The Hockey Nuts Podcast, Season 1, Episode 26 is live!

Coming up on this episode of the Hockey Nuts, Steve and I discuss the changing of the coaching guard in Boston.  We have a couple arena issues brewing around the league, and for a change, it doesn’t involve the Carolina Hurricanes.  Playoff races are in full swing, and 28 teams still have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.  We’ll discuss where every team stands.  We also discuss the headlines of the week in a busy week of action around the hockey world.  We’ll have all the details, plus some College Hockey talk, the KHL minute, and our picks of the week, coming up next!

THN Episode 26 Show Notes

Music by Bensound at

Rangers highlights courtesy of MSG Network.  Bruins highlights courtesy of NESN.  Hurricanes highlights courtesy of Fox Sports Carolinas.  Other highlights and clips courtesy of NBC, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, and the National Hockey League.

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Opening Remarks





Upcoming games

Week’s Headlines


Our teams performances since last recording:

BOS:  5-3 L @ Was on 2/1, 6-5 L vs Tor on 2/4

NYR:  2-1 OTW @ Buf on 2/2, 4-3 W vs CGY on 2/5, 4-1 W vs ANA on 2/7

CAR:  2-1 W vs EDM on 2/3, 5-4 OTW @ NYI on 2/4, 5-0 L @ WAS on 2/7


Notable Games (Other than Rangers, Bruins, and Canes)


  • Flames 5, Wild 1 on 2/1
  • Flyers 3, Canadiens 1 on 2/2
  • Predators 2, Oilers 0 on 2/2
  • Blues 5, Maple Leafs 1 on 2/2
  • Panthers 2, Ducks 1 on 2/3
  • Penguins 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT) on 2/3
  • Capitals 3, Canadiens 2 on 2/4 (HS Buddy at game)
  • Kings 1, Flyers 0 (OT) on 2/4
  • Sabres 4, Senators 0 on 2/4
  • Devils 5, Blue Jackets 1 on 2/4
  • Penguins 4, Blues 1 on 2/4
  • Oilers 1, Canadiens 0 (SO) on 2/5
  • Capitals 5, Kings 0 on 2/5
  • Islanders 6, Maple Leafs 5 (OT) on 2/6
  • Avalanche 4, Canadiens 0 on 2/7
  • Sabres 5, Sharks 4 OT on 2/7 (3 g in under 4 min)
  • Blues 6, Senators 0 on 2/7
  • Flames 3, Penguins 2 (SO) on 2/7




