DETROIT -- Throughout this whole road trip, David Moss has gone through an emotional gamut greater than anyone else on the Flames.
The right-winger had a highlight night to open the swing, a hat-trick performance in a win over the Ottawa Senators.
The next day came an emotional low with the death of his grandmother. He played well in Philadelphia and Carolina, missed the Atlanta game due to the funeral, and then returned with a strong performance in New Jersey. Add in the club's current three-game losing skid and the mental toll it takes on players, and you could understand him needing just a bit of R'n'R.
Moss, who hails from the Detroit suburb of Livonia, was in his hometown only a couple of days earlier, but was relishing the opportunity to take a deep breath after yesterday's practice.
"The two days I was home were pretty crazy. I was all over the place Sunday and Monday was the funeral and then flying back and forth," he said. "It's nice to be here. I'll get to see my family today without having too much to do. Getting to sit down and relax will be nice."
Through it all, the 25-year-old has managed to channel his energy when the puck's dropped.
"It was tough, but I think it was harder when I actually got home," he said. "When you're away, it doesn't seem real. Coming home, it was different. It's an unfortunate thing, but as a pro athlete, you have to stay as focused as you can.
"It's not easy, but it's something you have to try and deal with."
At a time Flames head coach Mike Keenan can understandably withhold compliments, he had no qualms about praising Moss.
"He's played really well for us," Keenan said. "I think he's continued to get better throughout the season. He's contributing offensively, playing strong defensively, adopted some powerplay opportunity and time. He can be on a checking line and be on an offensive line.
"He's really becoming a well-round player and expanding his ability and his role on the team. I think he's had a really strong year for us."
So strong, the opportunities are increasing on a regular basis. He's a regular on the powerplay unit, creating scoring chances with his willingness to stand in front of the net, and provided strong play in the other end -- including a couple of blocked shots while penalty killing.
"They're giving me a great opportunity," Moss said. "If you're getting that type of ice time, you're expected to produce and play well. That's what I'm trying to do."
Tonight's game against the Red Wings presents an incredible opportunity for the player drafted in the seventh round, 220th overall, back in 2001.
He needs one more goal to reach 20 on the season. What better place than the arena he used to watch games in as a youngster?
"It would be nice," Moss said. "Obviously, I have a lot of family here and it would certainly be something."