Flames Giordano resumes skating
RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
|Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano lays on the ice injured during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators in Calgary, Alberta, November 29, 2011. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)
Long before the dozen or so players headed on the Saddledome ice for an optional skate Wednesday, Mark Giordano was doing laps.
Giordano, who suffered partially ruptured tendons in his hamstring during the Nov. 29 game against Nashville, has resumed skating.
"It's a slow process, but it's another step in the right direction," said coach Brent Sutter. "He's still a long way away, but it's very encouraging."
The plan a few weeks ago was for Giordano to have another MRI to see whether the injury is healing, but the Flames are crossing their fingers they'll soon see in action the defenceman who can play in all situations, blocks shots and be a physical presence.
"It's not something you can just replace," Sutter said.
Searching for a plan
Leland Irving will have his second NHL start in place of No.-1 goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, but Sutter said he hadn't decided whether the rookie netminder will take the net in one of the two games before Christmas or wait until after the break.
"I don't want to tip my hand because I'm still not 100% sure," Sutter said. "I'm going to see how Kipper is (Thursday) and where he's at. These are two significant games for us in different ways going into the break."
The Flames play games on consecutive nights Thursday and Friday before the break, and then play three games in four nights immediately following.
D Brett Carson (upper body) has been placed on the injury list and RW Greg Nemisz was summoned from the AHL Abbotsford Heat ... Flames RW Rene Bourque serves the second and final game of his suspension for the hit on Chicago's Brent Seabrook ... The Red Wings have loved visiting Western Canada in recent years. Heading into Wednesday's clash in Vancouver, the Wings have a 14-2-3 record in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver since the start of the 2008-09 season.
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak