Nystrom keeping his ego in check

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 6:12 AM ET

Not known to lack confidence, Eric Nystrom insists his head isn't getting big just because three of his five goals have been game-winners.

"Clearly, very small. Five goals. Exactly, what's that?" Nystrom said with a laugh a day after his fifth pushed the Flames past the Wild. "And my head is literally small."

Locker-stall neighbour Dustin Boyd tosses a 'pea head' comment his buddy's way, but then insists Nystrom is pretty humble.

His on-ice confidence may be growing, however, after Don Cherry gave him a glowing review on Coach's Corner last week.

"That gives you a confidence boost. A lot of people heard that," said Nystrom with a smile. "At the same time, it's just one guy's opinion. I'm sure there's 100 people out there who think I'm a brutal player."

Again, Boyd nods.

He doesn't mean it though.

From his finish on the pass from Iginla to the move that didn't quite make it into the net in Columbus -- a backhand deke on goaltender Steve Mason -- Nystrom has Boyd's attention on the ice.

"He keeps his feet moving and keeps the defender guessing," said Boyd."He's got pretty good hands. He shows a lot of it in practice and he's showing it in games, too."

Crease violation?

Most people were under the impression the NHL got rid of the foot in the crease rule after Brett Hull scored the controversial Stanley Cup winner for the Dallas Stars back in 1999. But there was Eric Furlatt Saturday night, waving off an Olli Jokinen goal based on winger Curtis Glencross' presence in the paint.

"We had the privilige of watching the video frame by frame," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan. "He wasn't in the crease."


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