SUN Hockey Pool

Full marks for newbie

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:30 PM ET

The jitters don't have a couple of extra weeks to fester.

Instead of having the Olympic break to fret about losing, Brian Boucher can spend the time relishing a victory in his Calgary debut.

"It makes me feel good," Boucher said after backstopping the Flames to their 3-2 overtime victory over St. Louis last night. "Darryl (Sutter, GM/head coach) said when I got here he was gonna give me a chance to get a win before the break and he kept his promise, we did a great job and got the win.

"It certainly feels good going into the break knowing that you helped out and now we get ready for the March stretch where it's gonna be critical that we put the pedal to the metal. It's nice to get it out of the way. I've been in the league a few years but you come to a new team and it feels like your first game all over again."

Seeing action for the first time since Jan. 31, and receiving the starting nod for the first time since Jan. 24, Boucher -- who was acquired from Phoenix 10 days ago -- was solid while making 20 saves.

The first goal he surrendered was hardly his fault, a nifty move and shot by Blues defenceman Dennis Wideman. The second was a bounding powerplay goal that Andrew Ference tried to clear but had it bank in off the goalie's leg.

"I felt sluggish, to be honest with you," Boucher said. "I've felt better out there but sometimes that's not indicative of how the outcome of the game can be.

"You try to battle through it and the guys played hard."

Honoured with the golden hard hat, Boucher also had praise heaped on him.

"He was really solid," Sutter said. "With our team, what's really important is for a goalie not to give up second shots and he was really good at it. I thought that was the difference in the game in comparison to other games -- for example, when Philippe (Sauve) played -- the shot total was way too high because of second and third shots."


Photos