CALGARY — Alex Tanguay did not dismiss his poor play last season for the Lightning, but the Flames left wing Tuesday was critical of how he was handled by then-coach Rick Tocchet.
"The coach has a right to do whatever he thinks is right for the team," Tanguay said before facing his former teammates for the first time. "But when we spoke over the course of the summertime, I was definitely told a different story than the one I ended up with in Tampa. As a player, you at least want to have a chance.
"It's certainly no excuse for my play. I think I played poorly, and mostly it was my fault, but I got very frustrated with the situation, that's for sure."
Tanguay, on a one-year, $2.5 million contract, had career lows of 10 goals and 37 points for the Lightning. He entered Tuesday with eight goals, 23 points in 27 games for Calgary. He also was averaging 19:04 of ice time, 3:17 more than with Tampa Bay.
Tanguay, on a one-year, $1.7 million deal with Calgary, said his frustration is motivation: "I was made out to be pretty much not being able to be in this league and not being able to line up on a consistent basis at the end of the year."
As for Tampa Bay's success this season, he used a subtle dagger.
"They got new ownership. They got a new GM. They got a new coaching staff. It's going to be great for the organization," he said. "I couldn't be more excited for the friends I have on the other side, for them to be in this situation as opposed to the one that was there last year."
BLAME GAME: Flames D Mark Giordano admitted his from-behind hit on LW Simon Gagne during a Sept. 25 preseason game was "borderline" dirty. Gagne has said the hit, which sent his head into the glass, was one of several that caused a neck injury that kept him out for 18 games.
"That was borderline because I had a running start at him," Giordano said. "Maybe I should have let up a little bit because I don't know if he knew I was coming."
Giordano was adamant that "I wasn't trying to hurt the guy," but added, "I can't run him. It's hard to do in the heat of the moment, but next time I have to be more aware, just rub him out instead of planting him."
No hard feelings, Gagne said: "Those things will happen."
HOME COOKIN': Rookie LW Dana Tyrell played for the first time as a pro in Calgary, 17 miles south of his hometown, Airdrie. About 50 family and friends were expected. "It was crazy around here," Tyrell said of the 2004 Lightning-Flames Stanley Cup matchup. "I wasn't exactly a Tampa Bay fan then. It's weird how things happen."
ROAD TRIP: The Lightning after the game bused 65 miles west to the picturesque mountain town of Banff. It will travel Thursday to practice in Edmonton, where it plays Friday. Why not straight to Edmonton?
"I find when we're somewhere waiting for a game, it has a tendency to put us in a comfort zone I don't like," coach Guy Boucher said. "Changing the hotel, going somewhere and being amazed at something keeps you awake."
ODDS AND ENDS: LW Mattias Ritola said he doubled his medication for Meniere's disease, which causes dizziness and ringing in his right ear, to two doses per day with good results. … D Matt Smaby was scratched.