It’s fun [playing with Cammalleri] obviously, he’s a great player. He’s been on fire as of late. - Mikael BacklundCALGARY, AB
-- Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri
added again to his point haul Friday night, while playing with a new set of line mates.
In a 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators, Cammalleri led the Flames offence with two goals and an assist. Despite the offensively productive night, the 31-year-old was left wanting more after the game.
“You’re never pleased, you always want more,” Cammalleri said. “Trying to think of it in that way, just trying to keep improving and work hard.
“It would have been nice to get one more there at the end when we needed one more.”
With the introduction of rookie Kenny Agostino into the lineup, Cammalleri was moved from a line with Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne, to Mikael Backlund and Paul Byron’s line. In their first game together, Cammalleri, Backlund and Byron accumulated five points (3g, 2a) against the Preds.
“They [Backlund, Byron and Cammalleri] were flying [tonight],” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “They were playing the game the right way, on pucks, and making plays.
“I felt that tonight they were our best line.”
Mikael Backlund, who scored a goal and added an assist in Friday’s loss, was pleased with the chemistry his line had during their first game together.
“It’s fun [playing with Cammalleri] obviously, he’s a great player,” Backlund said. “He’s been on fire as of late.”
Since the NHL trade deadline passed on March 5, Cammalleri has been on a tear for the Flames, scoring eight goals and adding four assists in nine games. During this stretch, he has been held off the score sheet just once, in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on March 8. Since then, Cammalleri scored seven goals in six games.
“One of my responsibilities on this team is to produce,” Cammalleri said.
After Friday’s game, Cammalleri leads the team in goals with 24 and currently sits fourth on the team in total points with 34.
His new line mate, Backlund, currently has 18 goals this season, which is already a career-high for him; but he is closing in on the 20 goal milestone, something he desperately wants.
“Obviously it is a goal that I have,” Backlund said. “I’m not going to lie, it will be a huge career milestone for me.
“I’ve been battling hard all year with some ups and downs, to finally get there would be a nice reward to myself.”