Horak proving solid two-way player for Flames

Calgary Flames Roman Horak celebrates his goal with  teammates against the St Louis Blues during...

Calgary Flames Roman Horak celebrates his goal with teammates against the St Louis Blues during NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta, Friday October 28, 2011. AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY

Steve MacFarlane, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:24 AM ET

CALGARY - Check your waiver wire, fantasy hockey buffs, and see if Roman Horak is available.

You can bet the Calgary Flames rookie being won’t be there for long after back-to-back games with a goal and assist.

The 20-year-old Flames freshman from the Czech Republic gets better with every game. He played a huge role in the team’s 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the week and an even bigger one in the tight-checking 3-1 victory Friday night over the St. Louis Blues at the Saddle-

dome.

“It feels great when you’re getting ice-time — it gives you more confidence,” said Horak, who played 17:39 and finished with two points and a plus-2 rating. “Hockey’s all about (the) head and confidence. It feels great when the coach trusts you and puts you out there.”

He may be liked by the organization for his strong positioning without the puck, but he’s really showing his skills with it on his stick lately, too.

It’s refreshing to see a rookie have this kind of impact with the Flames.

Maybe he can impact your fantasy team, too.

“Well, so far, I think good choice,” Horak said with a grin. “But we’ll see how it will go.”

IN THE CREASE

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff showed repeatedly Friday night why you don’t ever trade him unless you’re throwing in the towel and rebuilding. Without him, the Blues would have netted a handful — especially during a five-on-three advantage in the third period … Tough shift for Blues D Kent Huskins, who was hit in the face by a puck off the stick of Flames LW Tom Kostopoulos then got nailed in the chin by Kostopoulos’ stick. Fans booed the penalty call until they saw the replay and what happened. Even Flames C Olli Jokinen had to stop arguing the call then … Flames LW David Moss dropped in front of a shot as time expired in the first period. Gutsy, but with his luck when it comes to injuries, he’s fortunate it didn’t break something … Folks in Ottawa are wondering if Blues G Brian Elliott, who has snatched the starting job (for now) from Jaroslav Halak, is the same guy who stunk in the nation’s capital last season before being shipped out. Tough to sit a guy when he’s won four straight, though, so you can’t fault Blues bench boss Davis Payne. Payne said he’s not worried about hurting Halak’s feelings. “No, he’s a pro. No worries about that.”

AGAINST THE GLASS

St. Louis native Chris Butler glued to the TV Thursday night as his Cardinals forced Game 7 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers. “That was maybe the best baseball game ever, in my opinion,” Butler said after Friday’s morning skate at the Saddledome. “The Cards were down to their last strike twice. My heart was going pretty good there, I was talking to family and friends throughout the majority of the game.” By the time his game against the St. Louis Blues — an interesting coincidence in the schedules — was over Friday night, he’d have a phone full of messages telling him what happened in the deciding contest. Yeah, Chris, the Cardinals won it all. “I’ll probably just see it afterwards. It’ll be tough, but I’m sure I’ll have a text message from my brother and some of my buddies, letting me know what’s going on afterwards … C Brendan Morrison suited up for his 900th NHL game.

PARTING SHOTS

Of those who have yet to hit the 500-goal mark in the NHL, Jason Arnott (403) is the next closest to Flames captain Jarome Iginla (486). The 37-year-old Blues off-season addition has done well so far with three goals and eight points in nine games prior to Friday night’s tilt at the Dome, but his impact in St. Louis goes beyond the ice. The Blues brought him and Jamie Lang-

enbrunner in to help lead the young team. “It starts with a voice. No question, they’ve been through a lot,” Payne said. “They’ve been able to provide a real good example for us.” … Great one-liner from Payne when talking about the goalie ‘controversy’ when someone asked him if starting Elliott was a “no-brainer” — “You want to get into my mind and talk about no-brainers?”


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