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Flames' Street enjoying first-line assignment

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- Ben Street will be the first to admit he isn't the likeliest of first-line candidates, but the forward is relishing in his opportunity to be just that with the Calgary Flames.

Street is expected to center Curtis Glencross and David Jones for a second straight game when the Flames host the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS).

"In my wildest dreams you kind of imagine it," Street said. "If you had told me that in the third game of the year I was in that position I would've taken it, but I wouldn't have believed you. I'll take it. I keep trying to get better and make sure I don't relinquish that spot."

Coming into the season, the 26-year-old Street had six games of NHL experience, coming in two different stints last season.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound center never lost the hope of being an NHL regular, though.

"You always have a belief of that," he said. "That's what keeps you going too. After a little bit of a taste last year you kind of think you know what you have to do and what it's going to take to stick there. You keep that in your mind all summer and then all through camp. It's nice it's come to fruition a bit."

Flames coach Bob Hartley called Street's NHL time last season a launching pad for the start he's had this season.

"I think with Benny it started last year when we called him up," Hartley said. "We certainly saw lots of poise and lots of good hockey on both sides of the puck. We want guys to be creative, we want guys to generate some offense for us, but at the same time Benny is very sharp out there. He knows the game. He makes good decisions.

"[He] does so many great little things that you really have to watch the game carefully. Street I don't think will ever be a fancy, flashy player. He's real down-to-earth, plays the game simple, but he plays the game well."

Street knows he's not the most dazzling option down the middle. Instead, it's the little things that have earned him top-line duty with the Flames.

It's the little things he'll keep doing, too, in the hopes of sticking around.

"My game isn't trying to break guys down 1-on-1 or anything like that," he said. "I can't really change now. I'm going to do what got me here.

"If they're happy with me, that's great and I'll just keep trying to do that."

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