The 30-plus minutes of action Anders Eriksson saw against the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week was more than just a season high.
It was also more than just a source of pride for the Flames defenceman. It was a chance to talk a little smack.
"Yeah, more than Neuf (Dion Phaneuf), and I'm bugging him about that," he said with a wry grin.
However, the major minutes racked up in that game -- because linchpin defenceman Robyn Regehr was out after being hit in the ear with a puck -- was also a much-needed boost for Eriksson.
"Any time you play more, you feel better and it's easier to have a good game," Eriksson said yesterday. "Vancouver was to an extreme because it was 30 minutes, but it didn't feel like 30 minutes. When you play 12 minutes, it's tough.
"When you play that level, you try to do too much, and when you try to do too much when you're not really in the game, it ends up going the wrong way."
Eriksson built on that game with a strong performance in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. His ice time was back down to normal, 20:01, but he was a plus-two. Eriksson also was on the ice for one second shy of six minutes on the penalty kill as the Flames were perfect against the Avs. That success is just as big a source of pride as anything else this season for Eriksson, who has one goal and three assists heading into tonight's clash with the Chicago Blackhawks.