  • Claude Julien was fired as coach of the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and replaced by assistant Bruce Cassidy. Julien, 56, was in his 10th season with the Bruins and was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL. He won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and reached the Cup Final in 2013. The Bruins made the playoffs in each of Julien’s first seven seasons, he won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2008-09, and they won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2013-14.  Julien was 419-246-94 with the Bruins and is Boston’s all-time leader in wins. But the Bruins missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past two seasons and entered Tuesday 26-23-6, tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto has four games in hand; Boston has played the most games of any team in the Eastern Conference.  The Bruins lost their past two games, including a 6-5 home loss to the Maple Leafs on Saturday when they trailed 4-1, rallied to tie, but gave up the winning goal with 1:36 remaining in the third period.  “I wasn’t ready to commit on a longer-term basis with Claude,” general manager Don Sweeney said after practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “I felt that there was a level of frustration on a wins-and-loss [basis], what he would be subjected to on a nightly basis, and [I] felt that we would be in a better position going forward to allow our players to be assessed on an individual level, and for me as a general manager to be assessed on a personnel level, to make the decisions going forward as to who’s part of our group.”  Sweeney said he has a list of candidates for a full-time replacement and Cassidy will be among that group. Prior to joining Julien’s staff this season, Cassidy spent eight seasons with Providence of the American Hockey League, the past five as coach. Many Bruins played for Cassidy in Providence, including forwards Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano, and defenseman Colin Miller.  Sweeney said he expects Cassidy, who coached the Washington Capitals for 110 games from 2002-03, to increase the tempo at practice and make other changes that will help Boston in its final 27 games.  The Bruins have been inconsistent. Before losing their past two games they had a three-game winning streak, which included a 4-3 victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 26. After a strong start, the Bruins dropped to 13th in goals allowed per game (2.67), although their offense is up to 22nd in goals per game (2.56). Boston’s power play has risen to 15th (19.2 percent); the penalty kill ranks second (86.0 percent). The Bruins have integrated nine players who made their NHL debut this season.
  • Bruce Cassidy was named coach of the Boston Bruinsafter Claude Julien was fired Tuesday. His first game will be against the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNW, TVA Sports, NESN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV).  Cassidy, 51, coached the Washington Capitals (2002-03) and was in his first season as an assistant under Julien after spending five seasons as coach of Providence, the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate.  Cassidy led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his only full season as coach in 2002-03, when Washington finished 39-29-8-6 and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in six games. Cassidy was fired by the Capitals on Dec. 10, 2003, 28 games into the season, after an 8-18-1-1 start. He was replaced by Glen Hanlon.  Cassidy coached Providence for five seasons, from 2011-16. He went 207-128-45 and had a winning record and qualified for the AHL playoffs in each of those five seasons. Cassidy has coached several players with NHL experience during his time in Providence, including Boston forwards Brian Ferlin, Ryan SpoonerDavid Pastrnak and Frank Vatrano, defensemen Krug, Colin MillerJoe Morrow and Kevan Miller, and goaltender Malcolm Subban.
  • Forward Martin Havlat announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday. Nicknamed “Mach 9” in recognition of his skating skills and jersey number, Havlat had 594 points (242 goals, 352 assists) in 790 games during 14 seasons in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues. He also scored 21 goals and 52 points, including three overtime goals, in 75 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
  • All Transactions:



  • Philadelphia Flyers rookie forwardTravis Konecny will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury.  Konecny, 19, missed the third period of a 2-0 home loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday.  He has seven goals, 22 points and 105 shots on goal in 51 games. Konecny was selected in the first round (No. 24) of the 2015 NHL Draft.
  • Winnipeg Jets defensemanTyler Myers will be out another 6-8 weeks after having surgery for a lower-body injury.  Myers, who had surgery Monday, according to Jets coach Paul Maurice, has missed 39 games.  “The expectation is that by the time he hits the six weeks, if it’s the normal rehab, that we don’t have to take another two weeks after that and condition him back into shape,” Maurice said. “Part of his rehab means is that if he gets to that window and all goes well then he’ll be back in the lineup at that time.”  Myers has two goals and five points in 11 games this season, and has 59 goals and 198 points in 473 NHL games. The Jets acquired Myers, forward Drew Stafford, two prospects and a first-round pick in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for forward Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian on Feb. 11, 2015.  He hasn’t played since Nov. 11.
  • Louis Blues forwardRobby Fabbri will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season because of an ACL injury in his left knee.  Fabbri, 21, will be back on the ice when training camp begins in September. He was injured following a hit by Pittsburgh Penguins forward Carter Rowney with 11:18 remaining in the first period of a 4-1 loss at Scottrade Center on Saturday. Fabbri was helped to the locker room and did not return.  Fabbri has 11 goals and 29 points in 51 games this season, his second in the NHL. He scored 18 goals and 37 points last season, and four goals and 15 points in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Blues reach the Western Conference Final, where they lost to the San Jose Sharks in six games. Forwards Kenny Agostino and Magnus Paajarvi were recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Sunday.
  • Dallas Stars forwardJason Spezza will be out at least a week and maybe longer with an upper-body injury.  Spezza was injured in the third period of a 4-3 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday when he was hit by Jets forward Adam Lowry.  “Right now we really don’t have a time frame on it,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Friday, “but it’s more than days.”  “It’s an upper-body injury that doesn’t have anything to do with anything old. It’s not a concussion. It’s going to take a week or two, maybe longer.”  Spezza, 33, has 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 45 games this season.



