Aches keep Langkow, Nystrom off ice

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Normally, missing practice is a bad thing.

For Daymond Langkow and Eric Nystrom -- the only two Flames who didn't take the ice yesterday during the most intense session of the early season -- it was a blessing.

Instead of sweating it out with their teammates, they rested some minor aches and pains.

"Just maintenance with them," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter. "They've got some bumps and bruises. It's a good time here with a few days between games to make sure we allow them to get back to as close to 100%."

Nystrom was forced to move out of the house he shares with Dustin Boyd last week when Boyd was fighting the flu. But Boyd says his roomie isn't about to return the favour.

"He's fine. He's just a little sore, I think. A little banged up," Boyd said of Nystrom's absence. "It's not the flu.

"I've got all the pills for him, though, if he needs them."

BACK TO THE BACKUP?

Sitting since his rough 2009-10 debut against the Dallas Stars Oct. 9, backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney will get a chance to make amends for the 5-2 loss soon.

How soon, head coach Brent Sutter isn't saying.

Three back-to-backs this month kick off with games tomorrow in Dallas and Thursday in St. Louis.

"I want to see after our Dallas game and get a feel after that game exactly what we're going to do," Sutter said. "We have an idea -- that's always subject to change, obviously.

"You've got to expect him to play some games this month."

McElhinney hasn't had much help from his teammates through three seasons, receiving just 12 total goals of support during his eight starts.

"It's important your backup goaltender plays well when he goes in, and it's important for your team to play well in front of him," Sutter said. "It's not nights off when that happens. You have to dig in even moreso as a group."

GLENCROSS SINGLED OUT

Picked off in the neutral zone for what turned out to be the game-winning play Saturday, LW Curtis Glencross wasn't afraid to take his lumps when coach Brent Sutter called him out along with RW Jarome Iginla for poor performances.

"You get singled out once in a while. You've just got to come back the next day and try to work on it," Glencross said. "Just work harder."

He got worked by Pavel Datsyuk, who picked off Miikka Kiprusoff's pass by beating Glencross on the puck.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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