Something left to prove

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:38 PM ET

In the quest to find a left winger to play alongside Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla, Flames coach Brent Sutter has looked in an area few others had.

In the practices leading up to last night's final pre-season clash with the Vancouver Canucks, David Moss was skating on the left side with the team's top two scoring machines.

In all his time with the Flames, Moss has been mainly a right winger, not that he'll complain about having to switch sides on the rink.

"When you're playing with those guys, I don't think it matters where you're playing, you're just happy to be on that line," Moss said. "Playing the left side, I don't think it's much of a change.

"Maybe there are a few adjustments, but I've played left wing before and it shouldn't be a big deal."

Most pundits trying to piece together the Flames roster naturally think of Moss playing right wing on the second line. Makes sense, since he collected 20 goals in a second/third-line role last season.

Moss spent much of his first two pro seasons playing left wing. Now, he's there again.

"I don't think there's too big of a difference," said the 27-year-old. "Making some plays on your backhand might be a different thing, but when you're playing with two guys like that, it probably makes it a bit easier."

Prior to last night's clash, Moss only played two pre-season games, in which he collected one goal and one assist. He's also been the third wheel on the powerplay with Jokinen and Iginla, counted on to provide the screens and deflections in front of the net.

"I think they want a net presence," said Moss, a steal for the organization as a seventh-round draft choice in 2001.

"It makes it easier on Jarome and Olli on the half-wall if somebody's got to be bothered with me in the front. From that aspect, it's going to help, and hopefully it's a role I'm going to play."

Eight of the 20 goals he scored last season came on the powerplay, proving he has both the touch and tenacity to light the lamp from the tough spot.

"It's just a matter, a lot of times, of finding those rebounds," Moss said. "It's not something that's easy to explain. A lot of times, it's just being in the right place at the right time. I don't know if it's hockey smarts or what, but I seem to find a lot of those pucks around the net. I think it's a tribute to doing it for so long, you get used to it."

Moss played the first two pre-season games but was sidelined due to what's believed to be a groin injury.

"We'll call it a lower body injury," he said with a grin. "It's fine now. It's one of those things you try to be precautionary in the pre-season, not try to aggravate things. It feels fine now, so I'm good to go."

How far remains to be seen.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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