Monday Mouthings

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

It has been a long time since the Calgary Flames were able to ice a top trio capable of scoring from every position.

However, if there's one thing the injury to Jarome Iginla has made clear, it's that the Flames finally have the talent to field a potent first line even if their captain is out of the lineup.

Take Saturday night, for example, when Daymond Langkow, Kristian Huselius and Alex Tanguay comprised a line that dazzled throughout the evening. Dominating along the boards as well as in open ice, the three playmakers controlled the puck with a confidence not seen around these parts in years.

Patient almost to a fault, the creative threesome toyed with the hosts to the point it was almost embarrassing at times.

The emergence of all three as stars in their own right this season gives the Flames so many options, especially when you consider the maturation of Matthew Lombardi and rapid development of David Moss and Dustin Boyd.

Assuming Miikka Kiprusoff is able to continue regaining his old form, the return of Iginla next month could prove scary for Northwest Division foes.

Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering how many times it'll be subjected to grainy Super Bowl Shuffle replays until Feb. 4.

AROUND THE HORN:

Jarome Iginla when asked if his injury automatically took him out of the team's sideburn-growing competition: "No, genetics did," laughed Iginla, endlessly mocked for his playoff beard. "That is just a lack of growing. I guess to be a part of it I should grow a moustache or just grow my hair." ... Great question asked by TSN's James Duthie in the midst of a two-goal effort from Boston's Phil Kessel shortly after returning from surgery for testicular cancer: "Can someone be a comeback player of the year in his rookie season?" ... Separated from the same crib: Dustin Boyd and Justin Timberlake ... Just wondering: Why don't figure skaters wear helmets? ... Turns out there's no need to have Rory Fitzpatrick around to make the all-star game a joke: Since suffering a stress fracture in his foot 11 games ago, Scott Niedermayer has four goals and nine assists. Henrik Zetterberg has 10 points in his last six games. Yet on the same day the two announced they were simply unable to play in the mid-season pond game.

PARTING GIFTS:

Talk of using bigger nets has resurfaced -- an idea so ridiculous it makes the Fox Glow puck seem like pure genius ... Throughout their reign as the NHL's top team, Anaheim also lead the league in fighting majors. Coincidence? We think not ... It's been a week since the world has heard from Jeff Garcia. No doubt he's counting the money he's about to land as an unrestricted free agent ... At 6 ft. 3 in. and 240 lb., trouble always had a way of finding Garrett Burnett. Yet, despite racking up more than 2,500 penalty minutes in the last decade all over North America, it has been anything but a normal year for the 31-year-old former Ducks scrapper. Just before Christmas, he was suspended for the balance of the North American Hockey League season for throwing a net at an opposing goaltender during a brawl. Then he was involved in a nightclub dispute in North Delta, B.C., that has left him in a coma after receiving a severe blow to the head ... The St. Louis Blues gave away more than 7,000 free hot dogs to fans last weekend -- no word on how many of those Keith Tkachuk got his mitts on.


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