Langkow finding sea legs

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

It seemed like a poolie's dream.

Daymond Langkow coming to the Calgary Flames to line up at centre with Jarome Iginla patrolling the right wing.

Langkow is just one of a handful of NHLers who came into this season riding a wave of five consecutive 50-plus point campaigns, so with Iginla and Tony Amonte skating alongside the numerical expectations were starting to sound like an auctioneer.

How much better can he do than his career high of 62? Could it end up 65? What about 70? Maybe even 80? Or 90?

"I've never really thought about that stuff," Langkow said. "As a young guy, I learned it's not about how many points. It's all about winning.

"You can go out there and get a goal and a couple of assists and still lose, so it's not the same. Playing in Tampa, I learned the hard way there but in Philly, we had some good teams and a lot of people who knew that."

So far, then, it's been something of a double disaster.

Langkow went into last night's 3-0 victory over the Oilers with two goals and one assist. In what many hope is a sign of things to come, Langkow looked solid against the Oilers, scoring the game winner.

Still, he knows he has to play better.

"I don't think I've played anywhere near the way I should be playing," he said after yesterday's morning skate.

"I think the expectations are high and the pressure's going to be there no matter where you are or who you're playing with. But, as a whole, our team felt we have a really good team and good players and we're leaving it to the next guy to do it. That's not how we're going to be successful.

"Personally, for whatever reason, I haven't found it. It's a lot of little things, too. We lost that first game and I think everybody tightened up and weren't playing loose enough, afraid to make mistakes. That was my mentality and you can't play that way."

On the surface, it would seem Langkow and Iginla would be a natural fit. Langkow, a left-handed shot, would send passes to his right winger, one of the best players in the game.

Not only that, Langkow has always shown a willingness to dig pucks out of the corners and provide strong defensive play.

For some reason it didn't happen. In fact, after four pedestrian performances by the trio, Langkow was replaced on that line for the home-opener by Marcus Nilson.

"If it was that easy to figure out what would make it click, we'd just turn things around like that," he said snapping his fingers. "I just think it's mental. Last game was a big improvement from everybody and that's a way we've got to play, not worry about it. The three of us, Jarome, Tony and myself, were feeling the heat and not playing the way we're capable of.

"I think we've felt better as we've played together. It's going to take one game where all three of us are on top of our game and it'll get going."


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