CALGARY - It was a goal right out of those Nike commercials a few years back.
Off the defenceman, off the post, off the goalie’s back, nothing but net …
Well, everything but the nothing but net. In the end, the puck barely crossed the goal-line.
No matter to Brendan Morrison and the Calgary Flames.
Morrison’s second goal in a four-point game during the 7-6 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night at the Saddledome won’t be part of this personal highlight reel. It was more like something out of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
But when you’re talking about a player who was a healthy scratch in the five previous outings and either scratched or injured in all but two of 14 games, any positive result you can get is a blessing, especially a four-point game.
“I figure it’s all those bag-skates I’ve been doing lately. I’ve got to thank Cory Sarich for keeping me in shape. We’ve done a lot of skating together,” Morrison said. “It’s nice to contribute — I’m not going to hide that — but it’s nice to win the game.”
It’s been a tough season for the 36-year-old Morrison.
The centre’s first return from the knee surgery required after last year’s season-ending injury didn’t happen until the third week of this campaign, but even at that point, he wasn’t quite right.
He was back on the injured list for a few weeks last month. Then, that return didn’t go according to plan, thus the stint as a healthy scratch.
Another chance came only because Curtis Glencross was out due to the flu, and Morrison responded in a big way — and with more faith he can perform.
“My knee, I’ve felt good about it. There hasn’t been pain. It’s achy and sore sometimes, but what happens over time is you get more jump. This is another try,” Morrison said.
“I felt good (Tuesday night).”
OFF THE GLASS
Matt Stajan’s fight with Vancouver Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre was not his first in the NHL.
It was the second. Stajan’s first scrap was Feb. 5, 2008, while with the Toronto Maple Leafs and against Ruslan Salei.
Stajan admitted he was looking for retribution Sunday night on the West Coast for a late hit he received earlier in the season when playing the Canucks.
“I knew I was out of my league, but we played him two months later and were losing big (5-0), and I had a chance to take a run at him,” Stajan said. “It didn’t go well, but to his credit, once I was down, he didn’t keep punching me — he just gave me a tap on the head.”
IN THE CORNERS
Flames netminder Leland Irving, the 2006 first-round draft choice summoned when back-up goalie Henrik Karlsson suffered a knee injury, is wearing No. 37. If and when Irving will see action remains to be seen. Flames head coach Brent Sutter said he will stick to a planned date when Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to be rested — which seems mostly likely one of the games in Florida the team plays Dec. 15-16 … Glencross will have his jersey retired by the AJHL Brooks Bandits on Friday. Glencross played two seasons for the junior team (2000-02) before going to the University of Alaska Anchorage and eventually turning pro … Hard to believe it’s only the second time this season we’ve seen Dancing Iggy on the big screen at the Saddledome. Captain Iginla tallied on home ice for just the second time to open scoring Tuesday night.
IN THE CREASE
Sutter knows the score when facing his son, Brandon, who plays for the Hurricanes. His wife, Connie, understandably changed her allegiances for the game. “Guaranteed she’s not cheering for her husband,” the coach said with a laugh. He admitted there is some stress in that situation. “Believe me, it’s a lot harder on me than it is on him,” Brent said … Injured Flames LW/C David Moss (foot) has begun skating.
#Flames never seem to be safe no matter how many goals they score. It was an entertaining game though:)
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak