Cautious Optimism

Calgary was a little better on Wednesday night taking a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.  In fact, Calgary was MUCH better in a lot of ways. But… maybe the whole "wait and see" mantra is still a good one to have. Yes, Calgary played great, but I’m cautious for two separate reasons.

The first: well, it was the Hurricanes. They are a mediocre team. BUT, they’re playing all right hockey right now, and weren’t terrible in this game, so I don’t really buy into this one much. The second, and more important, reason would be this: Calgary has struggled with consistency ALL season. I’m not willing to say the good things that transpired in this game erases the issues that have plagued Calgary in the past two months. Two games with a whole bunch of new players (and just two with Higgins and Kotalik) isn’t enough for me, both good and bad.

I’ll say this much though. On Overtime tonight on the FAN, it took a positive vibe for the first time in a loooooong time. It was weird, but good; the whole negative thing gets old. I’d say fans were kind of split 50/50 on the email and phone front. In one vein, there was a lot of excitement and belief that this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in a good way for Calgary. The other side was on the wait and see train.

"It was good, but…" And I guess I can understand both points of views.

As for the vibe in the locker room, it was really upbeat going in there. In fact, this morning it was really upbeat and the attitude seemed really encouraging. I think that translated to the game, as Calgary played with spark and jump over an entire game for the first time in a while. After the game, it was smiles and a lot of enthusiasm. It was refreshing going in there talking about positives. Maybe the good feeling will spur the team onto more. Or maybe we’ll see the consistency issues show their ugly head again.

Talking with Ales Kotalik following the game, he seemed pretty energized after his first game with the team. His words were, to paraphrase, "I’ve been on the losing side so many times, it was cool to come out of here with the fans cheering."

Curtis Glencross earned his first career hat trick on the night. Head coach Brent Sutter said following the game that, "We don’t expect Curtis to score three every game, but we expect him to play like that every game." To me, that went back to the C word… when Glencross is going, he’s one of the more dangerous players on the ice. When he’s not, he’s not very good. So the head coach is looking for more of what he saw in this game. 

Sutter also was pleased with his forecheck, which was good all night long. I felt the forecheck was the best part of Calgary’s game, and that all came from the jump and intensity Calgary showed right from the get-go. But again, it’s important for this to happen again. It’s important for this game to be the start of something, and at this point, it’s just too early to tell if that’s the case.