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LOVE TO RIED

Speedy Tobias Rieder doing it all for the Flames, adding offence to sterling defensive arsenal

by GEORGE JOHNSON @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

More and more, Tobias Rieder is feeling comfortable, at home.

"For sure, I'm starting to feel as if I'm fitting in,'' acknowledged the first-year Calgary Flames' German-born speedster, following a Wednesday morning skate at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"Being in the lineup consistently and putting up some points, I feel as if the coaching staff trusts me now.

"I play a lot of PK. I'm playing late in games, in important situations. Now they're trying me out at centre.

"When you're given extra responsibility it always gives you confidence."
 

For Tuesday's invasion by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rieder - playing in his 10th consecutive game - put in a solid turn, garnering the primary assist on Johnny Gaudreau's goal, and finishing +1 with two shots on net in 12-and-a-half minutes of ice time.

 

Video: PIT@CGY: Gaudreau nets Rieder's feed from in front

 

Rieder's giddy-up, combined with Michael Frolik's burnished adaptability and like-a-dog-on-a-bone Sam Bennett's return to the Flames' lineup following 13 games away due to an upper body issue, made for a solid unit versus the Pens.

The line - centred by Rieder, regularly a right winger - certainly didn't look out of place in elite company.

"I thought Fro and I had created a lot of chemistry in the last couple games,'' reckoned Rieder. "Benny brought a lot of energy, was turning a lot of pucks over for us, which is so important.

"I thought we were really good on the forecheck, played a lot in the offensive zone and we've got to continue to do that."

Having has spent time in Arizona, L.A. and Edmonton, the 26-year-old joined the Flames organization on a tryout basis this fall and earned himself a contract.

"A great skater, right?'' critiqued Frolik. "Good speed. And he's been around for awhile, too. So he knows when to and how to use that speed.

"It's always fun when you play with fast guys like that. You can chip pucks into space and you know he'll be the first one there.

"He made goes under the radar bit but a solid player. Most of the time he plays wing but he didn't look out of place at centre, as you saw (Tuesday).

"Benny's a good skater, too. Everybody know he likes to hit guy but he's got skill to back it up.

"I thought the three of us played well together."

 

Video: BUF@CGY: Rieder goes five-hole for SHG on breakaway

 

The shift into the middle is no strain, says Rieder who, with his mates, will endeavour to end a brief two-game slide when the Montreal Canadiens pay a visit on Thursday.

"I do enjoy it,'' he acknowledged. "Obviously it's a little different, responsibility-wise. I feel the two games I've played there have given me a better understanding of what's involved. Now it's a matter of working on the little details.

"Faceoffs, for instance (he was 2-of-6 in the circle versus Pittsburgh). I haven't really taken many. So I've got to get better at that, more accustomed to that as well as being down low in our zone. But it's coming along.

"I just went to help; to contribute.

"I go out there and whatever they need me to do, wherever they need me to do it, and I do that to the best of my abilities."

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