DALLAS - He wouldn’t commit to suiting up for Saturday’s clash, but the fact forward Michael Cammalleri flew to Dallas and joined his fellow Calgary Flames for Friday’s practice was a great sign he might be ready to play again.
After suffering a suspected concussion early this month, Cammalleri has been quietly recovering with the hope he would be able to return for the NHL playoff crunch.
“I feel good. It’s been some ups and downs, but I feel pretty good here,” Cammalleri said after practising Friday with his teammates for the first time after a couple of skates on his own in Calgary. “We’ll see how the rest of the night goes. I’ve been able to get on the ice a couple of times. I don’t feel bad out there on the ice.”
Looking for more offensive punch, the timing couldn’t be better if the 29-year-old sniper is able to return to action.
“We’re at a point in the season right now where I think we’ll take contribution from everybody in any way we can provide it,” Cammalleri said. “It’s about finding a way to be at least one goal better than the Dallas Stars. If I’m on the ice (Saturday), it means I’m where I needed to be so I could help the team.”
Cammalleri has watched the Flames struggle to score in regulation and a few shootouts, and says it wasn’t easy.
“Tough for all the fans out there. Being a fan is not easy,” the winger/centre said. “Shootouts? I could see how the fans would love them. It provides excitement in your life. But they’re highly stressful and maybe not the best thing for a guy who’s trying to get back from injury. It was all those emotions watching, but it’s nice to be back on the bus.”
Jay Feaster wholeheartedly backed head coach Brent Sutter’s idea to change up the shootout lineup during Friday’s night’s disappointing loss. “I think it’s Einstein’s definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said the GM, noting the previous four losses in the showdown saw Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla go 0-for-12. “In terms of that, I think we would have been remiss if we hadn’t changed it up.” … Tanguay sat out Friday’s practice, with Cammalleri skating in his spot beside C Matt Stajan and RW Jarome Iginla … D Clay Wilson was recalled but didn’t make it to Dallas in time for the skate. He likely will play with D Anton Babchuk on the third blueline pairing. D Cory Sarich is going through the concussion protocol back home in Calgary after having short-term memory problems during a collision Tuesday night in Denver.
On Twitter: @SUNMacfarlane