Flames notes: Hartley unhappy with lack of shootout success

 

Head coach mulling over several options of ways to get the Flames out of their funk

 
 
 
 
Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu, left, scores the shootout-winning goal on Calgary Flames goalie Leland Irving on Monday night.
 

Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu, left, scores the shootout-winning goal on Calgary Flames goalie Leland Irving on Monday night.

Photograph by: Jeff McIntosh, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Bob Hartley continues to try to solve the mystery behind the Calgary Flames shootout record.

Their latest experience — Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild — predictably had the head coach answering questions about their struggles. Again.

“My philosophy goes with our record,” Hartley said. “If it’s not going to work, I’m not going to keep putting the same guys out.

“We need to change this trend. These are very important points that are sitting there.”

Already this year, the Flames have given up extra points three times in shootouts. That stat, in just 10 games, adds to a 3-9 mark from last year and — the bigger picture — the Flames haven’t fist-pumped for a shootout win since a 3-2 decision over the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 11, 2012.

So far, Hartley’s tapped eight different shooters to work their magic. Some have been the usual suspects (Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay) and others (grinder Blair Jones on Monday) have not. Tanguay (versus Vancouver) and Jiri Hudler (versus Minnesota) have been the only players that have been able to beat netminders in 11 overall shooting attempts. For everyone, confidence is clearly an issue.

According to Hartley, this has to change.

“From the goaltending to the guys we put out there, we need to have a swagger,” he said. “We need to believe that we can be the difference. It’s a one-on-one, you have centre stage. We need to find a way to get some goals, get some wins, get some confidence.

“Right now, I’m debating if I should play four forwards on four-on-four and just go all-out. It’s just not good. Not good at all.”

MONDAY MIXER

Against Minnesota, Hartley used more than a few different line combinations to generate some action. To start the game, he had Matt Stajan at centre with Alex Tanguay and Lee Stempniak. Then, at one point during the second period, he had captain Jarome Iginla with Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka at centre. To start the third, Iginla was back with Alex Tanguay at centre and Curtis Glencross on the opposite wing.

Hartley said, despite the result, he liked what he saw from the group at the end.

“I felt, in the third period, when we put the veterans all together,” he said. “That’s their job. When things don’t go well, you need to take charge and I think they did.

“They brought us into OT but we couldn’t get that (extra) point.”

SUB BYRON FOR STREET

Centre Ben Street, after his first two appearances in the NHL, is returning to Abbotsford.

On his way up is Paul Byron, who has registered 15 points in 35 games.

“When we recalled Ben Street, we felt that it was a pick-’em situation — (with) Ben Street, Paul Byron, Roman Horak,” said general manager Jay Feaster. “Ben did a good job with us. We’re just looking to bring Byron in and give it a little different look.”

C-NOTES.

LW Michael Cammalleri will play Wednesday against Dallas ... C Stajan did not practise Tuesday — “maintenance” — but he’ll suit up ... LW Sven Baertschi was cleared to skate but with a yellow “don’t-hit-me” jersey. “Still no contact,” Hartley said. “We want to make sure he’s healed 100 per cent.”

 
 
 
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Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu, left, scores the shootout-winning goal on Calgary Flames goalie Leland Irving on Monday night.
 

Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu, left, scores the shootout-winning goal on Calgary Flames goalie Leland Irving on Monday night.

Photograph by: Jeff McIntosh, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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