Bad blood carries over into Ducks-Flames playoff series
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving sent a shot across the bow of the Anaheim Ducks on Monday ahead of their playoff series.
''For someone to suggest that Mark Giordano is a dirty player or it was an intentional hit, those are asinine comments,'' Treliving said. ''I don't think making comments about opposing players . . . there's a method to the madness there. It's to try to put something in the officials' heads going into the series.''
Ducks general manager Bob Murray had suggested Giordano went for Cam Fowler's knee when he collided with the Ducks' defenseman in a 3-1 Anaheim home win last Tuesday.
''Well, he's done this before,'' Murray said two days after the game. ''I have no respect for people who go after knees. I'm sorry, but knees, they wreck your careers real quick. I don't like it.''
Murray said Fowler is out 4-6 weeks. Fowler is Anaheim's top-scoring defenseman with 11 goals and 28 assists while averaging a team-high 25 minutes of ice time.
Giordano wasn't penalized on the play. He likely will be the villain at the Honda Centre for the first two games Thursday and Saturday in the best-of-seven series.
''As far as Fowler, I hope he's OK,'' Giordano said. ''It was never my intent to obviously injure a guy. But it's in the past. As a team and as an individual, we're just focusing on the series.''
The Flames reached the second round of playoffs two years ago without Giordano, who'll see his first postseason action in a decade. The 33-year-old from Toronto was a Norris Trophy candidate in 2014-15 before tearing his bicep Feb. 25. He watched from the seats as his team beat Vancouver in six games in the first round and then lost to Anaheim in five.
''We all know what he means to this team,'' Treliving said. ''To get a chance to play at this time of year, I can't think of anybody more deserving and more excited than Mark is.''
The Fowler incident and ensuing comments pour gasoline on the natural animosity between the playoff combatants.
''There's going to be a lot of games within the game,'' veteran forward Matt Stajan said. ''Gio is one of our best players so he'd probably be a target anyway.''
With almost 100 games of playoff experience, winger Troy Brouwer says the post-season isn't the place for vigilante justice. He added the Flames can't afford to be goaded.
''They're not going to do anything that's going to compromise winning hockey games,'' Brouwer said. ''It's going to be a physical series and we can't get sucked into that. We've been one of the most penalized teams throughout the regular season and that's something that really needs to change going into the playoffs. Special teams, a lot of the time, can be the difference in the series.''
Notes: Center Sean Monahan and defenseman Dennis Wideman didn't skate Monday. Treliving said they were fine. ... Goaltender Chad Johnson, who sustained a lower-body injury and was relieved by Brian Elliott just over five minutes into the game in Anaheim, practiced alone prior to the team skate. He took shots from a goaltending coach. Jon Gillies will back up Elliott until Johnson's return.