The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week, usually on non-game days.
March 10, 2010
Top line flying
The trio of Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque and Matt Stajan have been on fire since being put together on the top line. In the three games they've played together, they've combined for 18 points and their chemistry is still developing.
"It's been great - we've won all three games," chuckled Stajan. "That's what you look for. It doesn't matter who scores, we're just looking for wins. We know, as a line, we've got to make sure we do our part. Right now we're clicking and we'll keep working hard and hopefully that chemistry keep building."
The Flames have been looking for the right winger and center to compliment Iginla's scoring prowess for the last few seasons and while it's still early, it looks like they may have found the magic combo.
Stajan credits the mix of speed, skill and physicality between him and Bourque as the reason Iginla has been able to reignite his offensive fire.
"He's been playing great," Stajan said of Bourque. "He's a fast guy and we've been able to do some give-and-go plays, work the corners a bit and it's opened up some space in the offensive zone to find Jarome or find our point man.
"We've been going to net and getting some rebounds so it's all come together. We've just got to keep working hard and making sure that we stay on top of our game."
Iginal has been particularly hot since the line was created, scoring four goals in a seven-point run. While Stajan's happy his captain is finding the back of net so often, it doesn't surprise him that Iginla's been on a tear.
"He's a skilled guy and has scored his league for a long time," Stajan said. "For myself and Rene, we're just trying to get him the puck. He does a great job finding open ice and we've got to give him the puck when he's in a good area to make a play.
"We've been able to find him lately and he's been able to release a few of those wicked shots. It's been good."
Having fun and building confidence
The Flames have looked a lot more self-assured their past three games and the players have credited that boost of self-confidence to the fun they're having on the ice. Curtis Glencross says that the fun their having on the ice has translated into more offense.
"We've got a little more leniency from the coaching staff and they want us to make more plays instead of always dumping it in," he said. "We can't turn the puck over but they're encouraging us to make plays at the line if they're there. Earlier on in the season, we were kind of timid in doing that. We've got a little bit of confidence going and that helps us make plays."
Eric Nystrom said that the Olympic break helped the team clear their heads and get themselves back to where they need to be.
"Everybody had a chance to unwind over the break and refocus where our heads need to be. Since then I think we've loosened up a little bit and being a little more confident as a group," he smiled. "I don't think there's one moment that got the ball rollng in the right direction but a lot of little things: we scored some goals against New Jersey and that's huge. Then we scored some goals against Minnesota and then you realize 'Wow, we can actually score some goals and we can make some nice plays.' That makes a huge difference, when you believe that you can do stuff."
Steve Staios hopes the team can build off their recent games and continue on their roll.
"I think the focus of taking one game, one step at a time is key at this time of the year. I think that our efforts are ones we can continue to build on. I've only been here a short period of time but there's definitely enough character in the room where we can elevate our play and it seems like we've been doing that over the last few games." Quotable
"It feels good right after you win the game but then you wake up the next morning and look at the standings and realize how close they still are so you can't be feeling too good about yourself. We've got Detroit coming in here again soon and a couple games in between that are huge so every game is so tight it's amazing." - Nystrom on maintaining a level head after jumping into a playoff spot.
"I think under different circumstances I would have eased my way into the situation a little bit more but I think that for the position that we're in, I've tried to be involved as quickly as I can. It's an easy locker room to do that with because there are no egos in there. It's a great group of guys and I feel at home just after a few games." - Staios on his role as a leader in the locker room.