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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Canucks

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames


Paul Byron's first game in a Flames uniform was a resounding success. The forward was placed on the top line with Alex Tanguay and Rene Bourque but didn't look at all out of place with the experienced wingers. He complimented them perfectly with his skill and speed, earning his first point as a Flame with his helper on Tanguay's late first period tally. Byron only played 11:45 but he was outstanding in every shift he played. He created chances, had terrific vision and generated energy for his teammates. Despite his small stature, Byron didn't shy away from physical play either. He threw two hits in the game - tying him for first in that category amongst all Flames - and absorbed checks effectively.


Rookie Greg Nemisz potted the Flames first goal of the preseason just 47 seconds into the game. Mark Giordano dumped the puck into the Canucks zone and Tom Kostopoulos went chasing after it. The Flames winger was able to corral the puck behind the net just as Nemisz skated to the top of the slot. Kostopoulos dished it off to his linemate and the youngster sent a hard slap shot at Canucks netminder Manny Legace. The goalie managed to get his pad on the shot but it trickled past him and into the back of the net. Overall, Nemisz had five shots on net, one point and a +1 rating in 17:56 of ice time.


The Flames offensive units controlled the vast majority of the play during the game. They were able to keep the Canucks blueliners off the puck thanks to a relentless forecheck and superb cycling down low. Their work ethic didn't dwindle at all throughout the contest despite holding a lead for the entire game and all four lines produced offensively for the Flames. Calgary was also excellent at baiting the Canucks into closing in on a single player, leaving several other Flames undetected in the offensive zone.


Blueliners Jordan Henry and Scott Hannan made their Flames debut on Tuesday, both looking very solid. Those who tuned into the game may not remember a single play by either of them but that's exactly what the Flames needed - a simple, effective shutdown game. They used their sticks well, held the opposition to the boards and were positioned perfectly. Hannan, who was paired with Giordano, also chipped in on the Flames power play, providing a booming shot from the point.


The veteran showed no rink rust in his first preseason game of the 2011-12 season and his compete level was on par with what you would see out of him in the regular season. He scored the Flames third goal of the evening at 17:53 of the first frame, assisted on Rene Bourque's shorthanded goal and a +1 rating. With Byron - a natural playmaker - centering him, Tanguay's offensive flair was on display a bit more than in the regular season when he's more known for being Jarome Iginla's set-up man. He was awarded the first star of the game for his efforts on Wednesday night.
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