“I can’t say he felt great, but he played great. Felt good, played great.” - Coach Bob Hartley
CALGARY, AB -- Curtis Glencross felt good enough to go.
And played great.
Returning to action after missing a pair of games in California with an upper-body injury, Glencross returned against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, setting up Lee Stempniak’s game winner and adding an insurance marker less than four minutes later to break open a tie game in the third period, snapping Calgary’s three-game losing skid.
“It’s not all there, but at the same time, I’ve just got to keep playing, work through it,” Glencross said after the game. “It’s going to be lingering or whatever, but that’s part of playing hockey.”
Not bad for a game-time decision, coach Bob Hartley said after the Flames’ skate on Thursday.
“Glennie was unbelievable, skating, hitting, creating plays,” Hartley said. “He was our best on the forecheck. He delivered many big body checks. That had a direct effect on our third period. We got the Red Wings to cough up a couple of pucks and we turned it with a great transition game and we got three goals. Glennie certainly set the game up for us.”
It was the type of performance the Flames needed after a winless trip to California dropped the Flames to last in the Western Conference.
“It’s very uplifting for the guys,” Blake Comeau said. “We know he was in a lot of pain and he just gutted it out for the guys. Not only that, he was a big contributor in the game. He played physical, had a goal and an assist. He really helped us pull off the win.”
The win, Calgary’s fifth consecutive on Scotiabank Saddledome ice, came at a time where the Flames need to make up ground in order to put themselves within earshot of the postseason. That means playing through the pain like Glencross, Comeau said.
“This time of the year, lots of guys are dealing with injuries and aches and pains,” he noted. “This is gut-check time. Everyone wants to be in the lineup and everyone wants to help the team win and make it to the playoffs.
“Lots of guys at this time of the year have nagging injuries and aches and pains but we’re all competitive guys and everyone wants to be in the lineup and I don’t see anyone wanting to take a game off for something they can’t play through. It was a good example by Glennie and I think everyone needs to do the same thing as well.”
Pushing through the pain paid off for Glencross and the Flames, who went from questionable to definite in the span of an afternoon.
“In the morning I sat with Glennie and the medical staff,” Hartley said. “They both told me what was the situation and he got on the ice early on and he felt okay, but at that point we still wanted him to do the warm-up to see how the shot would be and everything and he felt good.
“I can’t say he felt great, but he played great. Felt good, played great.”