March 10, 2012
A number of Flames players scored in NHL debuts
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - David Moss remember his NHL debut extra fondly.
"What a game it was," Moss recalled. "A big win."
Moss played a huge part by scoring the winning goal in a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 19, 2006.
Sven Baertschi's first NHL game Friday night for the Calgary Flames was not only a big moment for the 2011 first-round draft choice, it also brings up memories of others making their debut.
Moss is one of four Flames players who scored in their first NHL game. Tom Kostopoulos, Matt Stajan and Curtis Glencross also collected that milestone goal in their first game.
Jarome Iginla also scored in his first regular-season game, which came after he played a pair of playoff games. Iginla collected an assist in his playoff debut and scored in his second match.
"So, we were telling Sven he's got to do it, too. A lot of guys do it," Moss added with a grin.
The youngster was made aware of that interesting trend in in the Flames room.
Kotopoulos was recalled by the Pittsburgh Penguins midway through his third pro season and tallied in the first period of a 6-2 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 29, 2001.
"It was a dream come true," said Kostopoulos, who played on a line with Wayne Primeau and Dan LaCouture. "I got a rebound and put it in. We lost the game, but it was so cool."
Stajan can relate to Baertschi's jump from junior to the NHL.
He finished his junior season in Belleville, played one game for the AHL St. John's Maple Leafs and was summoned to the Toronto Maple Leafs the next night for the April 5, 2003, game versus Ottawa.
Playing on a line with Gary Roberts and Owen Nolan, he scored Toronto's lone goal in a 3-1 loss. He lost the neutral-zone faceoff, but stole the puck when one of the defenceman tried to pass to the other.
"I skated right through and had a breakaway and went five-hole on (Martin) Prusek," Stajan said. "I remember it like it's yesterday. It's surreal to think it's that long ago, but it's quite the memory."
OFF THE GLASS
Iginla didn't practice the last couple of days due to a cut on one of his ankles. "It doesn't hinder me in playing, but we're trying to let it heal up," he said ... The Flames were without seven forwards after Tim Jackman injured his shoulder in Tuesday's game, joining C Michael Cammalleri (upper body), RW Blake Comeau (shoulder), LW Lance Bouma (upper body), C Blair Jones (ankle), C Mikael Backlund (shoulder) and RW Lee Stempniak (ankle), as well as D Chris Butler (leg) ... The lone Jets player out due to injury was D Zach Bogosian. Jackman, Comeau and Bouma all hit the ice in full gear prior to the morning skate, while Stempniak hit the ice in a track suit. All were put through hard paces.
IN THE CREASE
Baertschi's Portland Winterhawks jersey has his name spelled "Bartschi" but the pronunciation of the "a" in his name is called an umlaut and spelled "ae". Hope that clear things up ... Wouldn't it have been fun if Calgary wore the old Atlanta Flames uniforms and the Jets used their Atlanta Thrashers duds? ... It may make for exciting times, but Flames head coach Brent Sutter doesn't like the tight playoff chase. "I'd rather be in first place not having to deal with this and looking at teams down below me," he said. "Trust me, it gets to be a very intense and nerve-wracking environment when every day and every game is playoff hockey from basically Jan. 1 on."