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Brian Sutter


C - Andrew Cassels, Rico Fata, Clarke Wilm, Cory Stillman, Bob Bassen, Jeff Shantz, Steve Dubinsky. LW - Ed Ward, Jason Wiemer, Dave Roche. RW - Valeri Bure, Theoren Fleury, Jarome Iginla, Greg Pankewicz, Martin St. Louis. D - Tommy Albelin, Cale Hulse, Derek Morris, Todd Simpson, Steve Smith, Phil Housley. G - Ken Wregget, Tyler Moss, Jean-Sebastien Giguere.


Michael Nylander, c (injured knee March 26, indefinite); Bob Bassen, c (suffered knee injury Sept. 18, indefinite); Greg Pankewicz, rw (returned Oct. 24 after missing three games with a concussion); Ken Wregget, g (suffered back spasms Nov. 3, sidelined day-to-day).


Recalled Jean-Sebastien Giguere, g, from St. John (AHL) Nov. 4; sent Eric Charron, d, to St. John Oct. 28; sent Sami Helenius, d, to Chicago (IHL) Nov. 4.


10/28 Pittsburgh  L 5-2 
10/18 Washington  T 0-0
11/01 at Chicago  W 4-1
11/03 at Detroit  W 5-2
11/06 Nashville   L 2-1
11/08 Colorado    W 3-1


Northwest Division  GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA   
  Edmonton          13   8   5   0    16   46   34   
  Vancouver         13   6   6   1    13   40   34   
  Calgary           13   5   6   2    12   34   36   
  Colorado          13   4   8   1     9   32   44


by Simon D. Lewis, Calgary Correspondent

Not Bad, If a Little Confusing

The Calgary Flames have done okay in the last two weeks. Coach Sutter is probably pretty happy with seven out of 12 points. He is, however, probably more than a little surprised at who his charges beat and who they lost to.

Losing to the Penguins was a possibility, but you had to think that the team with no visible means of support might be ripe for the picking. They must have got their paycheques that day. Tying the Caps was predictable. Is there a less interesting team in hockey? Sure they've got Bondra, but these guys are dull, dull, dull. A win in the Windy City is always in the cards since the Hawks left their old sardine can of a rink. The Young Guns were lucky to catch Detroit in their "Dead Thing" mode as they were in the midst of dropping four in a row for the first time since 1993. So, after that highlight, the Red C comes home and plays a dull 2-1 loss to the Nashville Cats. That was followed by a stellar win against the Avalanche.

You could forgive the Flames' brain trust if they can't figure out what to do with their team. One night they look like an okay hockey team, the next they look like doormats. How do you go 1-3-2 at home and 4-3-0 on the road? Their most important feature is still Theo Fleury. He's potting goals regularly and sparking the team in the dressing room. Their greatest liability is youth and inexperience. They look a lot like the Edmonton Oilers of a couple of years ago only with less upside potential.

First Star in First Home Win

With goalie Ken Wregget nursing a sore back it was time to throw youngster Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the lions. The feline foes in this case were the Colorado Avalanche. It was Giguere's first game as a Flame and he was literally on fire in the net. He face an avalanche of 40 shots, including 20 in the second period, on his way to backstopping the Calgary to a 3-1 win, their first at home this season. He was named first star of the game.

Colorado snipers Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg were left shaking their heads as Giguere stoned them on their combined total of 11 shots.

While the Flames did allow the 40 shots, they played very calmly down the stretch in the third period. They covered their men and the defence stood up and made the right plays. This is less than easy when Forsberg, Sakic and Kamensky are buzzing, bobbing and weaving. An especial standout was the venerable Steve Smith, who is rapidly turning into the rock that the Flames need on the blue line. He was named second star.

Hindsight is 20/20

Check out this flaming sequence of events... First you trade goalie Mike Vernon, who the team feels has seen better days, to Detroit for Steve Chiasson. Vernon proceeds to backstop the Red Wings to the 1997 Stanley Cup Championship. Then you trade Chiasson for youngster Hnat Domenichelli, who winds up in the minors. Then all four young goalies you were counting on to fill the Vernon gap, Trevor Kidd, Andrei Trefilov, Jason Muzatti and Dwayne Roloson, fail to pan out. What do you do? You bring in Ken Wregget who is only one year younger than Vernon to play goal. What do you do next? Bang head on desk...prepare for draft.

Fata Fits In

Rico Fata, the Flames' top pick in last year's draft, is sticking around the big league. After suiting up against the Red Wings in the Flames' 5-2 win he had played 10 games in the NHL. That means he can't be sent back to junior hockey with the London Knights of the OHL. He's still scoreless, but the Flames are happy with his progress. They haven't put a lot of pressure on him and have scratched him from a few games. Against Washington he was told to sit in the press box and watch Peter Bondra for the night. Sounds like a good plan. GM Al Coates does not want to see a repeat of Boston's Joe Thornton fiasco of last season.

Iggy Pops

A couple of weeks ago the Flames coaching staff was making "ticket to the minors" noises in the direction of Jarome Iginla. He wasn't getting his nose dirty enough for a coach like Brian Sutter. He was outside the action and not playing the scrappy game that made him an impact player as a rookie.

Well, it would seem that Iggy was listening. He has turned his game around. The goals are starting to go in and he's involved at all times. Against Colorado, Sutter had him out in the last minute as the Avalanche pulled Patrick Roy for the extra attacker. Iginla took a lovely pass out of his own zone, cleared the red line and placed a delicate backhand square into the net for goal number six.

Looks like Coach Sutter will be holding onto that ticket to the minors.

Tub Thumping

Who was that playing the skins with a local Calgary rock band last week? Why it was former Flame and current Nashville Cat, Joel Bouchard. Seems Joel is serious about the drums and was renewing some old acquaintances with the band Relish at the 17th Ave. pub, Morgan's. Bouchard exhibits a solid kick drum and holds the beat well, but he lacks fluidity on the snare. Some of his rolls and fills sounded a little wooden. Must be gripping the sticks a little tightly. Come to think of it, wasn't that why he was left open in the expansion draft last year?

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