CALGARY - Roman Horak expected the congratulatory text messages and phone calls over the past few days.
The Calgary Flames rookie knew they would come fast and furious from friends and family after scoring his first NHL goal and then putting together consecutive two-point games.
However, some of the well wishes have caught him off guard.
“I’ve had random people sending messages on Facebook,” Horak said. “It’s always nice to hear nice things about yourself.”
There hasn’t been a shortage of nice things being said about Horak lately.
The NHL’s list of rookie scorers is filled with big-named freshmen in the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Luke Adam and Gabriel Landeskog, but Horak has been making a name for himself of late, too.
Consecutive games with two points, including a goal in each of those affairs, will do that.
“It’s just two games, and I was kinda lucky. We’ll see how it goes now,” said the soft-spoken and humble youngster. “If you can put up two points every night, your name is Sidney Crosby or Wayne Gretzky. Every good thing will end, but we’ll see how long I can keep it up.
“Expectations are higher now, but I’m just going to try and do the same thing every game.”
That said, Flames head coach Brent Sutter continues to rave about Horak’s play without the puck. The rookie with a plus-3 rating has been put in all kinds of important positions, such as defensive zone faceoffs and killing penalties, and has never looked out of place.
“It’s because he’s smart, and more times than not, he’ll do the right thing. As a coach, that’s what you want in your players,” Sutter said. “There’s going to be mistakes he’ll make that young players make, but what separates him from some other young players is you don’t have to remind him when he comes to the bench what he did wrong, because he already knows.
“He reminds me a lot of Mikael (Backlund) at 20 years of age, and in certain ways, even ahead of Mikael when Mikael was 20.”
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak