Whatever it is that fuels Tim Jackman while he’s out on the ice should be bottled up and put on the market to compete with any of the energy drinks out there today.
The Calgary Flames winger has a non-stop motor stuck in high gear, and it has paid off in so many ways for his team this season.
At one point, he led the league in fighting, dropping the gloves six times over the first 13 games.
Now he uses his much-softer-than-advertised mitts to put pucks in nets.
His first multi-goal game in the NHL came Wednesday night in a 5-2 rout of the Ottawa Senators at the Saddledome.
Jackman opened and closed the scoring, capping things off with his first career powerplay goal.
“He’s not just a plug who’s out there to fight. He certainly can, and he’s good at it, but he adds a lot of aspects to our team,” said Flames winger David Moss, who has at times centered Jackman this season.
“He’s obviously always had good hands. He’s been a scorer at different levels. He’s been given a good opportunity here to showcase that. He’s taken advantage of it.”
He’s taking advantage of every minute of ice time he gets.
Still averaging less than 10 minutes per game, Jackman is easily the most productive of all NHLers who see such little action.
With a career-high nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points, the 29-year-old from Minot, N.D., eclipses his closest competitor in that category by more than a handful.
His penalty minutes rival those of some of the league’s heavyweights despite the fact he hasn’t gone toe-to-toe with anyone since scrapping with Columbus Blue Jackets tough guy Jared Boll Dec. 21.
Interestingly enough, that’s when his offensive game caught fire.
He scored three times and earned six points in his next six games and has racked up six goals and 14 points in the last 21 contests.
“Jack’s never been an offensive guy at the NHL level, but he will contribute at key times in key games and that’s the character he has. He’s been rewarded because of his commitment, hard work and the way he plays,” said head coach Brent Sutter. “He’s around the net.
“That’s why he’s having the year he’s having. There’s a price that he’s paid.”
It doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone inside or outside that dressing room.
“I think it’s contagious,” said Moss, who plays a similar style when he’s at his best. “He goes to the net, he does those things, it’s contagious. Other guys, you see it’s successful and it works, you want to do that.”
Not all of them do it as well, which is why when Sutter wanted a big body to spark his flailing powerplay by creating havoc in front of the net, he decided to use the 6-foot-4, 220-lb. Jackman last month in Vancouver.
The Flames man-advantage has scored 10 times in seven games since he joined the top unit.
Thanks to his net presence and quick hands, he finally got one of his own Wednesday to add to that mix.
“It’s fitting he got one,” said Moss, who added Jackman was just recently lamenting his lack of luck scoring himself on the powerplay. “Because that’s where the puck is going, and he goes there.”