Flames finally restore power

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Mocked and maligned through the first month of the season, the Calgary Flames powerplay finally has some ammunition on its side.

Not just for the opposition but for all those critics.

After a horrific start to the season, Calgary's powerplay performers have scored at least once in the last seven games -- a 9-for-47 run.

That 19.1% success rate (which has boosted the overall mark to 13%) has morale on the upswing.

"It's all about confidence," said centre Daymond Langkow, whose six powerplay points ties him with Jarome Iginla for the team lead.

"It's hard, even when you're doing things right, if you're not scoring. You don't have that confidence.

"Once we got a couple of goals there, you could feel it we were going out there to score, not just to pass the puck around.

"It's shown the last little while."

That's not to say the Flames powerplay is an unstoppable juggernaut.

After all, Detroit's league-best powerplay sits at 28.2%.

Plus, there's the fact the Flames powerplay sits 27th overall in the league, surrounded by bottom feeders Chicago, Washington and Columbus.

However, there is something to build from, assistant coach Jim Playfair notes.

"It's better than where it was and it's got to continue to improve. It's the same with our penalty kill," Playfair said. "The thing that allowed us to be better on both our special teams (against Minnesota) was there were fewer penalties to deal with.

"In the history of our games, when we start killing off six, seven, eight penalties or try to go on the powerplay six, seven, eight times, it's a tough way to play the game."

Naturally, the question is: What was changed to improve the powerplay? Langkow said not a lot.

"I think we just stuck with what we were doing, keeping it simple and getting pucks to the net," he said.


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