  • Carolina Hurricanes right wingSebastian Aho, Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlundand Los Angeles Kings goaltender Peter Budaj have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 5.  Aho tied for the League lead with four goals (4-1-5) including two game-winning tallies as the Hurricanes (24-20-7, 55 points) won all three of their games.  Granlund finished the week tied for first in points with 3-3-6 as the Western Conference-leading Wild (34-12-5, 73 points) won two of three contests.  Budaj went 3-1-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and two shutouts as the Kings, who hold the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, improved to 27-22-4 (58 points).
  • Six numbers have been retired to the rafters of Scottrade Center by the St. Louis Blues. On Thursday, they will be joined by a seventh. Prior to hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs (9 p.m. ET; FS-MW, TSN4, NHL.TV), the Blues will retire the No. 5 of defenseman Bob Plager, who joined St. Louis for its expansion season in 1967-68 after a trade with the New York Rangers. The Blues acquired Plager, Tim Ecclestone, Gord Kannegiesser and Gary Sabourin for defenseman Rod Seiling, who had been selected by the Blues in the expansion draft but was traded back to New York.  Plager, who spent 11 seasons with the Blues, finished his 14-year NHL career with 146 points (20 goals, 126 assists) and 802 penalty minutes in 644 games, 615 with St. Louis. He also had 19 points (two goals, 17 points) and 195 penalty minutes in 74 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Blues.  His No. 5 will join Al MacInnis’ No. 2, Bob Gassoff’s No. 3, Barclay Plager’s No. 8, Brian Sutter’s No. 11, Brett Hull’s No. 16 and Bernie Federko’s No. 24. Plager, 73, will slide between Gassoff and older brother Barclay, who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1988 at age 46.  If there’s an ultimate member of the Blues, Plager is it. Since retiring as a player in 1978, he has handled a variety of roles in the organization, serving as an ambassador, team spokesman, broadcaster and scout. He also coached the Blues briefly in 1992-93, going 4-6-1 in 11 games.  All Plager did was help the Blues advance to the Stanley Cup Final in each of their first three seasons in the NHL. They haven’t returned to the Final since then.
  • Alain Vigneault got his 600th NHL career win andHenrik Lundqvist made 43 saves in the New York Rangers’ 4-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.  Michael Grabner scored twice, including his 25th goal of the season, and Oscar Lindberg and Mats Zuccarello also scored for New York (34-18-1).
  • Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was named to the 2017 Order of Hockey in Canada on Wednesday. Also named were Fran Rider, president and CEO of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, and former International Ice Hockey Federation vice president and Hockey Hall of Famer Murray Costello. All three will be honored as part of the 2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf on June 19-20 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. “This year’s class has worked endlessly in their numerous roles as coaches, directors, executives, and committee members to the benefit of others in the game,” said Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s president and chief executive officer. “To be selected as a Distinguished Honouree of the Order of Hockey in Canada is one of the most prestigious accomplishments one can receive in hockey in Canada, and on behalf of my colleagues at Hockey Canada, the Order of Hockey in Canada selection committee, as well as our board members, I would like to congratulate Fran, Scotty, and Murray on their well-deserved recognition.”  Bowman has his name on the Stanley Cup 14 times with four teams (Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks). He is the NHL’s all-time winningest coach (1,244 victories). He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1991 and is the only coach to lead three different teams to the Stanley Cup. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year twice (1977, 1996), and was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and serves as a senior adviser with the Chicago Blackhawks; his son Stan is their general manager.



