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The Sjostrom shuffle

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
Jarome Iginla sniped a goal with authority, ripping a wrist shot off the bar and in.

Dion Phaneuf provided an end-to-end rush, burying a snap shot for another goal.

And Freddie Sjostrom, the hard-working checker, had the dangle of the game.
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Sjostrom took pass from Robyn Regehr in the neutral zone and dashed towards the Columbus Blue Jacket net Tuesday night. It was looking a lot like he would get a partial breakaway on Steve Mason. But when that didn't materialize, Sjostrom improvised. He went by the net, whirled to his right and fired a shot to the far post, stunning Mason and defenceman Mathieu Roy, who gave a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful chase.

The Sjostrom shuffle, The Sjostrom spinorama. Call it what you want -- its one of the niftiest goals to be scored in the NHL this season.

"It was a very pretty goal to watch," confirmed Phaneuf.

"It was a great pass from Reggie. I was just going to go in on the backhand but Mason followed me so the play wasn't there," said Sjostrom. "When it wasn't there I had to try something."

Was it planned?

"Not really. It was spur of the moment. It feels like you are going 100 miles an hour so you don't have much time to think. You just go with your instincts."

The former member of the Calgary Hitmen scored his fair share of goals in junior on Pengrowth Saddledome ice, including a between the legs dipsy-doodle that Hitmen followers will remember, but the goal Tuesday was special.

"That's one of the better ones," said Sjostrom, who seems to have a perpetual smile on his face. "It was my first one with the Flames so it felt good."

The Flames have won two straight during their current five-game homestand and were given Wednesday as a recovery day. They host the Oilers on Saturday at the 'Dome. And you can be sure a smiling Sjostrom will be out on the ice again, working hard, finishing checks.

"We're having fun out there. Having fun is working hard and going to the net and getting pucks on the net. We're not trying to make it complicated. We're playing simple. I know it is a cliche but that's what we are doing. That's what the game is still. If you start making the right little plays you gain confidence," he said.

After his highlight reel goal, Sjsotrom's confidence should be just fine.

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