Even after sleeping on it, Calgary Flames winger Jiri Hudler was sticking with his original assessment.



Asked after Thursday's 6-3 setback to the Colorado Avalanche about the significance of his three-point performance, Hudler told reporters "it means nothing" in a losing cause.

Following Friday's morning practice, he hadn't changed his mind one bit.

"You always want to start with good things, right? You want to start on a good note," Hudler said. "A 6-3 loss, I don't think that's good."

Hudler, who signed a four-year, US$16-million pact with the Flames in July after spending five full seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, had a solid debut at the Saddledome but was even better in his second game after returning from bereavement leave.

The 29-year-old scored twice against the Avalanche, burying a rebound in the first period and completing a pretty passing play with linemate Matt Stajan in the middle frame.

He played a key role in the Calgary club's other goal, too, spying Alex Tanguay in the slot for an assist.

"I expected a high skill level and a high hockey IQ, and, certainly, (Hudler) didn't disappoint anyone in that regard," Tanguay said. "With his size, he needs that. He's not the biggest guy out there, but he's certainly very calm with the puck, very poised with the puck. It seems like when it's on his stick and he's under pressure, he's calm and cool with it.

"I've seen him play for years, and that's kind of what I expected out of him. Certainly, he's had a great start in the first two games he's played with us. We're just hoping he can keep doing the same thing and keep being himself. He's not going to score two goals and one assist every night, but he's got that ability to create a lot of chances, and that's what we expect from him."

Flames head coach Bob Hartley tweaked his forward lines for Friday's practice at the Saddledome, switching left-wingers Michael Cammalleri and Curtis Glencross.

Cammalleri was skating alongside Tanguay and Jarome Iginla on the Flames' top line, while Glencross joined Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak. After being scratched in Thursday's loss, Blake Comeau worked with fourth-liners Blair Jones and Tim Jackman, an indication he could be back in the lineup for Saturday's home meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m., CBC).

While likely-odd-man-out Steve Begin skated with Hudler and Stajan, there's little doubt Roman Cervenka (maintenance) will be back in that slot for the game, keeping that line in tact.