Flames showing signs of breaking out

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:24 PM ET

Curtis Glencross broke out of his scoring slump in a big way.

Time will tell whether that two-goal game brings either relief or the reminder of what led to his performance.

It's in the best interests of Glencross and the rest of the team that he keep it going. Not necessarily the goal scoring but the process which brought the end result.

Maybe all those other players in lengthy funks will pay heed and turn their games around.

For the past while, the Calgary Flames have been able to marvel and relish the success of what was the fourth line of David Moss, Tim Jackman and Tom Kostopoulos.

None continued the trend in Friday night's 5-4 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings, but in the five previous games, that trio combined for seven goals and 13 points.

And there's no secret to that success.

"It's not rocket science. It's putting pucks to the net and going there," head coach Brent Sutter said prior to the Red Wings game. "For me, it's easier to stand here and say that then it is to do, but at the end of the day ... it's worth it."

For his part, Glencross did just that against the Red Wings.

And because he has speed and more offensive talent, the end result was a three-point game.

Moreover, he made an impact by aggressively forechecking and doing all the "little things" from start to finish.

Want proof? How often have you seen Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom caught flat-footed with the puck and slammed into the end boards, forcing a turnover. Glencross did that in the second period.

Think of the way Glencross won a key faceoff when his team had to defend a five-on-three powerplay, promptly sent the puck the length of the ice and killed a total of 30 seconds by following up with an aggressive push.

The player who has found himself in the coach's doghouse on several occasions the past couple of years due to inconsistency gave the kind of performance Sutter has been looking for and wants to see on a regular basis.

Now it's up to all those other players to follow suit.

Niklas Hagman netted his first point in nine games by wrangling loose pucks and had his chances to score because he was firing legitimate shots on net and driving to the cage.

Matt Stajan -- with just two goals this season -- was better than of late, too, by getting in the traffic.

Rene Bourque -- no goals in 10 games and one in 14 outings -- was a little better in each of the past two games, but he could do more.

As for Ales Kotalik, a healthy scratch with just one point in 14 games this season, will likely return only because Tom Kostopoulos will be suspended. It's up to him to prove he got the point or expect to see him right back in the press box.

The supporting cast isn't alone in needing to up their game.

As much as Alex Tanguay has provided to expectations, he is in search of his first powerplay goal of the season.

Olli Jokinen still must be reminded of the importance of playing a north-south game instead of reverting to his bad habit of swooping like an eagle.

And then there's goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who has surrendered a questionable goal at a key time in each of the last two games.

His teammates did enough to earn a win over Detroit, but Kiprusoff was uncharacteristically beat by two long wristers.

However, with all Kiprusoff has done in the past for this team, they should have scored the winner when given the chance late in regulation or in overtime to bail him out.

The chances were there. The finish wasn't.

That's the next step for a slumping crew which did most of the things necessary the other night to be on track.

Let's see them build off that outing.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca twitter.com/RandySportak


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