SUN Hockey Pool

Flames winger scores promotion

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:27 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Nothing beats being rewarded for hard work.

It’s true in any walk of life, and Calgary Flames winger Curtis Glencross is reaping the benefits of a good start to his NHL season by joining Olli Jokinen and Rene Bourque on one of the team’s top lines for Friday’s matchup in the desert with the Phoenix Coyotes.

He scored a pair of goals, including an empty-netter, in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver and sparked his team with physical forechecking and energetic attacks.

This coming off a minor knee injury that kept him out of last Friday’s game in Minnesota.

“I was feeling better. I just had a minor tweak,” said Glencross.

“It’s not 100% yet, but it feels better.”

Jokinen and Bourque are happy to have him if it means a repeat of the results they achieved in Denver.

“As long as he keeps scoring a couple of goals a night, it’s fine,” Jokinen joked of his new left flanker.

“He’s a good skater. He’s effective when he’s using his speed and when he gets on the forecheck.”

That showed when on their first shift together, Glencross set up Bourque for a quick one-timer in the slot after pounding an Avalanche defender into the end boards and stealing the puck.

It hit the post.

“(Head coach Brent Sutter) wanted us to get on the forecheck and get some energy going,” Glencross said.

“That’s my job. I got in there, I think it was one of them young (Avs) defencemen, hit him and he turned the puck over.”

Plays like that led to a season-high 17:23 of ice time for Glencross and the chance to prove Friday he should stay on that line.

“It’s a confidence-booster for myself. It’s nice to get rewarded when you feel like you are playing decently and you get rewarded by the coaching staff,” Glencross said.

“It’s kind of a team thing where you’re trying to push each other.

“If you keep doing your job right, you keep getting rewarded. If you don’t, you go right back where you came from.”

Interestingly enough, sitting out for that one game gave Glencross a new perspective on how to approach the next one.

He watched in the video room and heard the coaches on radios talking about things that should be saved for future lessons, and could see plays developing and take mental note of what could be done better.

“When you’re sitting out, you watch the game and you see things (differently),” he said.

“Sometimes, it helps. No one likes sitting out and no one likes being hurt, but I got to watch a few things.”


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