Tanguay the centre of attention
Morrison day-to-day with knee injury
|With the Flames' top line centre Brendan Morrison out with injury, Alex Tanguay will be taking his place. (JIM WELLS/QMI Agency)
It’s been a few years since Alex Tanguay was the man in the middle, but suddenly he’s the centre of attention.
With Brendan Morrison out due to a knee injury suffered during Wednesday’s loss in Chicago (officially day-to-day, pending re-evaluation), Tanguay is stepping into the void at centre on the Calgary Flames top line.
There might be further juggling, but the plan is to have Tanguay between Rene Bourque and Jarome Iginla with Morrison on the shelf.
“We are hoping things work out with me at centre,” Tanguay said. “We don’t know how it’s going to pan out.
“It’s a position I played (only sparingly) since junior. I did some in Colorado but they had (Joe) Sakic and (Peter) Forsberg at centre, so it wasn’t any place for a young kid to start. I took my turn on the wing.
“I’m going to help the team and see how things work out.”
Nobody would have predicted at the start of this season how important Morrison would be to the Flames’ fortunes.
As a late pickup, not much was expected of the 35-year-old who couldn’t catch on back with his old team, the Vancouver Canucks, on a try-out contract.
In 66 games, he has nine goals and 34 assists and has lately been the glue between Tanguay and Iginla.
“It’s a big loss no question,” Iginla said. “Hopefully he gets some good news in the next bit. It’s not somebody we’re just going to replace like that.
“We’re fortunate we do have the depth we have down the middle.”
In moving up to take more minutes, Bourque knows this his time to step up.
Replacing Morrison’s all-around productivity will be tough, especially if it’s long term.
“He’s been great,” Bourque said. “Not a lot of guys expected him to be such a big part of the team, especially the last two months since he’s been on that line.
“He’s been awesome. He kills penalties and plays the powerplay, so he’s been in all situations for us. He’s a key faceoff guy too. We will miss him and hopefully he’s not out too long.”