Soccer ball

Soccer ball pops out and fun bursts at Flames training

This isn’t the first time Ward and his coaching staff have supplemented a normal day’s practice with light play on a small area that promotes a bit of competition.

Content of the article

It started out as normal, steady ice time.

Advertising

Content of the article

Calgary Flames goaltender coach Jordan Sigalet did a few drills to send some sharp shots at David Rittich and Cam Talbot. They focused on aspects of their game away from the puck, things they needed to consolidate after a few “self-inflicted” opportunities they gave the Carolina Hurricanes in the 4-0 loss on Saturday.

Breakouts, too, have been incorporated into practice; obvious, given that it contributes to what is done offensively and defensively throughout a match.

Are you still bored?

Do not worry. At that point, interim head coach Geoff Ward shifted gears and lightened the mood, asking players to drop their sticks, split them into teams of three and toss a soccer ball. on the ice.

Suddenly the whole group of grown men transformed into 10-year-olds at recess, trying to let off steam and share a few laughs before heading back to class.

Advertising

Content of the article

The former teacher explained the rules.

“OK. So here’s how it works,” said Ward. “If the ball is in the air you can play handball. But you can only hold the ball for three seconds before you have to pass it. the ball hits the ice, you have to play football.

“Then it’s like regular football until someone can catch the ball in the air. Then the goalies can’t play on goal – they have to play.

  1. Calgary Flames Johnny Gaudreau leads the charge against the Arizona Coyotes on December 11, 2019.

    Goals and goalkeepers will definitely be on the Flames’ Christmas list

  2. December 14, 2019;  Calgary, Alberta, CAN;  Carolina Hurricanes right winger Warren Foegele (13) collides with Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) in the second period at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-405497

    Hurricanes end Flames’ winning streak

  3. Michael Frolik and his teammates celebrate a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period on December 9, 2019 in Denver.

    Forged in fire: five reasons the flames are now rolling

Sure enough, Noah Hanifin was on a team with Cam Talbot and David Rittich while Andrew Mangiapane hit the climax reel with his net throw and then celebrated as if he had won the Cup trophy. FIFA World.

Advertising

Content of the article

“It was Ronaldo right there,” Mangiapane said with a chuckle afterward.

And he didn’t mean Zac.

Truth be told, the 23-year-old Flames winger couldn’t remember the last time hockey practice involved anything unrelated to hockey at all; or a skate whose sole purpose was, literally, to have fun.

Mangiapane, a native of Bolton, Ont., Didn’t even think it happened while playing minor hockey in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Growing up in Toronto is pretty serious hockey,” he said. “I don’t even remember, to be honest with you, if we’ve ever had the ball there. It was always, OK if we want to make a game, it’s just going to be a three-on-three scrum or a five-on-five scrum.

“It was never, ‘We’re going to get the soccer ball out.'”

Advertising

Content of the article

This time the player was delighted.

“I was laughing,” Mangiapane said. “I said to myself: ‘OK’. I was a little tired from it, going up and down the ice. You slide one way, you slide the other… I think everyone was like, “OK, what do we do? You see a guy kicking the ball and you’re like, “Ohhh, I want to kick the ball.”

“We were just feeding each other.”

Keep in mind this is the same NHL team that has had a six-game losing streak that saw its head coach investigated for racist remarks and player abuse. (then, subsequently, resigned) and just saw a seven-game winning streak broken on Saturday.

This isn’t the first time Ward and his coaching staff – assistants Martin Gelinas, Ryan Huska and Ray Edwards – have ended a normal day-long practice with light play on a small area that favors a bit. competition. During Friday practice (after turning down the Linkin Park / Pearl Jam / Dad Rock mix chosen by Flames captain Mark Giordano), they had a little three-on-three action at one end of the ice that made them scream and yell the team.

Advertising

Content of the article

Ward later said it allowed the team to work on puck touches in tight areas, their attacking pace and quick defense.

And, on Monday, there was only one goal for the Flames to enter the soccer-handball mix.

“Just for fun,” Ward said. “You can see the guys competing. They don’t even know they are working hard and they have jobs. And you work with your feet, which is also important in hockey. It’s just a fun way to work on certain things.

“But above all it’s a good way to make sure the team leaves training feeling good about themselves.”

The Flames are 18-13-4 and have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves four games before Christmas, despite their ball bursting on Saturday.

Advertising

Content of the article

They welcome the injury-ridden Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday (7 p.m. Sportsnet Wet, Sportsnet 960 The Fan), a team that hasn’t seemed to slow down in the face of adversity either.

Ward was delighted with the Flames’ first period against the Hurricanes; their energy level, their execution and the chances generated.

Lesson?

“We have to stick with what we’re doing away from the puck,” Ward said. “And if we’re strong that way, we have a chance to win every day. “

But a lot of what they do stems from their training days – a business approach with an element of fun, which was the center of attention for Ward and his coaching staff as they tried to picking up the pieces of the workout controversy from a few weeks ago.

“I think it’s important,” he said. “We wanted to do exactly that, to keep it a bit lighter at the start so the guys start to feel good and have fun here. Now what’s going to happen is that we encourage them to take charge of what is happening now. So as that happens it will look a little different. Right now, we believe that if you have fun coming to the rink, it makes the job easier.

[email protected]

www.twitter.com/KDotAnderson

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a vibrant but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Check out our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.