Having two days off between the first two games of the Western Conference semifinal between the Ducks and the Calgary Flames felt like a long time, but Flames forward Joe Colborne said the break might work to his team’s advantage.
The Ducks opened the series with a 6-1 rout of the Flames on Thursday, and the wait for Game 2 Sunday night at Honda Center has given the Flames time to adjust and improve.
Or so they hope.
“We’re down, 1-0, in the series. It doesn’t matter how we lost. We have an opportunity to go home with a tied-up series and we realize the importance of this game,” Colborne said after the Flames’ morning skate.
“It definitely feels like we’ve been here for a while now. I think it was a bit of a blessing for us. It gave us a chance to regroup. Now we’re ready to go.”
Flames Coach Bob Hartley previously announced that Karri Ramo will start in goal instead of Game 1 starter Jonas Hiller. This will be Ramo’s first playoff start after three relief appearances, but Hartley said Ramo’s lack of postseason experience isn’t a big hindrance.
“There’s lots of goalies that made names for themselves starting in the playoffs,” Hartley said. “I remember as a kid, Ken Dryden, Andy Moog, Patrick Roy. So many great names came out right from the playoffs. You need to start somewhere.
“This guy is a great worker. We’re very fortunate we have two goalies that are capable of giving us some big games, some big performances, some big wins, and we decided two days ago to go with Karri.”
Hartley also said forwards Jiri Hudler and Micheal Ferland, who were injured in Game 1 and missed much of the game, “will probably play.”
One last word: Hartley on Saturday halted his team’s practice to bring the Zamboni out to clear puddles of water off the ice and afterward joked that “California’s beautiful. You get a swimming lesson first and then you get the practice. That’s why you come to California. But there was no sharks.” On Sunday, he had no complaints about the ice surface at Honda Center.
“The ice was great,” he said. “California has great ice.”