Ahead of the Calgary Flames' game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, head coach Darryl Sutter reminded everyone about how quickly perspective on the sport can change.
Getting a win is still important to his players. They're just doing it with a dedication instead after defenceman Rasmus Andersson was smacked down in a Detroit crosswalk by a vehicle on Wednesday. He'll miss the game against the Wings but is reportedly doing well and will remain with the team on its four-game road trip.
"Thankful, that's for sure," the Flames head coach said of Andersson escaping serious injury. "I've had those calls before. It kind of puts things into perspective, in a hurry."
It also forces some quick adjustments.
The pairings on the back end are looking much different tonight. The one absolute in every game this season has been the tandem of Noah Hanifin and Andersson. Instead, Hanifin was suiting up alongside Chris Tanev on Thursday. The Flames also called up Dennis Gilbert from the AHL Calgary Wranglers and put him into the lineup over Connor Mackey.
Flames defensive pairings:
Noah Hanifin – Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov – MacKenzie Weegar
Dennis Gilbert – Michael Stone
"Noah and Tanny have played together, so they can move around. Weegs, again. We've got guys that can play both sides," Sutter said of the shuffle, and the "fortunate" ability of moving players around. "I was just talking to MacKenzie about putting him in different situations more and things like that.
"It's not ideal, obviously. You take (out) a big-minutes guy against good players and special teams, it's not ideal."
Hanifin is comfortable playing alongside Tanev — who isn't? — but is happy to hear he won't be without his normal partner for too long.
It's worth noting Andersson hadn't missed a single NHL game due to injury. And it took being hit by a car to do it.
"It's scary, obviously. Being one of our teammates and getting the call and hearing something like that is definitely something you dread as a player," Hanifin told reporters in Detroit. "Fortunately, he seems to be doing alright. He got back to the hotel last night and just really happy it wasn't worse than it was.
"He seems good, he seems like he was in good spirits this morning and was kind of telling us the story and everything."