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.”
Curtis Glencross-Matt Stajan-Lee Stempniak
Paul Byron-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler
Mike Cammalleri-Mikael Backlund-David Jones
Lance Bouma-Joe Colborne-Brian McGrattan
Kris Russell-T.J. Brodie
Mark Giordano-Ladislav Smid
Shane O’Brien-Chris Butler
Scratched: RW T.J. Galiardi, LW Blair Jones, D Chris Breen
Injured: D Dennis Wideman (hand)
Tomas Jurco-Pavel Datsyuk-Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary – Luke Glendening – Patrick Eaves
Todd Bertuzzi – Riley Sheahan – Jordin Tootoo
Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith
Jakub Kindl-Brian Lashoff
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)