EVERY DAY THEY'RE SHUFFLIN'
After falling 5-1 to Vancouver on Tuesday, the Flames coaching staff felt the squad needed a bit of shakeup and basically threw their forward lines in the blender. The biggest change came on the top line. Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross were moved up to play with Jarome Iginla - a move that left many scratching their heads as the two didn't generate the results the team was looking for when paired together in the past.
"Olli is a different player today than he was two years ago when he and Jarome played together," Sutter said after the morning skate. "His role has changed. He is playing a different brand of hockey for us, and he’s being awarded for changing his game."
There was some changes in the defensive pairings as well. Cory Sarich and Mark Giordano were put together while Anton Babchuk replaced Derek Smith in the lineup, playing with Scott Hannan.
DRAWING FIRST BLOOD
At the pre-game skate, several players spoke at length about the importance of a quick start against a team like the Red Wings and their actions on the ice mirrored those statements. The Flames were solid throughout the opening stanza, killing off a penalty and opening the scoring thanks to Lee Stempniak's second of the season.
Babchuk sent one his blasts from the blueline towards the net but the shot went wide, bouncing off the back boards. Stempniak sped over to the side of the net to scoop up the rebound and took a shot from an extremely awkward angle.The puck ended up hitting Jimmy Howard's blocker and bounced in.
POWER PLAY REIGNITED
Calgary's power play has been a concern as of late, going 1-16 in their last four games. However, they have found success with the man advantage in other club's buildings this season as they entered the tilt with the NHL's second-best power play on the road, converting three times on 10 opportunities. That prowess continued on Thursday night when Iginla was able to beat Howard with Jiri Hudler in the sin bin for hooking.
Jokinen broke into the zone and slide past a couple of penalty killers. Glencross was right behind him and the pivot threw it back to him. The captain had already moved into position near the hashmarks and was ready for the pass Glencross dished to him. He wound up and wired it into the net for his third goal of the year.
WIN STREAK HALTED
The Red Wings had the Flames number last season and entered into Thursday's battle with five straight wins over Calgary. However, the visitors were able to bring that streak to a close with a intelligent, steady road effort.
Prior to this victory, the last time the Flames handed the Red Wings a loss was Mar. 9, 2010. Detroit has now lost six games in a row.
IGGY IGGY IGGY!
There is no denying the month of October isn't generally kind to the captain. He mustered just two goals and four points through the month and did not look anything like the top line winger he is. However, it appears he is back to his usual self, potting two goals and three points in the victory over the Red Wings.
Both of his goals came from Glencross and Jokinen was on the ice for both tallies, assisting on one. The newly-formed top line combined for seven points on the night.