The one thing that has encouraged me about the Flames’ sputtering stretch run has been the play of Eric Nystrom.
Yes, this guy is a lunchbucket player with a limited skill set. He’s a third-liner at best, a checker. Great speed, not much else.
Except his heart and his breeding.
Nystrom’s father, Bob, won four Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders and became legendary for his ability to raise his game to a new level when it mattered most. Based on his play over the past couple of weeks, the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Eric isn’t as skilled as his dad was, but he learned (or inherited) Bob’s ability to raise his game when his team needs it the most. Big hits, big goals, big plays, a tireless effort.
I know my fellow Flames blogger Iain Gosdman loves Eric Nystrom’s game. I’m coming around to Iain’s point of view. At a time when the Flames need more big-game players, Nystrom is showing he’s one of them.
Now if only that would rub off on about 20 other guys.