December 9, 2011
Morrison looking sharp in return to Flames lineup
By STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Six points in two games.
Not a bad total for Flames veteran Brendan Morrison.
Impressive timing, too.
After sitting out for five games as a healthy scratch, the 36-year-old racked up four points in a 7-6 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite being demoted — although head coach Brent Sutter doesn’t like to rank his lines — after his success on the wing with the top line, Morrison still made the most of his playing time Thursday.
With the Flames down 1-0 in the third period, he set up a pair of powerplay goals during a four-minute advantage, looking every bit the old setup man in the process while feeding Lee Stempniak and Curtis Glencross.
Their lead was shortlived, but they got it back, and those goals certainly sparked the Flames to the 3-2 victory.
AGAINST THE GLASS
Aside from looking like he was about to hurl on a couple of early camera close-ups, Flames winger Curtis Glencross looked pretty good out of the gate after missing a game with the flu earlier this week. He nailed Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog on his first shift. Later, he made a big glove save on Ryan O’Byrne (that one looked like it hurt). Then, he scored a powerplay goal in the third period to put the Flames ahead ... Tough luck for Martin St. Louis, who owned the second-longest consecutive games streak going behind Flames blueliner Jay Bouwmeester. That is, until St. Louis got smacked in the face during the morning skate Thursday and had to be taken to hospital. He suffered facial and nasal fractures from the Dominic Moore shot. Bouwmeester suited up for his 532nd straight NHL contest Thursday night ...
IN THE CREASE
Roman Horak sat out as a healthy scratch for the first time since Oct. 20. The rookie centre was sideline because of how well Brendan Morrison played when called into action last game. Horak’s play has tapered off lately. “He’s slipped a little bit,” head coach Brent Sutter said of Horak. “We want him to get it back where he needs to. He can watch the (Matt) Duchenes and (Mikael) Backlunds. That’s not saying Roman won’t be in the next night.” ... D Cory Sarich sat out a fourth straight game. That trade can’t come soon enough, but he might have to wait for the deadline with his hefty salary a hinderance ... Heck of a move by Duchene three quarters of the way through the first period. He made a sweet move and deked out both Calgary defenders and the goalie but couldn’t finish as the puck slid off his stick before he could jam it in from the side of the net. He was livid with himself when he got back to the bench. Lip-readers blushed.
The Avalanche lost centre Kevin Porter before Thursday’s game when NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed out a four-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit that is expected to sideline Vancouver Canucks winger David Booth from four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. Some Flames fans who disagreed with Shanahan’s lack of a ban on Booth after he ran over goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in their last meeting might see that hit as a little cosmic justice.