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.