Kostopoulos mum on assignment

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:34 PM ET

Tom Kostopoulos wasn’t going to reveal his position.

“That’s classified information,” he said with a grin.

All signs point to the Calgary Flames forward taking his shifts at centre during Wednesday’s clash with the Anaheim Ducks.

During Tuesday’s practice at Westside Recreation Centre, Kostopoulos skated in the middle lane between Ales Kotalik and Tim Jackman.

Mikael Backlund centred Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay on the top line, while Olli Jokinen lined up between Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque.

Matt Stajan was partnered with rookies Greg Nemisz and Lance Bouma on the fourth trio.

With Brendan Morrison and David Moss both sidelined by injuries, Flames head coach Brent Sutter has had to be creative with his line combinations.

In fact, Kostopoulos has been doing his homework to prepare for possible shifts at centre.

“Faceoffs is something I’ve been working on, and guys have been helping me with that. That’s probably the biggest thing,” Kostopoulos said. “And then, defensive zone coverage, it’s a lot more work as a centreman than a winger. As a winger, you can almost catch your breath and you’re ready to go again. As a centreman, it’s all work.”

Kostopolous has been working a bit of overtime in recent weeks. The 32-year-old has averaged 12:28 of icetime per game this season, but he’s eclipsed that amount in eight consecutive outings.

“Those guys that went down are irreplaceable, but it’s given other guys a chance to step up and play more minutes and play in different situations,” Kostopoulos said. “It’s nice to play more. Obviously, I’d rather have Mosser and Morrison back, but since we’re down a few guys now, it’s nice to play a bit more.”

NO HARM, NO FOWLER

Flames rookie Greg Nemisz will likely have an opportunity to catch up with an old pal.

He’s more concerned about catching up to former Windsor Spitfires teammate Cam Fowler and the rest of the Anaheim Ducks in the standings.

“It’s been great to see Cam having a good season. He’s a really good player,” Nemisz said. “Let’s hope he doesn’t have another good night against us.”

Nemisz and Fowler are both enjoying their first professional campaigns after hoisting the Memorial Cup last spring.

When Nemisz suited up for his first NHL contest last week, he became the third member of last year’s Spitfires squad — Fowler and Edmonton Oilers star Tyalor Hall are the others — to skate in the show.

Nemisz stays in touch with his former teammates, although there’s not much puck-talk between the trio.

“We kind of try to not talk about hockey when we talk to each other because that’s what we’re surrounded with everyday,” Nemisz said. “We try to keep it light. They’re really good friends of mine, but we don’t really talk hockey that much.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

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