IRVING SHOWS GUMPTION IN WIN
Surrendering three goals on 20 shots through the first 40 minutes of action against the Dallas Stars Tuesday, Calgary Flames starter Leland Irving slammed the door in the third to help preserve a wild 7-4 win over the visiting Dallas Stars Wednesday.
Irving kicked out 13 shots in the final period, including stopping Jamie Benn’s attempt from the slot and Jaromir Jagr on the rebound with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.
Flames coach Bob Hartley said he learned a lot from Irving’s ability to bounce back with the game in the balance.
“It’s not his best game, he knows it,” Hartley said. “But at the same time he found a way to win the game, to keep us in the game. It’s not always going the right way but he found a way to stay in there.
“It tells us so much. I think that he’s earned another start. He’s a young man. He’s learning the game at the NHL level and last night it was a tough game.”
But Irving, 24, found a way to soldier through.
“For whatever reason sometimes you just don’t have it,” he said. “You’ve just got to fight and battle and do your best to give the guys a chance.”
BYRON’S INJURY ‘TOUGH TO SEE’
Just four shifts into his National Hockey League season, Paul Byron suffered a fractured left hand against the Stars. Byron was recalled from the Abbotsford Heat to play his first game of the year Tuesday.
It was difficult to watch the 23-year-old go down, Steve Begin said.
“It’s tough to see when a young guy comes in and plays his first game of the year with us, a couple of shifts in and break his hand, out for a while and it’s terrible,” he said. “It’s tough for him but it’s tough to see that for us too. We were so excited for him. It’s tough but it’s part of the game.”
Byron played just 2:51 before taking a slash from Derek Roy.
“We all feel awful for Paul, he got only a few minutes of ice time,” Hartley said. “All those kids in Abbotsford, they dream about that phone call but unfortunately we all know injuries are a part of the game.”
In Byron’s absence, the Flames have recalled Roman Horak, who had three goals and 11 points in 61 games with Calgary last season. This year, Horak leads Abbotsford in goals with 14.
“He’s having a great season in Abbotsford and he’s going to come in and be asked to fill the same role as Ben Street and all those young kids that come up from Abbotsford,” Hartley said.
KARLSSON’S INJURY OPENS KEVLAR TALK
Kevlar socks are about to become a hotly debated subject in dressing rooms around the National Hockey League.
It already has in Calgary.
When Matt Cooke’s skate blade came down on the back of Ottawa Senators defenseman and reigning James Norris Memorial Trophy winner Erik Karlsson’s foot – cutting his Achilles’ tendon and effectively ending his season – attention has turned to preventative measures against such an injury.
Begin's attention is already there. The veteran of 495 career NHL games wears the special socks.
“That’s what I wear,” he said. “You’re not supposed to get cut with those. We try to get all the protection we can. If some guys don’t wear those, it’s unfortunate but things like that can happen.”
Cory Sarich hasn’t opted yet to wear them and isn’t sure they would’ve saved Karlsson from injury Wednesday night.
“I think they might help a little bit but instances like (Karlsson), I don’t know,” Sarich said. “I don’t know if they’re going to do a lot of good or not. I’ve seen them, I’ve seen guys that wear them, they’re pretty thin. I don’t know if they’re going to stop anything when there’s that much pressure coming down on your leg.”
Hartley stopped short of estimating how many of his players are wearing the protection, which also includes Kevlar guards to protect wrists as well.
“We have many players,” he said. “I can’t give you a definite count. I see them everywhere in the locker room from the protective wrist to protective socks. Obviously those skate blades, they cut like razorblades. You have to be very careful.”
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