NHL

Glencross sparks Flames down stretch

Hockey Primetime Mike Cook
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Curtis Glencross has been on fire since returing to the Flames' lineup, with 10 points in nine games. One cannot help but wonder where Calgary would be had he not missed 13 games.

Since returning to the Flames lineup 10 games ago, Glencross has seven goals and three assists.

He’s potted a career-best 25 goals as Calgary continues to hover around the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings, going 4-1-1 in its past six games. His seven goals in the stretch have come in seven straight games, including Sunday in Minnesota. The franchise record of goals in eight straight games is shared by Kent Nilsson and Gary Roberts.

“I’m starting to feel better every game now. It’s just a matter of trying to keep it rolling,” Glencross recently told the Calgary Herald.

Ah, yes, the proverbial snowball effect.

"Sometimes, you get on a streak and you always seem to find the net. Maybe sometimes the net seems a little bigger once you get a few in a row," Glencross said.

Or maybe it’s just a matter of a player with a deadly shot finally firing the puck more. His shooting percentage is the highest among NHL regulars at 26.9 percent.

“I probably don’t shoot it enough,” Glencross recently told the team website. “You’d think it’d sink into my head sometimes to shoot the puck more, but sometimes you’re just looking to set other guys up, too, at the same time or making the pass you shouldn’t make or something like that.”

Punch 'em back

NHL's toughest guys dropped the mitts in the best fights of 2011-2012.

Glencross’ return has come at an ideal time for Calgary, which is playing without injured forwards Mikael Backlund, Lance Bouma, Michael Cammalleri, Blake Comeau, Tim Jackman, Blair Jones and Lee Stempniak.

"He's hotter than a pistol right now," linemate David Moss told the Calgary Sun. "When you are feeling good and confident, it's a good time to play with him."

Moss missed 47 games with a foot injury before recently returning. Now he, Glencross and Olli Jokinen — the OMG line — are providing a solid second unit behind the Jarome Iginla-Matt Stajan-Alex Tanguay trio. Jokinen also scored in Sunday’s win on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Moss.

"We had so much chemistry last year, so it's great to be back together," Glencross said. "We just haven't been healthy.

"If Moss didn't have that bad break, we would have been together all year this year. When you have that chemistry, and you have the same mindset, it makes it a lot easier to play with them."

Glencross has had hot streaks before this season — notably, five goals in four games just before Christmas and six points in two games in early January.

Now, he just wants to keep this one going as long as he can, especially if it leads Calgary into the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

"I'm not really worried about my individual stuff right now," he said after Sunday’s win. "It’s more about the two points at the end of the night, and I’m just glad my goal tonight helped get the win."

Tagged: Flames, Lightning, Gary Roberts, Olli Jokinen, David Moss, Matt Stajan, Tim Jackman, Curtis Glencross

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