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Calgary Flames Veterans, Rookies: Final Push

Calgary, AB -The Flames will host the Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night  before jetting off to visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Thursday, in what will serve as Calgary’s final pre-season match-up before opening the season against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Oct. 12.

Prospects are trying to make a late push.

“There’s a lot of good players,” Hunter Shinkaruk said. “Every player in this room is a great player.   They can play at this level. It’s about showing that you have that little something extra, that something special. “For me it’s just about going out there and playing my game.”

Shinkaruk, was acquired by Calgary from the Canucks in February, he will dress against Arizona.

There’s no guarantee the 21-year-old will do the same in Vancouver. Wednesday’s skate could be his last in-game opportunity to leave an impression, and make the team.

“I’m pretty relaxed,” said Shinkaruk, who is expected to skate on a line with Linden Vey and Micheal Ferland against Arizona. “I know I have to go out there and play my game, but I’ve been down this road before. It’s up to you. If you play your game that’s really all you can do. I feel like where my game’s at, where it was last year, I’m ready to make this jump.”

As for the veterans,

Chris Higgins doesn’t need a reminder as he knows.

“There’s only two left,” said Higgins, who is set to audition against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday alongside veterans Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. “The next one is tomorrow night.”

“There’s not much more time to make an impression after tonight.”

Higgins, who had his contract bought out by the Canucks in June after the least productive season of his NHL career, will play Wednesday. There’s no guarantee he will dress against his former team Thursday, meaning there’s not much time to leave a mark. 

“I’m kind of just trying to take it day-by-day. Here’s another day to make an opportunity. I feel good. I feel strong. I feel I’ve gotten better every day. I think most guys would say we’re past the tough part where your body’s sore and tired. Now we can start working our game, start improving.”

Higgins, 33, and Lauri Korpikoski, who isn’t expected to play against Arizona, are both on PTO’s and hoping to leave an impression. 

Codi Hawkes is a born and raised Calgarian who has a passion for hockey. Growing up Codi was a Calgary Flames enthusiast, with that comes memories of the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup finals at the young age of six, and the 2014-2015 season by finishing third in the Pacific Division the qualified for their first Flames playoff appearance since '09. He is currently a sportswriter and blogger for which posts all NHL news. Codi covers the league’s top stories, and is currently considering Journalism studies at SAIT this Fall.
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