No rest for the weary Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 5:30 PM ET

Saturdays 3-1 Flames victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs capped a four-game winning streak.

It also ended a stretch of five games in seven nights.

The reward for the Flames is another spell of five games in seven nights, beginning with Tuesdays clash in Nashville against the Predators.

Its a pretty hectic schedule. The good side of it is everybodys in the same boat, said captain Jarome Iginla. Some days, your legs feel terrible. You go out there and some days feel great, but some days you fight to find ways to contribute and make sure youre not a detriment so, in those close games, you find ways to get it done.

The Flames have done exactly that during their four-game winning streak.

Three of the victories in that stretch have come by 2-1 scores.

The Flames look very much like the team that rolled through November by winning low-scoring, tight-checking games.

Sutter expects more of the same during this stretch with clashes in Nashville and Minnesota, before returning home to face Columbus Friday, a game in Vancouver Saturday and home to Colorado next Tuesday.

Its really important everyone plays within our program of how the team plays, and players will get rewarded for it, Sutter said. At the end of the day, we need to win games, and its shown the last little bit we need to do things a certain way.

Its helped, too, the Flames have found just enough offence.

Of late, its been the line of Iginla, Daymond Langkow and Curtis Glencross which stepped forward.

That trio combined four eight points against the Maple Leafs. Iginla had one goal and two assists, Langkow collected three assists and Glencross scored twice.

The trio was put together just before the Dec. 28 game in Edmonton when Sutter finally decided to split up Iginla and Olli Jokinen.

Glencross has really caught fire since the switch, with three goals in two games. Just a few weeks ago, he was on what was the fourth line with Brian McGrattan and Craig Conroy, but the new opportunity has put more bounce in his step.

I have to keep working hard, Glencross said. I cant change my game and look for Iggy and pass to him too much, or look for Langks and past to him too much. Thats the mental game of having confidence in yourself. Im pumped and excited for the challenge.

A big key for any left winger who plays with Iginla is to be sure of his game. Too often, players tend to defer to the team captain and leading scorer and pass up golden scoring chances.

Glencross said hes made an effort to keep shooting.

When youre going in on a two-on-one, if the plays there and its your shot, youve got to convince yourself to take it, Glencross said. When you have Iggy and Langks on your line, its something where you want to pass to them, but you have to have faith in yourself.

"Ive got a good shot, and have to use it.


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