Game Day: Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues

 

Keep your eyes on Mike Cammalleri and Alex Steen

 
 
 
 
Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri battles Chicago’s Jonathan Toews during Sunday’s game at the United Center.
 

Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri battles Chicago’s Jonathan Toews during Sunday’s game at the United Center.

Photograph by: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images

Calgary (6-6-2) at St. Louis (9-2-2)

6 p.m. (MT), Scottrade Center

TV: Sportsnet West, Sportsnet

Radio: The FAN 960

THE FLAMES

Keep an eye on

LW Mike Cammalleri — In the absence of veteran winger Curtis Glencross, expect this guy to come through for the Flames. The consummate professional, Cammalleri has been quietly contributing since returning from a hand injury he suffered in training camp and has been logging a pile of minutes.

The Lines

* L. Bouma M. Stajan D. Jones

* T. Jackman S. Monahan J. Hudler

* M. Cammalleri J. Colborne T. Galiardi

* S.Baertschi/M.Reinhart M. Backlund B. McGrattan

The Pairings

* K. Russell D. Wideman

* C. Butler T. Brodie

* D.Smith/C.Billins S.O’Brien

The Goalies

* R. Berra

* K. Ramo

The Injuries

* D Mark Giordano (ankle), D Chris Breen (abdomen), RW Lee Stempniak (foot), LW Curtis Glencross (lower body).

THE BLUES

Keep an eye on

LW Alex Steen — Off to the best start of his career, the 29-year-old was named the NHL’s first star for the month of October. Has a league-leading 13 goals and 19 points in 13 games and is a plus-eight. Once viewed as an underrated player in the NHL. Not anymore after his hot start.

The Lines

* A. Steen D. Backes C. Stewart

* D. Roy V. Sobotka T. Oshie

* J. Schwartz P. Berglund V. Tarasenko

* A. Cracknell M. LapierreR. Reaves

The Pairings

* J. Bouwmeester A. Pietrangelo

* B. Jackman K. Shattenkirk

* J. Leopold R. Polak

The Goalies

* B. Elliott

* J. Halak

The Injuries

*LW Brenden Morrow (upper body), LW Magnus Paajarvi (upper body).

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. THE STEEN MACHINE — Off to one of the finest starts in his nine-year NHL career, the 29-year-old has been scoring at a torrid pace to start the season. In 13 games, he has a league-leading 13 goals and there have been only two games in which he hasn’t scored — the Blues’ only two regulation losses of the season, a 6-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 15 and Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. “He’s playing very intelligently right now,” said St. Louis head coach Hitchcock. “I think by the way he plays, everybody is watching it, and it makes us play smarter.”

2. BERRA STARTING — Head coach Bob Hartley gave another nod to Reto Berra for Thursday’s game against the host St. Louis Blues. A nice touch considering the 26-year-old Swiss native was drafted by the team in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2006 NHL draft. He never played a game in the organization before playing in the Swiss elite league although he attended one Blues’ summer prospects camp. “I saw my first baseball game, the St. Louis Cardinals,” Berra said. “I went with the guys and watched the game there (at Busch Stadium). It was special for me and everything like that. But after two hours, I was getting bored a little bit.” Of course, timing is everything and it never fully panned out with St. Louis as Berra wound up staying in Switzerland. The Flames acquired his playing rights in the Jay Bouwmeester deal and, after making his NHL debut in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and starting again the following night in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, it seems his career has come full circle.

3. CUT THE CELLYS — When the Blues score a goal, their players no longer take trip down the bench to high-five all of the others. The players on the ice do congregate briefly, but then it’s back to centre ice for the draw — a suggestion that came from some former Blues greats Brett Hull and Kelly Chase. “As Hullie says, act like you’ve been there before,” Chase told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I couldn’t stand the fact that my kids were emulating that. I just think you might have done it high school, or done it in college but this is the NHL. Players come over to the bench and do that high-five stuff in a 2-1 game, as if the game is over, as if they just won the Cup. That’s not the way the sport is. Get back out there, line up and play the game.”

4. GLENCROSS OUT — With a banged-up leadership corps already, news that the Flames would be losing LW Curtis Glencross was another big blow. “Obviously, he’s a big presence in our locker-room,” said Calgary forward Matt Stajan. “He wears emotions on his sleeve and plays hard and scores a lot of goals. He’s a leader in here . . . hopefully it’s not too bad and too long but guys have to step up and we have to fill his spot.”

5. MORE ON THE BLUES — St. Louis scored the first goal Tuesday and have now done so in five consecutive games and 10 of 13 this season . . . St. Louis defenceman Alex Pietrangelo played a season-high 30 minutes, 49 seconds Tuesday. It was the fourth 30-plus minute game of his career.

 
 
 
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Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri battles Chicago’s Jonathan Toews during Sunday’s game at the United Center.
 

Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri battles Chicago’s Jonathan Toews during Sunday’s game at the United Center.

Photograph by: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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