Tag: Raphael Diaz

Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames

Good signs for Calgary: Hudler, Ferland take morning skate


Even when a coach expects a player to bounce back from an injury and suit up for a given playoff game, you can only take his (or the skater’s) word for it to a point.

While Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley said he expected Jiri Hudler and Micheal Ferland to play in Game 2 after leaving Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks with undisclosed injuries, some were concerned when Ferland skipped Saturday’s skate. You never know when minds may change during warm-ups, but the good news is that both took a whirl during Sunday’s morning skate, as the Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson reports.

Ferland brings the sort of physical style that can be useful against the often-rugged Ducks. Hudler’s value is obvious enough: he led the team in scoring during the regular season and is a huge part of a stellar line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

That trio hopes to shake off a tough Game 1, in general. While Hudler got hurt, Gaudreau took a nasty cross-check and didn’t get a shift in the third period.

There wasn’t a lot of good news in Game 1, yet the Flames got an extra night to shake things off, and they’ve seen defensemen Raphael Diaz (game-time decision) and Mark Giordano (still likely far away from returning) at least practice this weekend.

If that 6-1 drubbing is any indication, Calgary has a long way to go to really make the Ducks sweat, but at least things seem to be trending in some positive directions.

Hot Flames extend Jets’ four-game slide

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames
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Before the All-Star break, the Winnipeg Jets were making up for their mediocre play at home with a 14-5-5 record on the road. Their season has taken a turn for the worse lately though as the Calgary Flames earned a 5-2 victory over the Jets Monday night to extend Winnipeg’s losing streak to four games, including three away contests.

The Jets got off to a fast start courtesy of a goal by Blake Wheeler just 1:09 minutes into the contest. It was his 14th marker in 52 games in 2014-15.

Winnipeg couldn’t build off of that early momentum though. The squad was limited to just 12 shots over the first 40 minutes of play and 19 overall tonight. Flames forward David Jones found the back of the net to tie the contest a mere 3:16 minutes after Wheeler’s goal. Raphael Diaz, 29, scored with the man advantage at 4:24 of the third period to give Calgary a 3-1 lead. It was his first goal of 2014-15 and just his seventh marker in 174 career games, but it proved to be the difference.

Calgary has now won seven of its last nine games. The Flames have moved past Vancouver in the battle for third place in the Pacific Division, but the Canucks have played in three less games, so Calgary’s spot is tenuous at best.

Here’s an early look at Team Europe

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Anze Kopitar #11 of Slovenia skates against Russia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

COLUMBUS — First, they really need to figure out the name.

Officially it’s the straightforward-but-staid “Team Europe,” though we heard plenty of other monikers during Saturday’s announcement of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey: Pan-European, Team Other Europe and The Island of Misfit Boys (courtesy Bleacher Report’s Dave Lozo, which I feel might not stick)

For clarity’s sake, the squad is called Team Europe (for now) and comprised of players outside the traditional Big Four — Sweden, Finland, Russia and Czech Republic — of international hockey. As such, the NHL and NHLPA have hatched a Ryder Cup-style squad of players from Slovakia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, France, Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria and another other European country I’ve failed to mention.

Let’s take a look at potential roster choices shall we?

Forwards: Anze Kopitar (Slovenia), Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Richard Panik, Tomas Kopecky (Slovakia), Thomas Vanek, Michael Raffl, Michael Grabner (Austria), Mikhail Grabovski (Belarus), Mikkel Boedker, Frans Nielsen, Jannik Hansen, Lars Eller (Denmark), Antoine Roussel, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (France), Tobias Rieder, Leon Draisaitl, Marcel Goc (Germany), Zemgus Girgensons (Latvia), Mats Zuccarello (Norway), Nino Niederreiter (Switzerland), Dainius Zubrus (Lithuania).

Defense: Zdeno Chara, Andrej Sekera, Lubomir Visnovsky, Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia), Roman Josi, Mark Streit, Yannick Weber, Luca Sbisa, Mirco Mueller, Raphael Diaz (Switzerland), Christian Ehrhoff, Dennis Seidenberg (Germany).

Goalie: Jaroslav Halak (Slovakia), Frederik Andersen (Denmark), Thomas Greiss (Germany), Jonas Hiller, Reto Berra (Switzerland).

Halak, who’s represented Slovakia internationally on a number of occasions, figures to be in the mix for one of the goaltending spots — and, one would think, the starting job — but has mixed feelings about the Team Europe concept.

“I would say if it was 10 years ago it would be upsetting because 10 years ago we had a lot of guys in the NHL,” he explained during . “Right now, we got maybe 12. So that would be tough to make a team out of 12 guys.

“Obviously you need 20. It will be different to see [the rest of Team Europe] but at the same time I’m open to it. It would be nice to play with some other players from different countries.”

As most assumed when reports of a Team Europe concept first broke, the team will be well-stocked at forward but thin on defense and in goal. On their own, Switzerland and Slovakia probably have the strongest contingents but lack depth certain positions. Other countries simply don’t have enough players period so, from a competition standpoint, the Ryder Cup-style amalgam makes sense.

It just remains to be seen if all the projected players fully embrace the idea.

“I’m sure it’s going to be strange at first, but playing against each other you know pretty much all of the guys anyway, Kopitar said. “I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to come together.”