Hartley mixes up the lines; Babcock expects the Flames to be a hard-working group

PHOTO: Calgary Herald
Bob Hartley mixed up the lines ahead of Thursday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

As promised, Bob Hartley switched up the lines ahead of Thursday’s game against the banged up Detroit Red Wings.

A sinking plus-minus, poor zone play, along with a lack of production from the trio of Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak, and Mike Cammalleri caused the Calgary Flames head coach to shake up his group.

Curtis Glencross moves on a line with Stajan and Stempniak — a combo that’s worked well in the past — while Cammalleri moves to a line with Mikael Backlund and David Jones. Paul Byron, who has been steadily earning more ice time, is on a line with Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler. The fourth line — Lance Bouma, Joe Colborne, and Brian McGrattan — will stay the same.

“Glenny, Staj and Stempy, they’ve been so good in the past,” he said. “Three veterans. They’re proud. They want to get it done and I have full confidence in those three guys.

“They’re three players capable of giving us offence … right now, a couple of misreads, a couple of turnovers has put those guys in trouble. They know they’re better than what they’ve given us in the past week. That’s why I have lots of confidence in them … I really believe they’ll turn it around.”

Calgary is 1-1-1 on this five-game road trip. After tonight’s game, they continue onto Pittsburgh for a Saturday night contest against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, are struggling mightily as a whole and will be desperate tonight. They are missing six of their top-nine forwards including captain Henrik Zetterberg, goalie Jimmy Howards, and top-four rookie defenceman Danny DeKeyser. The Red Wings also have a 5-9-6 record on home ice and are currently on a five-game losing streak at Joe Louis Arena.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock spoke about the Calgary Flames this morning.

“They’re a team that works hard,” he said. “Three things I looked at when I saw them play: their neutral zone forecheck is very organized, they reload hard which means they come out of the offensive zone in a hurry, and their tip-race game (tipping the puck and getting on the forecheck). To me those are three things I see about them.

“If you’re a coach and your team works hard and competes every night, you get to leave the building with your head held high. (Hartley) is probably feeling pretty good.”

Flames:

Lines

Curtis Glencross-Matt Stajan-Lee Stempniak

Paul Byron-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler

Mike Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-David Jones

Lance Bouma-Joe Colborne-Brian McGrattan

Defence

Kris Russell-T.J. Brodie

Mark Giordano-Ladislav Smid

Shane O’Brien-Chris Butler

Goalies

Karri Ramo

Reto Berra

Scratched: RW T.J. Galiardi, LW Blair Jones, D Chris Breen

Injured: D Dennis Wideman (hand)

Red Wings:

Lines

Tomas Jurco-Pavel Datsyuk-Daniel Alfredsson

Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar

Daniel Cleary – Luke Glendening – Patrick Eaves

Todd Bertuzzi – Riley Sheahan – Jordin Tootoo

Defence

Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl-Brian Lashoff

Goalies

Jonas Gustavsson

Petr Mrzaek

Scratched: Mikael Samuelsson

Injured: Henrik Zetterberg (back), Johan Franzen (concussion), Justin Abdelkader (concussion), Jimmy Howard (knee sprain), Gustav Nyquist (groin), Stephen Weiss (groin), Danny DeKeyser (shoulder), Darren Helm (shoulder)

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