’s tired,’ says Canucks GM Benning of goalie Lack


Brought back into the role of starting goalie since the injury to Ryan Miller, Eddie Lack has now appeared in 13 consecutive games for the Vancouver Canucks.

And it’s very likely he’ll continue to see the bulk of the work, as that team fights for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. On Thursday, the Canucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets and then collapsed in a 6-2 loss on home ice. Lack was pulled in the third period. It was a bad night for him and a bad night for the team in front of him, too.

The Canucks play the L.A. Kings on Saturday in a huge divisional match-up. The Canucks lead the Kings by two points in the Pacific Division, and are 0-3 this season against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

If the above report turns out to be the case, it would mean 14 straight games for Lack.

The question of fatigue has come up again because Lack was played right into the ground by the end of last season, after the Canucks traded Roberto Luongo.

Behind Lack right now is Jacob Markstrom.

Speaking on TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver, Canucks general manager Jim Benning didn’t believe that fatigue was an issue for the 27-year-old Lack.

“You know, Eddie’s played well going into (Thursday’s) game. I thought he’s responded well to being the No. 1 goalie and … giving our team a chance to win games. Having said that, we need good goaltending,” said Benning.

“I don’t think he’s tired. But I think the plan is to try to get Jacob in maybe a game or two, but that depends on how we do, too, and the importance of the games.”

Meanwhile, Benning said Miller, out since Feb. 22 with a knee sprain, is on schedule in his recovery, despite a report earlier this week that Miller wouldn’t be back before playoffs, and that he skated Wednesday.

“He felt pretty good,” said Benning. “He’s working with our medical staff on a day-to-day basis and they’re working with him to get him healthy and up and going, so everyday he seems like he’s getting a little bit better. But we don’t have a timetable yet for him as to when he’s going to be back.”

Spooner will remain in Bruins lineup when Krejci returns, says Julien


David Krejci continues to get closer to a return to the Boston Bruins lineup, although according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe, that’s not guaranteed to happen Saturday.

When he does come back, don’t bet on Ryan Spooner, Boston’s 2010 second-round pick, being taken out of the lineup to make room for Krejci.

On Thursday, in a loss to the Ottawa Senators, the 23-year-old Spooner scored twice and had seven shots on net. Earlier this month, he had a point streak that reached seven games, and it looks like his recent play has left a favorable impression on head coach Claude Julien.

“I think everybody here knows that Ryan Spooner is playing well. I’m going to be honest with you: he’s not coming out of our lineup playing the way that he is,” said Julien, as per CSN New England.

“That’s just doing the right thing and he deserves it right now. We’ll just have to figure out what we’re going to do from there [when Krejci does return].”

The Bruins are in Florida to take on the Panthers on Saturday.

It’s another important game. The Bruins are only two points up on the Senators for the final Wild Card spot in the East. The Panthers are still hanging around in the playoff race, sitting just five points back of Boston.