Coleman excited for regular season debut as Flames welcome fans back to Dome
While the rest of his teammates started their season in Edmonton on Saturday night, Blake Coleman had to watch his new teammates fall 5-2 to the Oilers.
Coleman didn't play against Edmonton because he was serving the second of his two game suspension for hitting Winnipeg Jets forward Jansen Harkins from behind in the pre-season.
Coleman makes his Flames regular season debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night and says it'll be exciting to play in front of the hometown fans.
"It's going to be an exciting night," Coleman said.
"You know, I think it's nice to feel that thangs are back to the way they should be.
"I'm excited to have my first experience with a packed house here and experience being on the home side in this rink, and I'm excited to get my feet wet and get things going."
Coleman's teammates are also glad to have him on the ice with them. The forward is a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning and was the Flames' prized free agent signing in the off season.
Matthew Tkachuk says Coleman can do a lot of things to help the Flames.
"The thing that sticks out to me is his speed," Tkachuk said. "He can play against anybody and he's got a great shot."
"Obviously we've talked about this for weeks – the winning pedigree he has – so you know we're a team, even though we're in the second game of the year."
"We need a win tonight and hopefully he can help us with that."
It's been a long time since the Flames last played a regular season game in front of the hometown fans.
589 days ago, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the NHL. Forward Johnny Gaudreau is looking forward to welcoming fans back to the Saddledome.
"Yeah, it's exciting," Gaudreau said. "It's been a while."
"Very excited to get out there and play in front of our fans – and it's going to be a special night."
Tkachuk is a player who thrives on playing in front of fans. After playing without fans for so long, he said it makes him appreciate them even more.
"Yeah, it will be awesome," Tkachuk said. "Hopefully, they're as excited as we are, and hopefully it's a packed house and they're ready to get loud."
Gaudreau and Tkachuk will once again play on the top line with Elias Lindholm.
Coleman will start the night on a line with Mikael Backlund and Milan Lucic.