Flames need more from top line

The Globe and Mail

Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames knocks the pucks down at the start of warm up before his game against the St Louis Blues on October 28, 2011 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images) (Dale MacMillan/2011 Getty Images)

Credit Brendan Morrison for his honesty.

At Tuesday’s morning skate, the centreman between wingers Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay,was asked to describe how the Calgary Flames’ top line was performing this season.

Knowing the Flames were counting on a spirited showing in Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, Morrison put it all on the line, so to speak.

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“We haven’t been very good. We understand we have to produce here if we want to win games,” said Morrison. “I’ve been very cautious on the ice. I need to be a little more involved offensively.”

Morrison, coming off knee surgery, has zero points in five games this season. Iginla, a notoriously slow starter, has two goals (one on the power play) and two assists. Tanguay has a goal and seven assists to lead the team with eight points.

That’s not nearly enough offence for a team determined to play well early so it doesn’t miss the playoffs, as Calgary did last season.

"I haven’t played great in too many games," said Iginla. "I’ve been through it before in different games, different stretches. I’m confident and positive it’s going to improve. For whatever reason, I like the start of a new month.”

Iginla may like a fresh month but the Flames have not enjoyed playing against Vancouver. The Canucks have won eight of the last 10 games between the two sides, with the other two games going into overtime.

“I didn’t know that stat,” said Iginla. “It wasn’t one I was looking for. It’s due for a change.”

The Flames gave a slight tweak to their line-up for Tuesday’s game. Sitting out will be defenceman Anton Babchuk; coming in is centre Matt Stajan. He’d been a healthy scratch for two games.

The Canucks will start Roberto Louongo in goal after he helped the team to a 7-4 win over the Washington Capitals.