None this week


NHL Debuts:


Other Interesting Stories:

  • Clint Malarchuk:
  • The Arizona Coyotes are committed to staying in the area for the long term despite Arizona State University pulling out of a potential arena deal, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said Friday. “While a new Coyotes arena built with ASU would have been a big winner for our fans, taxpayers, the university and our team, the Coyotes had and continue to have a number of options for a new arena. Unfortunately, it appears the ASU deal will not be moving forward,” LeBlanc said. “Nevertheless, the Coyotes are committed to the Valley for the long term, and we will continue to explore other options that will ensure a successful future for the team and our fans. We’re a determined bunch, on the ice and off the ice. We intend to do everything we can to keep NHL hockey here in Arizona.”  In November, the Coyotes announced they were in plans with Catellus Development Corp., the master developer for the Arizona State University Athletic Facilities District, to work toward building a 16,000-seat arena with an attached 4,000-seat multisport facility in Tempe, Arizona.  The agreement between the Coyotes and the developer gave them until June 30 to create a budget, design and operational plan for the development.  But on Friday, Arizona State said in an email to The Arizona Republic that the school “has no intention of proceeding to sign a development agreement or an option to lease or any other agreement with the Coyotes.”  The Coyotes have played in Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, since December 2003. Prior to that, they played at America West Arena (now Talking Stick Resort Arena) in Phoenix after moving to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996.  According to The Arizona Republic, the Coyotes’ lease allows them to continue playing at Gila River Arena through the 2017-18 NHL season.  Earlier this week, legislation was introduced by state Sen. Bob Worsley that would have created a 28-acre community engagement district with ice rinks for the Coyotes and ASU’s hockey teams, within the confines of ASU’s Athletic Facilities District. But according to the newspaper, opposition to the plan was growing in the state legislature and a news conference is scheduled Monday with leaders who oppose the plan.  After the Arizona State announcement, Worsley said he will continue with his bill but will amend it so it’s not tied to the Tempe area.  “There will be something to help the Coyotes,” Worsley said. “And it will be a little more location-agnostic.”
  • Discussions about the participation of NHL players in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics continued Friday with the inclusion of Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee. Bach joined NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, NHL Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr, and IIHF president Rene Fasel for an hour-long meeting at the NHL offices here.  No negotiations about Olympic participation took place during the meeting, according to several participants.  “We were honored by [Bach’s] presence, that he took the time to come and visit with us, but as the president said, this was a courtesy call,” Commissioner Bettman said. “We had a good, open discussion. But I think if anybody was speculating that decisions were going to be made today, that was premature and that was not the purpose of the meeting.”  “This was a courtesy meeting and it was a very good one and I can tell you that the atmosphere inside the meeting room was much warmer than the weather outside here,” Bach said standing on the sidewalk on a 34-degree afternoon. “We had a really fruitful and good meeting.  No deadline has been set for a decision to be made.  “We would like to have [a decision] as soon as possible so that we can make all the preparations to accommodate the NHL and the players in the most appropriate way,” Bach said. “But again, this was not a round of negotiations. The last thing you would do in a courtesy call is speak about deadlines.”  Last week at the NHL All-Star Game, Deputy Commissioner Daly said the League could decide not to participate in the 2018 Games in South Korea.  “If the status quo remains, I don’t expect us to be in the Olympics,” he said in Los Angeles.  On Friday, Commissioner Bettman said the impact the 2018 Olympics will have on the 2017-18 NHL schedule remains the primary stumbling block.  “I think people are focused on the Olympics and whether or not we like the Olympics,” Commissioner Bettman said. “The focus from the club standpoint is, what does the disruption to our season mean and how do we deal with it and how problematic has it become?
  • The passion Dallas Stars rookie forwardDevin Shore brings to the ice is infectious, even to 35-year-old right wing Patrick Sharp.  “I find myself hanging around him all the time because the attitude he brings is contagious,” Sharp said. “Even at his age (22) and this being his first full year in the League, I look at him and see a leader.”  “If you don’t have a belief that we will make the playoffs, you’re in trouble,” Shore said. “We have a lineup that can definitely do some damage when on our game. There’s a lot of hockey left to be played. We just have to make sure we’re consistently giving ourselves the best chance to win, collect points.”  Shore was kept off the scoresheet in a 4-3 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, but has one goal and two assists in the past three games. He has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past 12 games and is tied for ninth among NHL rookies with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 52 games.  Shore is no stranger to a leadership role and producing for his team in big moments. He served as captain during his final season at the University of Maine in 2014-15, and was the captain for Dallas at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in September.
  • The new tighter, rounder, form-fitting goalie pants are here. By Saturday, every NHL goalie will have to wear the new pants, the latest step in streamlining equipment worn by goaltenders. Opinions on the new pants are as varied as the sizes and shapes of the League’s 60-plus goaltenders.  Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby doesn’t care that he is being forced to change his pants midseason. He was involved in the discussions about streamlining goalie equipment and knew changes were coming.  San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones has been wearing the new pants in games for several weeks. He says his peers shouldn’t find too much of a difference with the new pants.  The new pants are the latest alteration in a suite of rules designed to streamline equipment used by goaltenders, approved by the Board of Governors in June.  Jones, Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks, Peter Budaj of the Los Angeles Kings, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning are among the many who have been wearing them in games. Many others, like Holtby, have been trying to break them in in practice.  “I think to have an equipment change midseason, it’s crazy, especially in the goaltending position,” Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith  “It’s nuts that it can’t wait until the beginning of next season.”  Whitmore said the League originally intended to implement the change prior to the start of the season, but there were safety concerns with the new pants that had to be addressed with the manufacturing companies, causing a delay. Nearly a quarter of the League’s goalies already are wearing the new pants.
  • Slap shot airs on nhl network on 2/8 @ 8:30
  • Goalies around the world must be shuddering at the thought: Merriam-Webster has made five-hole an official word in the dictionary. The hockey term was added to the dictionary along with more than 1,000 other words on Tuesday.  The noun, officially defined by Merriam-Webster as “the space between the legs of a goaltender,” has been commonly used by hockey players, fans, broadcasters and everyone else involved with the game for a long time. The first four holes, of course, are high and low on a goalie’s stick side and high and low on the goalie’s glove side.  It will now live forever in the dictionary with other hockey phrases like deke, dangle and hat trick.  Binge-watch, photobomb, humblebrag and the political term FLOTUS (first lady of the United States) were also among the words added.
  • Headlines around league from other sites:
  • Champions Hockey League crowns first Champion of the 16-17 season:

