Perhaps it’s easy for the Calgary Flames to look this good when their opposition is focused on Rehab pool parties and Bobby’s Room bluffs.
But give Lee Stempniak and Alex Tanguay credit for a beautiful play Monday night.
The road-ravaged, rebuilding Flames are the second-worst NHL team both overall (32 points in 38 games) and on the road (4-13-2), yet they got up for a tilt against the bottom-dwelling Avalanche in Denver.
Leading the Avs 2-1 with about three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the third period — but killing off a crucial power play — Stempniak hustles to pick up a loose puck and rushes into the Avs’ zone.
With three Colorado defenders back, a harmless two-on-three turns deadly when Stempniak spins to feed Tanguay with a silky no-look pass.
Tanguay then has the patience to wait out goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, one Avalanche player who apparently does care, and goes top shelf for a game-sealing shorthanded goal.
Thirty-year-old journeyman Stempniak is quietly enjoying a fantastic year, having scored 26 points in 38 games. Projected over a full 82-game schedule, this would be the veteran’s most productive campaign in the NHL.
Remarkably, dude is a plus-2 on a minus-32 team.
Un. Der. Rated.