Calgary Flames Daily: Game-day, Mike Smith joins practice

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Mike Smith /

The Calgary Flames continue their road trip tonight against the Buffalo Sabres where they’ll hopefully decrease the gap between them and a playoff spot.

The Calgary Flames are in a rough spot right now and everyone’s quite unsure whether they’ll make the playoffs or not. They’ll basically have to go at least 10-4-1 in their remaining 15 games to even have hope in making the playoffs.

Tonight, they’ll try to come back from their four-game losing streak with a win against the Buffalo Sabres. These two teams have met one other time this season where the Sabres won 2-1 in OT. On the plus side, the Flames scored a PPG in that game and killed off all three penalties.

Some good news for Flames fans is that Mike Smith practiced with the team yesterday morning. He wasn’t originally supposed to travel with the team on this road-trip, but here he is. Based on the recent play by this team, he badly wants to get into the lineup and help them out.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

Via Calgary Sun:

"“Listen, I’m the first one to tell you that I want to be back in there tomorrow,” Smith said after Tuesday’s unexpected appearance at KeyBank Center. “But I think I need some time to get with the team, practising, up-to-speed here. I’ll know when the time is right.”“There’s been a lot of frustration,” Smith told reporters in Buffalo. “It’s been an injury that I haven’t had before, a very unique injury. When you haven’t gone through it, it’s hard to know exactly when is the right time to start skating, to start moving, to start practising.“That’s been the hardest thing. If it was something that I’ve been through before, it would be easy to say, ‘It’s going to be this long and I should be ready to go.’ But this one has been a little bit unique, so it’s been challenging, for sure.”"

David Rittich will get the nod tonight. His last game came on Feb. 28 in a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

Glen Gulutzan’s liked the way Rittich’s looked in practice lately.

Via Calgary Flames:

"“Our plan the whole time was to utilize both goalies while (Mike Smith) is out. A couple days off, a couple good practices … he’s looked good the last few days. Really good yesterday and obviously a skate today where he’s getting tuned up.”"

With Mike Smith here on this road-trip as well, it’s providing more than just hope in the fans.

"“We [Mike Smith] talked for a long time yesterday and it wasn’t about changing my play,” Rittich said. “It was just a couple things, what he can see. He has a lot of experience and he’s a good person. I really listened to what he said and I will take it in my mind.”“I want to go to the game, have fun, give the biggest chance for a win, play my game, and I want to prepare so good, enough for a win.”"

Please win tonight, Flames. There are only so many times I can say, “The Flames are desperate for a win.” Also, if the Flames don’t make the playoffs, my dad’s Oilers fan friend will be annoying about it.

Hockey Tweet of the day

Some links surrounding the Flames

Game Day: ‘Desperate’ Flames can’t take Buffalo lightly (Calgary Sun).

Mike Smith rejoins Flames for practice but unsure of return to game action (ESPN).

Flames’ Mike Smith brings optimism with unexpected appearance at practice (Calgary Sun).

Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL

NHL awards watch: Hart Trophy leaders as season winds down (FanSided).

NHL Players’ Poll Takeaways: Shea Weber is still a man to be feared (Sportsnet).

5 things we learned in the NHL: Laine living up to scoring hype (Sportsnet).

Sidney Crosby gets ultimate respect in survey of NHL players (CBC Sports).

Next: Flames lose in OT to Penguins in must-win game

That’s all in today’s Calgary Flames Daily!