Flames notes: Glencross, Westgarth set to return against Anaheim
Veterans will be welcome additions into Calgary’s lineup after injury woes
The Calgary Flames will have two bodies back in their lineup against the Anaheim Ducks.
Curtis Glencross, healed from a high ankle sprain, returns along with gritty winger Kevin Westgarth who was dealing with a concussion after fighting Luke Gazdic in Edmonton on March 1.
It’s relieving news for Glencross especially. The 31-year-old has only played 21 games this season also suffering a knee injury. His last class was on Dec. 21 at Pittsburgh.
“It’s going to be good,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of hours on the ice bag-skating and a lot of hours in the gym.
“Obviously, it’s not the year I wanted injury-wise . . . so I’m going to take these last 17 games here and make the best of ’em and take strides for next year.”
Flames head coach Bob Hartley also said Tyler Wotherspoon (upper body) should also return on Wednesday. Unfortunately, rookie pivot Markus Granlund left the arena in a sling after absorbing a hit from L.A. Kings centre Jarret Stoll on Monday and it looks more serious.
Still, Hartley is not expecting anyone to feel sorry for them.
“You always get a rash of injuries at one point in the season,” he said. “We felt we were mostly lucky all year. We had some big injuries — Gio, Glenny twice. But I never use injuries as excuses. It’s not injuries because there is a lack of conditioning or a lack of preparation. It’s injuries that happen in the action of the game. There’s not much we can do about it.”
Other injury updates: LW Jiri Hudler (upper body) should be back by the weekend or early next week . . . D Dennis Wideman is further away . . . G Karri Ramo (knee) is skating and absorbing shots. Hartley said guessed he would be mid-week next week or later.”
Thankfully on Tuesday, Rich Peverley was reported to be resting comfortably in the hospital.
The entire hockey world paused when the Dallas Stars forward collapsed on the bench with a cardiac incident during Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The 31-year-old had undergone a procedure six months ago to correct an irregular heartbeat. He also missed a game last week with the recurrence of the problem.
Brian McGrattan attended Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic’s wedding a few years back and sat at a table with Peverley.
“I’m pretty good friends with Luch and he was pretty shaken up last night when we were talking,” said the Flames right winger. “Scary stuff.
“From what I’ve read and heard, he’s OK. Thank God the trainers and doctors were on the ball. Just praying and hoping he’s going to be OK.”
Swift movement by medical staff came to Peverley’s rescue, providing oxygen, an I.V., chest compressions, and defibrillated him. He regained consciousness.
However, the National Hockey League stepped in and postponed the game after a lengthy delay.
“That was not the only the right thing, but the only thing to do,” Hartley said. “There’s a player, not only is his life hanging by a thread. As a coach, as a player, how can you prepare? Even as a fan sitting in the stands, how can you enjoy a game? You see a guy leaving on a stretcher.”
Reminding everyone that there are things in life is more important than hockey.
“I go back to those days of the Dan Snyder incident,” Hartley said (referring to the former Atlanta Thrashers forward who was killed in a 2003 car crash). “We forgot about hockey for a long, long time even though we were still practising and playing. You can’t measure those things.
“It just goes to show that hockey is a great game. But it’s only a game.”
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