Flames, part two

While one key contributor looks to be returning to form, another was sidelined for a while in a topsy-turvy week in Flamesland.

Captain and star forward Jarome Iginla finally got the monkey off his back, scoring his first goal of the year in the Flames fifth game, a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. The win was key as it came over a Northwest Division rival, and on the heels of a shutout loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

Rome has fallen

Flames netminder Roman Turek’s bad luck continues as he is sidelined for up to a month with a sprained MCL. Turek, who spent the offseason getting into peak physical condition, has had a run of injuries to kick off the 2003-04 season. In the second tilt of the year against the San Jose Sharks he was knocked goofy by Alyn MacAuley, missing almost a week as a result. In his first game back, against Buffalo, he injured his knee on a seemingly innocuous Sabres goal.

There was much doom and gloom when the injury was announced and the rumour mill was set a-churning as many feel a Jamie McLennan/Dany Sabourin combination won’t get it done for any amount of time in the NHL. Some critics were silenced days later as McLennan performed admirably, leading the Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Wild.

McLennan is a perfect 3-0 on the year, compared to Turek’s less-than-stellar 0-2 mark.

Rhino’s return

Key offseason acquisition Steven Reinprecht returned to the ice in the Flames 3-2 victory over Minnesota making his presence felt. Occupying the left wing on a line centered by surprising rookie Matthew Lombardi with superstar Jarome Iginla on the opposite flank, the chemistry seemed to work as the trio contributed a pair of goals and a number of scoring chances. Perhaps the MCI line will be dismantled for a while longer than many thought.

Turning heads

While consensus coming out of camp was that Lombardi would be on his way to Lowell once Reinprecht returned from his shoulder injury, the whole scenario has played itself out quite differently. In Reinprecht’s first game he lined up alongside Iginla on the top line, but rather than bumping Lombardi off the gamesheet he was setting him up all night. Definitely a glowing example of what a little skill and a lot of perseverance can get you in today’s NHL.

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