Winger feeling Nys about Grapes plug

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

Eric Nystrom flicked on the tube Saturday night to catch most of Coach's Corner.

He planned to hear Don Cherry's opinion on Alex Ovechkin's 50th goal celebration. What Nystrom didn't catch was the glowing review Cherry gave him.

"I must have just missed it because I saw him talking about the Ovechkin thing," Nystrom said.

"I'm flattered, honestly, it's really flattering. I never thought in a million years a guy on Hockey Night in Canada, a national broadcast, would be highlighting some plays I made."

Nystrom hadn't seen the video prior to yesterday's practice, but was hearing about it from all angles. Dustin Boyd referred to him as Cherry's "new Doug Gilmour."

In Cherry's weekly segment, Nystrom's performance through last week's 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars was brought up, with his blocked shot, game-winning goal -- and celebration -- and physical plays on display.

During the video, Cherry referred to Nystrom as "my type of guy" and "the kind of guys you win with."

"I think he likes a certain type of player, a hard-nosed guy, and I think that's the way I try to play. Just do whatever it takes for a team to win," Nystrom said.

"It was nice to get rewarded with a goal and nice to get rewarded with a guy like that saying nice things about me."

For a fourth-line player, whose duties mainly include work you don't see on the scoresheet, it's a big boost. Nystrom's teammates were happy to see and hear the kudos sent his way.

"It's huge. You ask a lot of guys not in that role, it's a thankless job," said sniper Michael Cammalleri.

"They're blocking shots, getting broken bones and a lot of the time, they're not on the front page of the paper if we get a win."

In fact, Cammalleri brought up a big element Nystrom brings people wouldn't notice on the ice.

"He has confidence in himself as a player because he knows he can get the job done for the team, and that goes through the team," Cammalleri said.

"It's not cockiness or arrogance, it's confidence. It's the confidence to say, 'I can be there for you guys. I can get the job done' and you know you can rely on him and trust each other.

"That's one thing about Ny I really appreciate in his game."

Last season, Nystrom bounced a couple of times from Calgary to the AHL farm team. Now, he's become an integral part of the Flames, taking more ice time and killing penalties to go with his four goals and nine points.

"I always knew I could contribute to this team in a positive way whenever I got a chance," he said. "This year, I was even out (of the lineup) early in the year but worked hard to make sure when I got a chance I was doing my role as I could."


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