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Calgary Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf is having a very busy, very productive week

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
Last Thursday, the Calgary Flames hosted the Dallas Stars at the Saddledome. As the Flames were doing that, goaltender Dustin Wolf was in Nevada, preparing for a weekend set with the Henderson Silver Knights.
One week later, Wolf has just completed a seven day span where he played in four very different games across two leagues – and captured wins in all three games that he started.
Here’s a brief look at Wolf’s wild week:
  • On Friday, he made 32 saves and allowed one goal in a 2-1 Wranglers win over Henderson. The Wranglers got out to a 2-0 lead and never trailed.
  • On Sunday, he made 43 saves and allowed four goals in a 7-4 Wranglers win over Henderson. That game was a bit more of a track meet, where the Wranglers got out to a 2-0 lead, saw the Silver Knights claw back to tie it before the Wranglers scored the next five goals.
  • On Monday, Jacob Markstrom suffered a fractured finger in practice.
  • On Tuesday, Wolf was officially called up to the NHL and slated to back up Dan Vladar against Minnesota. After Vladar allowed three goals, Wolf came in and played the final 38:30. He allowed two goals and made 11 saves as the Flames lost 5-2.
  • On Thursday, Wolf made his second start of the season, making 30 saves in a 3-2 comeback win over Carolina.
All in all, Wolf has played 362:30 across four games, across the top two leagues in the world.
Speaking with the media after the Flames’ win over Carolina, Wolf reflected on his performance.
“After those first two go in – they did a good job of getting through on screens and getting shots through – my objective for the rest of the game was to challenge myself to fight through those even harder than I was. And the D did a great job of boxing out for the last two periods and made my life really easy.”
Flames head coach Ryan Huska was asked about Wolf’s ability to get past allowing the two first period goals and lock things down the rest of the way.
“I think that’s what makes him a good goaltender,” said Huska. He’s got an unflappable swagger, if that makes any sense. Whether he’s let five or six in, doesn’t change him. If he lets one in, doesn’t change him. If he lets none in, doesn’t change him. So, he obviously grew up the right way or learned some lessons early on as a goaltender on how to turn a page and flush it if something goes by you because he does a really good job of that.”
The goals allowed by Wolf were both challenging deflection plays. The Hurricanes thought they had tied the game late in the third period, but Sebastian Aho’s goal was called back after a coach’s challenge after it was determined that Martin Necas had interfered with Wolf. Wolf had no doubts that it would be called back.
“No. I thought for sure as soon as I’d seen the replay,” said Wolf. “And obviously I felt the contact. It’s obviously different than the American League, I’m thankful for that.”
(There’s no coach’s challenge option in the AHL.)
Over the weekend, Wolf was the starting goaltender for one of the AHL’s best teams. And since Tuesday, he’s been part of a tandem with Vladar that’s trying to keep the Flames in the thick of the playoff chase. He admitted it’s exciting to be part of it.
“Yeah, it’s a gift each and every day,” said Wolf. “Any time you get a call to come play with Calgary, it’s a blessing and I’m here to take every moment and grab the most of it, and try to have a smile on my face while I do it.”
Sooner or later, Markstrom is going to return from his injury and Wolf will return to the Wranglers’ crease. But for right now, Wolf’s savouring his time with the Flames. And both the netminder, and many Flames fans, seem to be having fun while it lasts.

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