When the Calgary Flames signed Jay Bouwmeester back in 2009, they envisioned someone who would anchor their defense at an elite level for a long time. What they got is an inconsistent player who has not lived up to his potential. However, we got a glimpse of that potential on Saturday night in Bouwmeester’s dominating performance against the Edmonton Oilers.
While the rival Oilers did score three goals (one late), fans who’ve been waiting for a performance like this from Bouwmeester finally understand what he can bring to the table. The question is, can he do it consistently?
“Jay Bouwmeester was flying tonight,” said head man Bob Hartley (via the Calgary Herald). “I think we saw the real Jay Bouwmeester, a guy who took charge, wanted the puck…He was a quarterback back there. That’s the kind of hockey I think [he] can bring to us. He has the green light. He has the speed to create offense. If he doesn’t, he has the speed to come back. We’re telling him we want him to create a good second wave for us, to make sure he’s always in the play, always active. That’s tough to defend.”
Bouwmeester caught the eye of legend and captain Jarome Iginla as well.
“He’s showing, as he should, that he’s a top d-man,” Iginla said. “He is a top guy and it’s great to see him feeling good and playing so well. You see him play with a lot of confidence.”
If the Flames can get this kind of effort from Bouwmeester each and every night, it may be the push they need to get themselves back into the playoffs. He did not perform up to standards under previous head coach Brent Sutter, scoring just 12 goals in the last five years, so hopefully Hartley has gotten through to the former All-Star and he’ll live up to his $33 million contract.