Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/28/13
The Calgary Flames’ top line need not assume nor guess. No mind-reading is necessary. The three forwards have been informed in no uncertain terms by their supervisor that their performance is critical. Success will be a reflection of their contributions. “I told them that in a big way they need to be a mirror of our hockey club” says coach Bob Hartley. “Every morning you look in the mirrors so that the mirror makes you look good. And those guys will be our mirror.” Thanks to the sharp-pencilled blokes at Leftwinglock.com we know that this particular threesome — left-winger Curtis Glencross centreman Matt Stajan right-winger Lee Stempniak — had been Hartley’s favourite combination last season. (Second-most popular by the way? Alex Tanguay Michael Cammal leri Jarome Iginla.) And as the Flames tip-toe towards the start of the 2013-14 campaign Hartley has no plans to disrupt his No. 1 line. So at least for now they stay together. “They are three great pros” continues Hartley. “They are three guys that bring an interesting twist to our team because they can play pretty well defensively. And they can score some goals. That’s the kind of leadership we’re going to need from them. If those guys lead our team up front I think we’re going to be in a good position.” On a revamped roster seeking an identity Glencross and Stempniak are 30 years old. Stajan turns 30 in December. Their roles have been duly upgraded from secondary to primary. Not that this comes as news to the gentlemen. “Being three veteran guys we have to be that line — Bob’s made that no secret to us” says Stajan. “If we play the right way — and do things the right way — usually that will go throughout the lineup. Especially the young guys they feed off that — they see the way we want to play.” It is a well-travelled trio. Stajan has been affiliated with two NHL organizations; Glencross four; Stempniak four. So shouldering the yoke of responsibility isn’t anything to shun at this point.
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