For all the fuss made about shot-blocking expectations surrounding John Tortorella’s new team the Vancouver Canucks and his former team the New York Rangers you’d think stepping in the way of pucks was a new phenomenon.

Skaters blocking shots isn’t new nor did Tortorella’s team invent the play.

But there is a twist when it comes to the art.

The Calgary Flames are leading the NHL in that category in the early going this season.

Through their first five games during which they’ve compiled a 3-0-2 record the Flames have blocked 92 shots intended to reach the goal.

This is a team that’s regularly been in the middle of the pack in that category but it’s made a conscious effort to improve in that category under head coach Bob Hartley.

“Part of winning games is sacrificing” Hartley said after Saturday’s practice.

“I think with the guys that we went to get plus our own guys the word ‘commitment’ has a new meaning for this organization.

“It’s about sacrificing ourselves.

“We’re not looking for heroes and stuff like this.

“We’re looking for guys who will do what it takes to win.

“There’s no magic recipes but right now it seems to be working for us.

“I’m not on top of the Saddledome yelling at the world that we need to block shots but I’m in the (dressing) room telling them that we need to block shots.”

The effort was on full display for all to see during the third period of Friday’s 3-2 Flames victory over the New Jersey Devils.

During one long third-period shift while the score was tied 2-2 Lance Bouma twice blocked pucks (one was mistakenly credited to TJ Galiardi) and Kris Russell dove in front of another Devils offering.