Successful realignment

The newly-formed top line came out with a bang in Detroit

Friday, 04.11.2011 / 9:00 AM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Successful realignment



DETROIT, MI -- Let's be honest: it was thought by many that throwing Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla back together after several failed attempts of having them play together was, at best, a gamble.

But Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter thought the odds were on his side this time around and formed a new top line consisting of the duo and Curtis Glencross. The result?

Resounding success.

The trio combined for seven points in the Flames 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday evening with Iginla notching two goals (thus doubling his October total) and assist. Glencross and Jokinen chipped in with two points of their own.

"It was a good win," Jokinen said afterwards. "We had 20 guys showing up tonight. It was embarrassing the way we played against Vancouver. We definitely want to bounce back and show people we're a better team than the way we played the other night."

Prior to the game, Sutter instructed Jokinen to simply play the way he had been rather than trying to adapt his style with a new winger to his right. The bench boss felt the pivot was an entirely different player than when he first started his career in Calgary and his current style of play would mesh with Iginla's.

"When you're playing with a player like Jarome, sometimes you have a tendency of looking for him too much," Sutter said. "Olli is a different player today than he was two years ago and I wanted Olli to stay the course in that."

While Jokinen and Glencross had a solid opening month of the 2011-12 campaign, Iginla's slow start had many questioning if the back spasms he suffered early on in training camp were perhaps hindering his performance. He shrugged that notion off, stating he felt he was forcing his play in order to generate offence.

"Tonight, I was really just trying to focus on moving and feeling good,” Iginla noted. “I was just trying to play. I think I’ve been thinking a little bit too much. You get thinking, and then you stop moving.

"I’ve done it before. You think too much and you don’t just play."

Lee Stempniak - who was shuffled to over to play with Brendan Morrison and Alex Tanguay - also found the back of the net, scoring his second of the year.