Sun, 05 Apr 2020

Giordano close to return as Flames set to host Bruins

Field Level Media
21 Feb 2020, 11:40 GMT+10

Mark Giordano has been skating on Calgary ice the last few days but he won't see NHL action Friday against the Boston Bruins.

The Flames' captain has missed seven games since a hamstring injury pulled him out of his team's 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 4.

Giordano, the 2018-19 NorrisTrophy winner as the league's best defenseman, is likely to get back into the lineup Sunday when the Flames start a five-game road trip in Detroit. The Flames are 4-3 without their leader in the lineup.

"Gio skated today on his own this morning," said Flames general manager Brad Treliving on Wednesday. "He's making his way back. ... I would suspect Gio will be going on this road trip and we'll have a better sense in the next couple of days.

"He's progressing. It's always good to see a guy get on the ice, so that was a real positive step from the last two days."

Travis Hamonic, another key defender on the injured roster for the Flames, is listed as week-to-week. He suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury on Feb. 8 in a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

For some GMs, it could be tempting to start playing the phone lines, heading into the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

"You're taking your cues from your team and part of that is injuries," said Treliving, who acknowledges his team's lack of consistency and current holes in the lineup. "We're going to get both guys back. It's just when. ... We're looking for ways to help ourselves in way that makes sense.

"Chasing it with high prices for rental players ... I don't know if that's the direction we're in favor of, but if there's ways to help us, we certainly want to do it."

He intends to keep a close eye on Giordano's progression to determine whether the Flames make a big move.

"The next few days will determine that, knowing that (Giordano and Hamonic) are on the horizon," Treliving said. "If we're sitting there and there's no hope in sight for Gio, that's a different situation. You always want to help your team, but you have to measure that with what's available and at what price."

While the Flames play a waiting game, the Bruins could be one of those teams looking for a rental to beef up their lineup heading into the playoffs. A top-six forward would certainly give the Stanley Cup contenders a boost.

The Bruins have won 10 of their last 11, including a 2-1 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The win kicked off a three-game mini-road swing to the western Canadian provinces on the heels of a road win over the New York Rangers on Feb. 16. The Bruins head home after a Saturday tilt against the Canucks in Vancouver.

The Bruins have the league's stingiest defense, allowing only 140 goals in 61 games. Their penalty kill is a big part of that, one of the NHL's best at 84.1 percent effectiveness (ranks third in NHL).

On Wednesday, the Bruins' special teams killed off five of six Oilers power-play opportunities, allowing just one goal.

"We were battling hard," said goaltender Tuukka Rask. "We kept them to the outside. And I think the second period, they had the most dangerous chances on their power play. We, I think, whenever rebounds were laying there, guys cleared them out ... good battle."

The Bruins and Flames hit the ice again in Boston on Feb. 25.

--Field Level Media

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