Budding Flames handyman

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:57 AM ET

CALGARY - His garage is a workshop, but the tools aren’t of the power variety.

Well, aside from the machine that can pass him pucks on the slick-tiled flooring that simulates an ice surface.

But Calgary Flames winger Tim Jackman wasn’t working on his one-timer this summer at home in Anoka, Minnesota.

“I don’t think I scored a goal outside of 10 feet, so I didn’t have to work on my shot,” Jackman said with a laugh on the weekend before his team headed to Banff Monday for a few days away from the city.

“I worked on my hands. In tight, so I can find loose pucks and rebounds and get on them quickly and put them in the net.”

Specifically, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ second-round pick of the 2001 draft focused on getting his mitts on the puck more quickly while on the powerplay.

Which means he hopes to get that opportunity to serve on a man-advantage unit again this season after shattering career-highs in his first year with the Flames.

“Absolutely, I hope I get some time on the powerplay,” Jackman said.

The 29-year-old got plenty last year as the Flames mixed things up over the last half of the season. But only one of his 10 goals came on the man-advantage, where he provided a big body presence at the top of the goal crease.

Maybe that’s why he decided to focus on staying close to the net in his Minnesota garage over the summer, working on his hand-eye coordination and quick moves.

“The neighbour kid came over and shot some pucks at me for deflections,” said Jackman, who spends his summers working out, fishing for walleye and hanging out with his Labradoodle, Bud.

“It’s always about getting better, becoming a better hockey player.”

Surpassing the accomplishments the tough 6-foot-4, 220-pounder achieved a year ago might seem difficult considering Jackman hadn’t previously played a full season in the NHL, or posted more than five goals or a dozen points.

But Jackman has his mind set on doing just that after a 10-goal, 23-point campaign with the Flames following his signing as a free agent last summer.

“I’ve set goals for myself.

I wrote some numbers down,” Jackman said of his objectives. “I’ll have to let you know later how they worked out.

“I plan on surpassing my numbers from last year, for sure. I plan on being more consistent.”

Being consistent is the only way the man with a seemingly always-churning motor can improve on his personal stat line from a year ago.

He accumulated 15 of his 23 points — seven goals and eight assists — during a 22-game stretch between late December and mid-February. From that point on, he managed just three assists the rest of the way.

That just encouraged him to work harder on certain skills.

“I’ve got all kinds of different pucks to work with,” Jackman said of his garage, which will be featured this season on a Cribs-like segment by FlamesTV. “Heavier ones, lighter ones.

“I’m excited about a better year this year.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNMacfarlane


Videos

Photos