For all the fuss made about shot-blocking expectations surrounding John Tortorella’s new team, the Vancouver Canucks, and his former team, the New York Rangers, you’d think stepping in the way of pucks was a new phenomenon.
Skaters blocking shots isn’t new, nor did Tortorella’s team invent the play.
But there is a twist when it comes to the art.
The Calgary Flames are leading the NHL in that category in the early going this season.
Through their first five games, during which they’ve compiled a 3-0-2 record, the Flames have blocked 92 shots intended to reach the goal.
This is a team that’s regularly been in the middle of the pack in that category, but it’s made a conscious effort to improve in that category under head coach Bob Hartley.
“Part of winning games is sacrificing,” Hartley said after Saturday’s practice.
“I think with the guys that we went to get, plus our own guys, the word ‘commitment’ has a new meaning for this org