The Power Rankings:

Team (last week)

  1. Washington (1)
  2. Minnesota (3)
  3. Columbus (2)
  4. Pittsburgh (4)
  5. San Jose (8)
  6. NY Rangers (5)
  7. Chicago (5)
  8. Montreal (7)
  9. Anaheim (9)
  10. Edmonton (11)
  11. Ottawa (10)
  12. Toronto (14)
  13. Nashville (12)
  14. St Louis (13)
  15. Philadelphia (15)
  16. Calgary (18)
  17. NY Islanders (20)
  18. Florida (22)
  19. Los Angeles (16)
  20. Carolina (19)
  21. Boston (17)
  22. New Jersey (26)
  23. Buffalo (23)
  24. Detroit (24)
  25. Tampa Bay (25)
  26. Vancouver (21)
  27. Winnipeg (28)
  28. Dallas (27)
  29. Arizona (29)
  30. Colorado (30)
  31. Las Vegas (31)



Upcoming Schedules:

BOS:  vs SJ on 2/9, vs VAN on 2/11, vs MON on 2/12

NYR:  vs NSH on 2/9, vs COL on 2/11, @ CBJ on 2/13

CAR:  1 game between 2/8 and 2/16 inclusive, @ DAL on 2/11

Highlights of upcoming week

  • Islanders @ Flyers on 2/9
  • Blues @ Maple Leafs on 2/9
  • Blues @ Canadiens on 2/11
  • Blackhawks @ Oilers on 2/11
  • Islanders @ Senators on 2/11
  • Sharks @ Flyers on 2/11
  • Ducks @ Capitals on 2/11
  • Islanders @ Maple Leafs on 2/14
  • Ducks @ Wild on 2/14

