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‘I had a smile on my face for sure:’ Flames head coach Ryan Huska talks Oliver Kylington’s first goal in ninth game back

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
1 month ago
When it was announced that Oliver Kylington would be suiting up for the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers to play in an actual game, Flames fans couldn’t be happier. They didn’t only feel this way because they knew a talented defenceman was on his way back to the NHL, but also because he had been through a lot over the course of the year he was away from the game of hockey.
Then, after two games in the minors, it was finally announced that he was coming back to the show, where he was met with loud cheering and a standing ovation as his name was announced in the starting lineup.
Eight games passed before Kylington was able to record his first point in a Flames uniform since coming back, but against the Winnipeg Jets, he was able to convert on a goal many were used to seeing him score before he took his leave of absence, and it was as awesome as one might expect.
In the post-game press conference, Flames head coach Ryan Huska offered his thoughts after he watched Kylington part the defence and score, creating his first goal back and giving the home team a lead
“I had a smile on my face for sure,” Huska said. “He’s gone through a lot, so it’s nice to see him come back and do that, and not just that, he’s contributing in a lot of different ways, so it’s good for him to continue to do that. People knew who scored that goal, too. I thought there was a lot of noise after that, which was really nice to see.”
Frankly, if your reaction didn’t involve having a smile on your face, I would be very confused. Nonetheless, Kylington took advantage of an opportunity that he saw by using his skating and his intelligence to create a lane to score.
“I saw ice, I just tried to take it and use what I could with it,” Kylington said. “I’m happy it went in. I thought it was just good that we got a lead, and I was just happy in general.”
Kylington was asked if he was happy that it was a nice goal instead of one that would be considered lucky or a little more “greasy” than usual, and his answer was just about what you might expect it to be.
“Goals are goals. That one maybe turned out to be a little bit nicer than some goals you make, but I’m just happy it went in and very happy that we won the game.”
Kylington was also asked post-game about what this win shows about this Flames team, specifically their ability to work back after being down 3-1.
“I think it shows a lot,” Kylington said. “We’ve had tough stretches of games in the past here, and we’ve been down, and we haven’t shown any character, and I think today we really did. I know that this group can show character, and we just have to understand that we have to do that for each other to win games and be consistent about it.”
Coming off a three-game losing streak, which saw the Flames get shutout twice, once by the New York Rangers and once by the Detroit Red Wings, they needed this win, especially against a Western Conference opponent with a strong overall record but who are currently struggling. It was a big win for confidence, and a great goal by Kylington was a huge boost for him and for the team. It’s good to have his arsenal back on the blue line continuing to make an impact.
All quotes from postgame media availabilities from @NHLFlames on Twitter/X
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