Powerplay has a lot of zap

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

 It's not as aesthetically pleasing as the collection of slick snipers the Detroit Red Wings were sending over the boards, whipping the puck from stick to stick with lightning speed and machine-like precision.

 But the Calgary Flames' powerplay is still sweating through the Stanley Cup playoffs, more than can be said about the Motown unit.

  The Flames are a respectable 11.4% with the man-advantage, scoring seven goals in 61 powerplay opportunities through the first two rounds, just slightly behind the 14.2% pace set by conference finalists San Jose.

 Centre Craig Conroy, who has one powerplay goal, says the team is merely spreading the wealth.

 "A lot of nights, it's (Marcus) Nilson scoring or Gelly's (Martin Gelinas) ... scoring big goals. It comes down to the whole team.

 "At one point in these playoffs, we were the team with the most guys with one goal and that's what it's all about.

 "You don't want to rely on Jarome (Iginla) -- that he's got to do this or he's got to do that. We don't believe that and I mean really, he only had one goal in that last series and three or four assists, and we won the series because other guys stepped up."

 Iginla has found the net twice with the man-advantage while Gelinas, Conroy, Chris Clark, Chris Simon and Oleg Saprykin have all recorded man-advantage markers.

 Simon injured his knee in Game 3 of the opening round but his expected return as early as Game 1 tomorrow in San Jose could provide the Flames powerplay with a different look.

 "He's a big body in front of the net and, all of a sudden, you have him and (Sharks defencemen) Mike Rathje and (Kyle) McLaren ... it's tough to see past all those guys. I mean Simon's so strong, he's tough to push out of there, so it's definitely a plus if Si can get back. Who knows if we'll see him in the first game but, somewhere along the series, we're going to see him come back."

 Iginla, who leads the Flames with 12 points, would also like to see Simon re-establish himself as an imposing presence in front of the opposing net.

 "It would be good to get Simon back on our powerplay," Iginla agreed. "He creates a lot of havoc in front of the net, a big guy to see past. Our powerplay has got to be effective but first of all we have to draw (penalties.)"


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