Flames scratch Monahan, Gaudreau, Bouma vs. Maple Leafs

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during third period NHL hockey action against the Carolina Hurricanes in Calgary, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The team said that Bouma, who was kicked off the practice ice 15 minutes into an aborted 25-minute session Monday, was ill. Twenty-four hours later he was announced as a healthy scratch Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But the real story lies in Gaudreau and assistant captain Monahan — two young pillars of this Flames franchise and two-thirds of Calgary’s top line — being scratched as well.

And here’s the kicker: On Wednesday the Flames begin their “Dad’s Trip” through San Jose and Arizona. As such, all of the Flames fathers were in the Saddledome seats Tuesday night.

Ouch.

It's a courageous move by Hartley, putting the long-term education of his young players ahead of the desperate need for two points in a playoff push that's getting away from the Flames.

Calgary went with 11 forwards and seven defencemen for the game.

The Flames issued no comments on the scratches.