NCAA Minute:

Maine:  swept @ #15 Providence 3-2, 5-3

#16 Notre Dame @ Maine for 2 this weekend for the final time as conference opponent



8:05 ET(11) Ohio State4@Michigan5
7:00 CT(6) Penn State1@(7) Minnesota5
8:30 ET(16) Cornell5@(4) Union3
7:37 CTSt. Cloud State3@(13) North Dakota1
7:07 CT(20) Michigan Tech2@Bemidji State4

7:00 CT(6) Penn State2@(7) Minnesota5
7:00 ET(14) St. Lawrence1@Clarkson3
6:30 ET(12) Vermont1@(17) Notre Dame4
7:07 CT(20) Michigan Tech0@Bemidji State3
7:05 ETArizona State2@(9) Western Michigan2


Beanpot (65th) Started Monday:

8:00 ET(3) Boston University3vs.(7) Boston College1
5:00 ETNortheastern3vs.(4) Harvard4
Championship is next Monday
BU: 30, BC: 20, Har: 10, NE: 4


Upcoming big games (Both teams ranked):


8:05 ET(5) Minnesota@(12) Ohio State
7:07 CT(10) Penn State@(17) Wisconsin
7:00 ET               (6) Union                            @            (4) Harvard

7:15 ET(3) Boston University@(9) Massachusetts-Lowell

8:05 ET(5) Minnesota@(12) Ohio State
7:07 CT(10) Penn State@(17) Wisconsin


February 06, 2017

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Minnesota-Duluth (46) 18- 5-5 996 1
2 Denver ( 4) 18- 6-4 950 2
3 Boston University 18- 7-2 879 3
4 Harvard 15- 5-2 814 5
5 Minnesota 17- 7-2 796 7
6 Union 19- 7-2 723 4
7 Boston College 18- 9-2 721 8
8 Western Michigan 15- 7-4 618 9
9 Massachusetts-Lowell 17- 9-3 610 10
10 Penn State 16- 6-2 533 6
11 Providence 16- 8-4 435 15
12 Cornell 14- 6-2 380 16
12 Ohio State 13- 7-6 380 11
14 North Dakota 15-11-3 368 13
15 Vermont 16- 9-3 316 12
16 Notre Dame 15- 9-4 259 17
17 Wisconsin 15- 8-1 232 18
18 St. Lawrence 15- 8-6 221 14
19 Quinnipiac 16-11-2 84 19
20 Air Force 18- 8-4 60 NR
Others receiving votes: Bemidji State 46, St. Cloud State 45, Omaha 18, Michigan Tech 12, Yale 3, Robert Morris 1.

Read more:





KHL Minute:






A look at the standings:


Picks of the week:

Wayne:  Greg Devorski details life as NHL linesman:

Steve: The Calgary Flames’ practice Saturday was nothing like a routine off-day skate.  The Flames practiced at Lasker Rink in Central Park, with players and coaches getting dressed at the team hotel before shuttling to the rink in full equipment.  “It was a different experience, for sure,” goalie Chad Johnson said. “I had my pads on and everything sitting on the bus so I didn’t do much moving. When I got up my legs were jelly but it was fun. To be able to do it at this level, in Central Park and see all these Flames fans and sort or do it for them as well, it’s pretty special. It recharges the batteries.”  Hundreds of fans, many in Flames jerseys, lined the outside of the rink on a perfect winter Saturday.  “I thought the atmosphere was great,” coach Glen Gulutzan said. “Obviously the rink isn’t regulation size but we did get some 3-on-3 and a little skate in at the end and I think that’s good.”



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