SUN Hockey Pool

Alright, who's next?

The Calgary Flames are looking for the rest of the team to step up after Jarome Iginla suffered a...

The Calgary Flames are looking for the rest of the team to step up after Jarome Iginla suffered a leg injury last week. (Calgary Sun/Stuart Dryden)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

The door is wide open.

Which member of the Calgary Flames walks through next is anybody's guess.

Byron Ritchie has already crossed the threshold, from grinder to goal scorer in a matter of days.

After netting the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Saturday, Dustin Boyd has his first NHL goal under his belt and a souvenir puck in his dressing-room stall.

David Moss has been there and done that, boasting a game-winning tally in his first big-league appearance last month.

Mark Giordano worked his way into the seventh defenceman spot to open the season and has since climbed into a regular role on the blueline. He, too, has clinched a game for the Flames -- the only team member to score in overtime this season.

Next up in the revolving door of productivity could be Jeff Friesen (still goal-less in 32 games as a Flame). It could be Jamie Lundmark (four helpers in 36 games but none since Nov. 7).

It could be Tony Amonte, on pace for a second-straight 14-goal season -- which by many NHLers' standards is a reasonable contribution but, for the competitor in Amonte, is nowhere near his objective.

Amonte was teamed with Kristian Huselius and Daymond Langkow Saturday and had a few good chances in tight on Marty Turco but the all-star goaltender turned him away.

Always one to put more pressure on himself than others do unto him, Amonte was a little disappointed he didn't crack the scoresheet in the first contest the Flames have played without Jarome Iginla in the lineup since the captain missed Game 45 of the 2003-04 season.

"It's what you do with a chance when you get it," said Amonte. "I had an opportunity to play with Jarome and Daymond in L.A. and took advantage of that opportunity.

"(Saturday night), I just came up a little short and didn't produce any offence."

The veteran winger is hopeful he'll get another shot with Iginla's linemates when Minnesota visits the 'Dome tomorrow to end a six-game home stand.

"You get the opportunity, you want to produce and prove to yourself you can still do it," said Amonte, whose Flames took their first day off since Christmas.

Before the Hockey Night in Canada appearance, Flames head coach Jim Playfair said a couple of players had been knocking on his door and asking for more time to show what they're capable of. He didn't name names but it's a safe bet both Amonte and Ritchie were lining up outside his office, especially after Iginla was diagnosed with a sprained knee and Chuck Kobasew was concussed following hits from Florida Panthers defender Bryan Allen last week.

As eager as Amonte is to contribute, he is equally excited to see teammates make key plays to put up wins and keep pace with the Vancouver Canucks.

"It was great to see Byron get out there, get a couple of goals. The kids came up big, Dustin and Mosser played well," said Amonte, who said Ritchie's breakout has been fun to watch.

"I love to see him score. He works hard. He's plugged away the last year and a half since he's been here. It's nice to see him get a couple of goals, he's starting to get some breaks. The puck's been going in for him."

ICE CHIPS:

Winger Carsen Germyn was reassigned to the AHL Omaha Knights yesterday. Marcus Nilson has been practising with the team and may be ready to return from his knee injury this week. If he can't play tomorrow against Minnesota, D Andrei Zyuzin could join the forwards or another Knight could be recalled.


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