Displeased winners: Flames host Hurricanes (Oct 19, 2017)
CALGARY, Alberta -- Although the Calgary Flames skated to a 5-2 road win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, coach Glen Gulutzan wasn't totally pleased with his team's effort.
In his view, a four-day break between games was a good chance for the Flames (4-2-0) to refocus and prepare to host the Carolina Hurricanes (2-1-1) on Thursday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
"I don't think we played great in the first six games, so to dial it back a little bit, do some teaching, have a couple days to do some team building, which we did (Monday), I think it's important so that we come out of this getting our game back in order," Gulutzan said. "Sometimes when you go into these things playing really well, you don't want to lose that rhythm.
"I don't think our rhythm was great, so the timing of this for me coaching-wise came at the right time."
Calgary captain Mark Giordano appreciated the break in the schedule, but he was also looking forward to getting back to game action.
"I felt like those first six we played them quick, so it's a good time get a little bit of a break, get some good practice reps in," Giordano told Flames TV. "We've got to clean some things up.
"As a player, you like playing in the games. Too many practices, you'd rather get into a groove and play every other night. When you do get these (breaks), they're good for certain things -- get the body rested and sharpen up on a few areas."
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are coming off a 5-3 road win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Despite the victory, Carolina coach Bill Peters wasn't too pleased with his team's effort either.
"We started on time, but that was about it," said Peters, whose team jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to let the Oilers back into the game. "The rest left a little bit to be desired."
Peters praised the play of goalie Cam Ward, who made 48 saves to record the win in his first start of the season, and center Jordan Staal, who notched a goal and three assists for the fourth four-point performance of his career.
"We wouldn't want to try to win too many games with that recipe, but we got away with it," Peters said. "We've got to get more guys going and more guys pulling on the rope."
Staal agreed with his coach's assessment and vowed that the Hurricanes would put forth a better effort against the Flames on Thursday, leading into their third straight road game, in Dallas against the Stars two nights later.
"We made it interesting again (against the Oilers), but we'll continue to learn from those ones," the Carolina captain said.
The Hurricanes made a minor move on Wednesday as they reassigned defenseman Trevor Carrick to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. After playing his first two NHL games for Carolina last season, Carrick made his season debut with the Hurricanes against the Oilers and registered one shot on goal in 7:32 of ice time.