The Flames haven’t been playing consistent hockey all season. 60 minutes of their style? Nope. The lineup fans demand? Nope. Lack of offence? Yep. Terrible penalties? Yep.

Tonight, the stage was set for something…..because the lineup (less Jagr) that’s arguably the best, was out there. That included Mark Jakowski, fresh on a callup. His presence is important, because with another capable centerman, Sam Bennett, who’s been snakebit early, moved to the wing.

The moves didn’t pay dividends early.

After the 1st period Calgary was down 2. It was the same old lazy Flames. The lines looked lost, the same dumb penalties taken, and PP goals against put the team down. It would’ve been easy to shut off the TV after 20. I did.

But I came back because there were some flashes. Namely, the newly minted third line with Sam Bennett on the wing. He played his best game thus far in the season. Flying down the wing, something freed him up to return to his old self fans are dying to see game in and game out. Although he didn’t score a point, he was dominant all game. I’ve been a big fan of patience with him at C because of his high ceiling and skill set. But after tonight’s game, you can’t argue that without the defensive responsibilities, he’s a better player.

The top line was lost with Ferland in the mix, it seemed after 40, but they did click later in the third when Ferland broke in alone and scored his second off a beauty backhand. Gaudreau with the assist.

Calgary doesn’t have time to relish the win, they’re in St Louis tomorrow. But if they continue their play from tonight, they’re going to be a different team. Can they pull it together for 60 minutes? We’ll find out tomorrow.

Health scratches tonight: Hamilton, Glass, Bartkowski. The Flames look good without them in the lineup.