Perfect Hitmen need to improve

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

The Calgary Hitmen know the value of getting off to a quick start.

Last season, the Hitmen busted out of the gates and posted a 7-0 record en route to a 101-point campaign.

Hitting triple digits again in '06-07 might be a bit of a stretch in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

But GM/head coach Kelly Kisio, whose club takes its 2-0 record into Regina tonight, said victories in September are just as valuable as those in March.

"Winning those seven in a row last year gave us a leg up and the good start is always a key for the confidence," Kisio said

"We won those seven but we didn't feel we were playing that well. And it's the same this year. The first two games, we didn't play real well.

"We managed to win the games but by no means are we happy with how we're playing."

Calgary broke the ice with an opening weekend sweep of the Red Deer Rebels by identical 3-2 wins, the second in overtime.

Last season's streak was eventually snapped by the Moose Jaw Warriors, who also ended Calgary's season in a seven-game Eastern Conference final. The Hitmen will face the Warriors Friday in Moose Jaw before finishing the trip in Brandon Saturday.

Calgary's offence received a boost before hitting the road when Swedish winger Robin Figren was returned by the New York Islanders. But Kisio doesn't expect the import to light it up immediately.

"It's going to be an adjustment period for him," he said. "All the young Europeans who come over, it always takes them a while to get used to the small ice, how quick it is and how good the league is.

"We'll see how he does here down the line."

The Hitmen, ranked No. 8 in the country, return to the 'Dome Oct. 6 to take on the Kootenay Ice.


Videos

Photos