SUN Hockey Pool

Prust into the lineup

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The dilemma of a healthy roster means somebody is the odd-man out

That's the position where Flames winger Brandon Prust has found himself more often than not the past few weeks.

But with Curtis Glencross suspended for last night's clash against the Montreal Canadiens, as well as for the games in Buffalo and Toronto during this road trip, Prust has been thrust back into action.

"I'm excited to get an op-portunity and want to work hard and do the things to keep me in the lineup," said Prust, after partaking in yesterday's morning skate. "It's tough watching from the press box. It doesn't get any easier."

True, the popcorn isn't very good, although Montreal's hot dogs are something special, but that's a story for another day.

Prust saw action in the first nine games -- and compiled a goal and three assists in those tilts -- but where he really hit the scoresheet in those contests was in the penalty-minute column. At one point, he was the league-leader in fighting majors.

However, he's been stuck at five scraps and has fallen behind the NHL pace in that department.

"Yeah, no kidding. I haven't had one in what ... eight games?" said Prust, who had just over seven minutes of ice time last night, but no fights.

What knocked Prust out of the lineup wasn't poor play, though. It was a slight shoulder injury, which meant taking a seat for the Oct. 24 game against the Edmonton Oilers.

He's played a few games since then -- drawing in when Dustin Boyd was sick and in place of Brian McGrattan against the speedier Detroit Red Wings -- but was a bystander for the three straight wins collected heading into last night.

The extra time sitting did allow his injured wing to heal.

"Everything's good -- I'm healthy now," Prust said of his shoulder. "There's not too many bumps and bruises. The shoulder was just a few days -- it needed a rest -- but I've been good. I'm good to go now. No excuses."

That means Prust is ex-pected to add energy.

"He brings us an ingredient we can use," said Flames head coach Brent Sutter.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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