'Cross another off the list

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Curtis Glencross is a patient man.

He has known all along where he'd put the memento of his first goal for the Calgary Flames.

He just had to bide his time until it finally came.

A lot longer than he was hoping it would take.

"That felt good. It's been a battle the first few games. I've been getting lots of chances, but it's finally nice to find the twine with one," said the Flames left winger, whose tally was the game-winner in last night's 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

"I've had a couple of good chances and hadn't had the luck. Last game against Colorado, I hit the knob on (Peter) Budaj's stick when I had him beat.

"It's nice to get that one and hopefully it comes in bunches."

That was Glencross' M.O. last season during a 15-goal campaign split between Columbus and Edmonton, before signing a three-year contract with the Flames in the summer.

But it took until the ninth game for the 25-year-old to finally get the disc for the space that's been reserved.

"In my house, I have every puck from my first goal with a team," he said. "I hold on to them. Hopefully, I don't have to get one of those first-goal pucks with another team for a while."

While Glencross was breathing a sigh of relief after getting the monkey off his back, his goal was further proof the Flames are not the low-scoring, one-man show of seasons past.

It wasn't that long ago the Flames were called 'Iggy and the Stooges' by their detractors because Jarome Iginla was the lone marquee man.

Iginla remains the big wheel and he's at his usual post atop the club's scoring race, but the last couple of wins emphatically state the Flames are more than capable of victory even when their captain doesn't have the magic touch.

Sure, Iginla racked up three points in Saturday's 4-1 win at Phoenix, but they were an empty-netter and two second assists. He was blanked last night.

Didn't matter though, because the Flames have built a team that not only boasts a top line, but second, third and even fourth units capable of holding their own and cobbling together a winning streak like the four-game run they're currently riding.

A dozen of Calgary's 14 forwards have scored a goal this season.

"Sure Jarome's going to get his points -- that's what Jarome does -- but the rest of us have to pitch in," Glencross said. "Every line has contributed the last three or four games, and that's a big part of our team."

In beating the Avs for a key divisional win, it was the combo of Glencross and David Moss on the third line -- first with Dustin Boyd at centre and later with Craig Conroy -- that was the strongest unit from the drop of the puck.

Their reward was the goal near the midway point of the third period that broke the scoreless draw.

From there, the No.-2 unit featuring Michael Cammalleri and Rene Bourque sealed the deal with a pair of goals.

So much for the theory of shutting down Iginla ensures a win.

"We shuffle lines quite a bit and took some time to find some chemistry, but every guy has the ability to pass the puck and put the puck in the net," Bourque said.

It's just taken time to prove it, Glencross noted.

"There's always building time with a lot of new guys coming in. I think we had eight, so it's going to take a bit. I think we're starting to get it now, getting our team identity," he said. "That's the game nowadays, you have to have four lines that can play. We're fortunate enough to be one of the teams that has four lines."


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