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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:11 am 
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CALGARY, Alberta -- Sam Bennett had a rough start to his season with the Calgary Flames.

After Bennett came through with a goal and three assists in Calgary's 6-1 road win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, his 15-game scoring slump at the beginning of the season is a distant memory.

"There's going to be a lot of ups and downs," said Bennett, who's hoping to build upon his four-point performance when the Flames (17-14-3) host the St. Louis Blues (22-11-2) on Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. "You can't get too high and you can't get too low.

"You've got to try and stay as even keel as you can. That's the only way you're going to be able to get through tough times."

After logging just three points in his first 23 games, Bennett has four goals and eight assists in his past 11 games.

"Even when I wasn't producing in the first 15, I thought I was still working hard," said Bennett, who had a goal and an assist during Calgary's 7-4 win over St. Louis at the Saddledome on Nov. 13. "Sometimes the bounces don't go your way. I didn't really change my game too much, just kept working hard. I'm happy it turned around for me."

Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said Bennett has put in a lot of work to rebound from his slow start.

"He's doing a lot of good things away from the puck that's allowing him to be better defensively and creating offense for him," said Gulutzan, who noted that Bennett has been getting helpful advice from veteran right winger Jaromir Jagr. "When you have a guy of that stature who's taken an interest in your game in a positive way, you're going to listen and it's going to be helpful."

Calgary captain Mark Giordano has also found his scoring touch with three goals and two assists in his past eight games. The veteran 34-year-old defenseman said he's hoping that he and his teammates can build upon their win over the Canucks when they host the Blues.

"I think they've been one of the better teams in the league all year for a reason," Giordano said. "They've got a lot of firepower up front and guys who can really shoot the puck and put it in.

"We feel like we've been playing well too but haven't got the results every night. If we can continue to play like that, I think we'll end up with some points here."

The Blues have dropped three of their past four games, including a 4-0 road loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. They have gone 2-3-1 since Jaden Schwartz was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

"But we're still a better hockey team than what we've shown the last couple games," Blues coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I do feel that part of it was we went through a difficult stretch. A lot of games. Fatigue can set in. But that's not an excuse anymore."

Although the Blues have only scored three goals in their past four games, Yeo said he's expecting his players to go on the attack against the Flames.

"We have to have the mindset that we have to get to the offensive zone," Yeo said. "(The Flames) transition too well, they're too dangerous off the rush. The way that their D gets involved, if we're turning pucks over and if we don't have the right structure in our game, then we'll be chasing again."

After being recalled from the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, forward Tage Thompson practiced on a line with veterans Alexander Steen and Paul Stastny on Tuesday.

"Obviously, it's an amazing opportunity playing with two of the best players in the league," said Thompson, who failed to record a point in four games earlier this season with the Blues. "They're giving me a really good opportunity so I just got to take advantage of it."

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:35 am 
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Steen and Stastny are good, but that Thompson thinks they're two of the best players in the league seems a bit delusional unless he's talking broadly.

I bet Thompson gets his first NHL point tonight.

Flames 4
Blues 3

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:40 pm 
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I'd love to be wrong, but things don't look so good right now.

Blues - 1
Flames - 3

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Schenn makes a great move and buries it! Blues tied at 1!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:41 am 
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I know these guys are just going through the motions until 17 comes back to carry them all again, but how about just one 5 on 5 goal? All I want from Santa is just one before 2018.

Seriously, though, Hutton was great again, Schenn's goal was a beaut, and Tage Thompson came to play. Otherwise, they suck right now. 91 has to take the reins. I love the guy, but come on man. Where are you?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:07 am 
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Watching the game on replay right now.

After 1 period - what in the heck is going on with Sobotka-Schenn-Tarasenko? Outside of the goal against, all of the Flames really good chances were against that line. Tarasenko and Schenn spending more time in the D-zone than the O-zone is a bad thing. Want to know why 5-on-5 scoring isn't working? Look no further than the top line not generating quality chances while giving them up at a bad rate.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:46 am 
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After 2 periods of the re-watch: Thompson belongs with this team - not in the AHL.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:49 am 
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theohall wrote:
After 2 periods of the re-watch: Thompson belongs with this team - not in the AHL.


He looked great last night. Better than I had hoped for.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:23 am 
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And Barbashev, as much as I was hoping he would work out 2 years ago, does not belong on the NHL roster. He doesn't skate that hard, or so it seems, doesn't forecheck well, and, as a result, does not fit the system this year at all.

If you are a forward on this team, you had better skate hard every shift and forecheck well, or it completely screws up the system.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:28 am 
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This is really stupid question time.

The Blues have 4 defenseman capable of manning points on the power play - Pietrangelo, Parayko, Edmundson and Dunn.

So why not just use them that way and let the forwards be forwards??

Instead of insisting on the 1 D 1 F on the points thing which hasn't been working this season.

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