Team to have jolt of Conroy

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

The mood surrounding the Calgary Flames has been gloomy the past week.

A three-game losing skid and weakening grip on a playoff spot has put one big black cloud over the team.

Sounds like a perfect time for the energetic and always upbeat Craig Conroy to get back in action, which is exactly what's expected tonight when the Flames host the Detroit Red Wings at the Saddledome.

"I'm excited to be back," said Conroy, out the last four outings. "When you can't help, you feel 10 times worse, so to be back in there, battling with those guys and a part of it makes me excited."

Conroy isn't the only player expected back in action tonight. According to head coach Jim Playfair, gritty centre Stephane Yelle should suit up after being injured early in the March14 game in Colorado and missing the last couple of outings.

Veteran defenceman Rhett Warrener, out the last three games, was called a "game-time decision" but when asked if he'd be back, Warrener said, "That's the rumour."

The trio would provide the club with a solid presence in the room, something that certainly could be used.

"They're veteran guys. Steph's won a Cup, Connie's been to the finals, Rhett's been to the finals three times," Playfair said. "You can't underestimate the importance of those people."

Yet Playfair didn't want to pin their return as a cure-all.

"I don't view those guys coming back as a boost because the players that were in there should have been a boost," he said. "Those players coming back have to be ready to help us win, that's the bottom line."

The health news wasn't all good for the team, though. Right-winger David Moss suffered an undisclosed injury and didn't practice, nor did defenceman Andrei Zyuzin, who hit his head on the boards after taking a hard hit in the second period of the last game.

"He feels a lot better, so we'll see (today), as far as skating," Playfair said regarding Zyuzin.

Playfair said his message is to not worry about how close Colorado is to the Flames.


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