Chris Higgins Lights a Spark in Calgary Debut: Hig-niting the Flames

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst IFebruary 4, 2010

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 23: Antoine Vermette #50 of the Columbus Blue Jackets is hit into the boards by Chris Higgins #21 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 23, 2009 in New York, New York. The Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets 7-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I would be getting ahead of myself if I thought that the Calgary Flames were now a dominating bunch and they should be considered one of the favorites to take the Stanley Cup at year's end.

Afterall, they just beat the Carolina Hurricanes, not the Chicago Blackhawks.

That being said, the Flames showed us a type of game we haven't seen in a while, a game where all four lines looked dangerous. And if it hadn't been for a lack of discipline that resulted in Calgary giving up 10 powerplays, they may have just blown a tired looking Hurricanes team outta the Saddledome.

The end result was a much needed 4-1 win for the Flames, and what looked to be the makings of something special in Cowtown.

And though it may have gotten overshadowed by Curtis Glencross' first career hat trick, and Matt Stajan doing his Pavel Bure impression on a feed from Jarome Iginla, Christopher Higgins looked very good in his Calgary Flames debut.

In just 16 minutes of ice time, Higgins was in relentless pursuit of the puck, and created offense every shift, along with laying out some thunderous body checks.

Although he wasn't producing in New York, his statistics in Montreal were very impressive as the 26-year-old had put up 23, 22, and 27 goals, respectively, and last season put up another 12, despite missing nearly half the season.

It makes one wonder why Glen Sather would give up on him so soon, and for Olli Jokinen at that...oh yeah, it's Glen Sather, he hasn't been a smart GM since Ronald Reagan was president.

At $2.25 million he may just turn out to be a bargain for the Flames when he becomes a free agent, as he hasn't put up decent numbers this season thus far. Though there is little doubt in my mind that Higgins will regain his form, it just won't be in New York, just like Phaneuf seemed like he was never going to work out in Calgary.

For a team like the Flames, that desperately needs to learn how to score, Higgins may just fit the bill. It could be just a matter of time before the left winger is riding shotgun on a line with Iginla and Stajan...the Iggy, Higgy, Stajan line has a nice ring to it. It almost sounds like a country song that one could line dance to.

All kidding aside, Christopher Higgins may have struggled this season with the Rangers, but what he showed Flames fans against Carolina is that he can contribute, and that he has heart, which is something that couldn't be said about the aforementioned Jokinen most nights.

Sure, the kid has six goals so far, but he is obviously a player that needed a change of scenery. Lets face it, he has scored his entire career up until this point, he didn't become a fourth line checker all of a sudden at 26 years old.

At least Darryl Sutter believes there is more to Higgins than what he had shown in the Big Apple so far, and after last nights performance...he made a believer out of me as well.