The Calgary Flames could get a look at one of their brightest prospects on Tuesday when they take on the Rangers at MSG.
Today, the Flames called up Emile Poirier — the 22nd overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — from AHL Adirondack, to fill one of the roster voids with Paul Byron going on IR and Matt Stajan leaving the team for the birth of his son.
The Flames also called up Michael Ferland, who appeared in 10 NHL games last season.
Most eyes, though, will be on the 20-year-old Poirier, the former QMJHL Gatineau standout that made the AHL All-Star Game this year as a rookie (Poirier leads Adirondack with 14 goals and 30 points this season.)
Taken one spot ahead of Washington rookie Andre Burakovsky in ’13 — with the pick Calgary acquired from St. Louis in the Jay Bouwmeester trade — Poirier is regarded for his strong shot and skating ability, both of which have served him well at the American League level.
“He’s one of those guys that tends to find the areas where the pucks are going to be, and he puts himself in a good position to shoot. He’s got a great shot when he does let it go,” Adirondack head coach Ryan Huska said, per NHL.com. “He’s a deceiving skater.
“I would bet most defensemen in our conference know who he is and when he’s on the ice because they have to be on their toes when he’s out there because he skates very, very well.”
Two of the best teams in the NHL will meet tonight in St. Louis when the red-hot Blues host the Tampa Bay Lightning.
You never know, this may even be a Stanley Cup Final preview.
Granted, the mood in St. Louis hasn’t exactly been jubilant since it was learned that defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk would be forced to undergo abdominal surgery and be lost indefinitely.
Shattenkirk has 40 points in 49 games, second to only Calgary’s Mark Giordano (43 points) among NHL d-men. His 20 power-play assists are the most in the league, tied with Arizona’s Keith Yandle.
“He’s a vital part of our team. He’ll be missed, but someone else is going to have to step up and fill that void,” forward David Backes said, per NHL.com. “We can’t dwell on what we’re missing. We’ve got to move forward with the 20 guys in the lineup, wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he’s back sooner than later. But these things happen and everyone will have to pick it up just a little bit and keep moving forward.”
The Blues still have a couple of pretty good defensemen in Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo, but Shattenkirk’s absence will be felt in all situations, from even strength to the power play and penalty kill. Chris Butler is expected to draw into the lineup on defense, and he’s only played 20 games this season.
St. Louis will also be without key forwards Jori Lehtera (concussion symptoms) and Patrik Berglund (shoulder) against the Lightning.
Just five days after losing 7-2 on home ice to the Blues, the San Jose Sharks were spanked by the same score Thursday night in St. Louis.
Alex Steen, Jay Bouwmeester and Paul Stastny gave the Blues a 3-1 lead after one period.
Jori Lehtera restored the two-goal lead after Melker Karlsson had pulled the Sharks to within one and T.J. Oshie made it 5-2 after 40 minutes.
Patrik Berglund and David Backes scored third period goals while Brian Elliott made 24 saves for the win.
“For us, the two games against St. Louis give us an indication of where we’re at as a club, and where we need to go,” Sharks’ coach Todd McLellan said post-game. “There’s some high-end players on our team that really have to pick it up, and there’s also some role players that have to pick it up.
“We all have to grow as a group, and we have to get better in a lot of areas if we expect to compete against teams like St. Louis. Right now, it would be hard to find a team better than that.”
Logan Couture had the Sharks other goal while Antti Niemi made 16 saves on 21 shots before being replaced by Alex Stalock.
“You can sit here and make every single excuse in the book, but to lose 7-2 is unacceptable with this team that we have,” Couture said. “We just got beat, plain and simple, again, by that team.
“We’re better than what we’ve shown. To go out and play that team two games and get spanked like that … we haven’t been good in front of our goalies against these guys.”