Flames notes: Sarich’s face already filled with battle scars
Gritty defenceman has a wicked gash on his nose from a srimmage
His distended beak swelling under an angry gash, the Calgary Flames defenceman simply shrugged at the souvenir from a routine training camp scrimmage at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Not broken,” pronounced Sarich, clearly knowledgeable about such matters. “My nose has been broken long before this.
“It’s just a skin flap. It’s going to be an ugly one. It’s going to take time to heal, I’m sure.”
“Maybe I’ll get sympathy at home,” he said. “But doubtful.”
Nasty cuts aside, the 33-year-old Sarich fully realizes his job description requires him to add physical punch to the Calgary lineup.
Otherwise, he could find himself watching the young pups in his midst surpass him on the depth chart.
“That’s how I need to be noticed,” Sarich said, of throwing his weight around. “It gets under the other team’s skin, and it helps get your teammates fired up.
“So I’m just going to have to pick my spots. We’re learning a new system and watching a little videotape this morning, I do have the tendency to run around a little bit. I’m going to try to make sure that’s contained.
“I just want to play within the team structure, but whenever I can get a lick in, I like to,”
He got two significant licks in during Wednesday’s scrimmage against two big names in captain Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri.
The six-foot-three, 207-pound-Sarich took the worst of the collision with the five-foot-nine, 190-pound Cammalleri.
“I think it was my own visor,” Sarich said. “I think our heads hit, and he wins that battle every time.”
For his part, Cammalleri was glad to claim bragging rights over his friendly, neighbourhood stay-at-home defenceman.
“Did you see who came up bloody?” Cammalleri quipped. “I told him afterwards, ‘that’s what happens when you try to hit me.’
“He got lucky there. The legs were locked up on me there. They were a little tired, so he got lucky.”
KIPPER GETS A BREAK
To put it politely, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff looked a little shaky Wednesday in surrendering a natural hat trick to centre Mikael Backlund in the afternoon scrimmage.
So no one seemed at all shocked when head coach Bob Hartley announced after practice that his starting goaltender has Thursday off.
“He’s been in net since Day 1 of camp by himself,” Hartley said. “So tomorrow, we’re going to rest him, and we’ll start thinking about who will be in net for Day 1.”
The Flames open the season Sunday at home against San Jose. Barring an emergency, Kiprusoff will no doubt take his place between the pipes against his former team for his first of many starts in a condensed 2013 campaign.
Hartley also made a point of saying he planned to reach out to forward Jiri Hudler, who rushed back to the Czech Republic after the death of his father, Jiri Hudler Sr.
“Mornings right now, we’re being blitzed from everywhere,” Hartley said after practice. “There’s not enough time, but as soon as we’re done, that’s one thing.
“I want to talk to Jiri.”
LINES OF THE TIMES
* Backlund (3), Cammalleri, Horak
“I’m very happy,” Hartley said of the Day 4 scrimmage. “We still have adjustments, but that’s going to be the same thing for the 29 other teams. But I like the jump. I like the intensity. The execution is real good. Mikael Backlund, in that scrimmage, was basically by himself out there. So we’re seeing good things. The veterans are pushing hard. The kids are improving.”
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