Adjustments coming on board

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

To Rhett Warrener, the true test of the Saddledome's new board and glass system didn't come in last night's game against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Ask me how what I think of it in the morning," said the Calgary Flames defenceman.

Valid point. The new system, put in place while the club was on the road for a week, is supposed to be more forgiving for the players.

Meaning those crashes into the boards and glass shouldn't cause as much pain to awake to.

"I hope so," said Warrener, who has never had a problem going into a corner for a loose puck. "Until you play a game, though, you don't know. I think the bounces will be more true, and that makes it nicer."

The glass is still seamless, so fans won't see much difference. But the boards have plenty of new touches.

The top of the boards features some rounded edges, while the bottom plate is now flush -- therefore limiting wacky bounces.

For the players, the biggest change is the boards have more give.

"I kinda bumped into it and it feels much better," said centre Craig Conroy.

"The glass was so hard here and the boards, it was like running into a concrete wall. You could see why guys have injuries. These ones feel like they're a little more forgiving.

"They're not like the old Aud in Buffalo, those boards you'd get hit and the whole thing would sway.

"We need to bring those back. The whole first row would get hit, too."

First impression was the new boards were a little bouncier on the puck, too.

Which means there will be an adjustment period.

"We're here for practice every day, so it's not going to take long," Conroy said.

"If you were like in L.A., they only go (to Staples Center) for game days, so you'd not have a chance to get used to it.

"For us, hopefully it'll be a week or so. It does make a big difference in games."

And when that happens, you'll see the Flames learn to take advantage of a bouncier puck.

"On cross-corner dumps, you can get a good return off the wall for it to be a pass," said forward Wayne Primeau.

"Hard arounds (along the boards) might give goalies a bit of trouble when they're trying to stop it."


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