Calgary Flames: Mike Smith returns, Jon Gilles sent back to Stockton

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Mike Smith /

The Calgary Flames get one of their more important players back from injury. Mike Smith will be returning tonight and Jon Gillies is sent back to Stockton.

The Calgary Flames will finally be getting Mike Smith back. It’s officially been a month since he’s been out and the Flames were feeling the effects without him. When he got injured, the Flames were on quite a roll going 11-3-4. Smith got injured on February 11th with just two seconds left in the game.

Since then, the Flames went 5-6-2. Not exactly the push that you need when fighting with about five or six other teams also fighting for the same spots, so it’s been a bit of a rough patch. However, the Flames have won their last two games and are creeping their way back up in the standings. They’re now only two points back from a wildcard spot and from the third Pacific Division spot.

As a result of Smith returning, Jon Gillies will also be sent back down. He went 2-3-1 while splitting his time with David Rittich.

Related Story: Flames Daily - Smith close, Versteeg practicing

The Calgary Flames will be playing the New York Islanders tonight who aren’t mathematically out yet, but they’re quite behind a playoff spot. The Flames are also playing at the ‘Dome tonight where they’ve only won two of their last 10 at home. For some reason, they’ve been struggling quite a bit at home, but they’re one of the best road teams in the league.

Somewhat of the opposite of what you expect. But Smith’s excited to get back in action tonight.

Via Calgary Sun:

"“I don’t want to come back and just be mediocre,” Smith said after Saturday’s optional practice at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre. “I want to come back where I left off.”“It’s the hardest thing about being an athlete, I think, is being away from the team and not being able to contribute,” Smith said after a surprise appearance at Tuesday’s practice in Buffalo, the first sign that he was nearing a return. “I think it’s a little bit easier when you’re winning and when things start to go a little sideways, you’d like to be in there helping and you feel like you’re letting the team down a little bit by being out of the lineup.“It’s obviously a frustrating part of the business. You have to deal with it, though. You have to just try to get back as quickly as possible and as healthy as possible and not prolong things.”"

Next: Flames hang on to beat Senators 2-1

Will Mike Smith’s return ignite a spark that this club desperately needs to finish the last month of their season?