Hartley pleased Flames back on fairway after 'awful slice'
With golf clubs in hand, coach Bob Hartley had the ball placed perfectly on the tee Tuesday when he was asked about Calgary Flames' season thus far.
After seeing last season's club record a 20-point increase from the 2013-14 campaign, Hartley watched as the Flames limped out of the box with a 2-8-1 record to start this season.
Via the Calgary Sun:
"We had an awful slice. If we're talking about golf, our drive went so far in the woods. But, hey, we recovered from it."
Calgary (19-20-2) found the green following its misfire off the tee due in large part to the play of Johnny Gaudreau (18 goals, 24 assists). The 22-year-old dynamo recorded a pair of hat tricks in December to earn NHL First Star of the month honors.
Gaudreau collected 12 goals during the 13-game stretch, highlighted by a hat trick in the Flames' 5-4 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Dec. 4 and again in a 4-1 victory versus the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 22. He added six assists and was a plus-8 in the month as the Flames finished December with a 9-4-0 mark.
Losses in 4 of 5 on home ice. All to Pacific Division teams. Bad timing for a #Flames slide— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) January 12, 2016
Calgary also benefited from a franchise-best 11-game home winning streak. The Flames, however, have struggled of late at the Scotiabank Saddledome - losing four of five heading into Wednesday's tilt with the red-hot Florida Panthers.
Hartley's charges have dropped four of their last six overall to reside in sixth place in the Pacific Division.