December 29 2009 01:31AM
Calgary Flames: 4 -- Rene Bourque (3) [GWG], Mark Giordano
Edmonton Oilers: 1 -- Ryan Potulny
The Edmonton Oilers have become the ugly girl at the bar. And the Calgary Flames are the guy that's had a run of bad luck, striking out with any girl that's looked his way recently. Well, sometimes you just gotta nut up and take the ugly girl home. Slumpbuster's aren't often pretty (the Flames were out-shot 35-23), but they're a "notch" on the belt, and at the end of the day that's all that matter's.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
FLAMES - Rene Bourque/Miikka Kiprusoff. With a natural hat-trick on the night, Bourque scored even-strength, powerplay, and short-handed goals. It was his second career hat-trick. He finished +2 with 17:13 of ice time. Kiprusoff stopped 34 of 35 shots en route to the victory. Without him, it could've gotten really ugly, really early.
OILERS - Ryan Potulny. Potulny scored his 8th goal of the season to open the scoring and looks to have solidified a spot as an everyday NHLer.
With a horrendous start, the Flames got down early as Ryan Potulny scored just over two minutes in. Twelve minutes in, the Flames were being outshot 12-2 and it looked UG-LY. So ugly that it prompted this gem from our own Kent Wilson on one of his other sites (Matchsticks and Gasoline)... "Have the Flames gotten a shot on net yet? These guys are playing like they’ve had their dicks duct taped to their thighs." The only real bright spot (if you can call it that), was the spirited fight between flyweights Dustin Boyd and Andrew Cogliano off the faceoff after the Oilers goal. The new-look lines did however seem to find some chemistry around the mid-way point of the 1st period, and the Flames were clearly the better of the two teams in the final 40 minutes.
The Dawes-Jokinen-Bourque line managed to combine for six points (including Bourque's hat-trick), and Jokinen at least looked like a capable top-six forward again with two assists. He and Iginla just aren't a match for each other, and with the Glencross-Langkow-Iginla line also looking decent, hopefully Coach Brent Sutter keeps the duo apart from here on out.
- Iginla has now gone six games without scoring against the Oilers, and 10 games without scoring @ Rexall Place.
- Craig Conroy remains scoreless on the season.
- Olli Jokinen recorded his 300th career assist.
- Dustin Penner had an uneventful 300th NHL game.
- The Flames have 42 majors on the season, all for fighting.
With the recent records of these two clubs, I figured we could be in for a fight filled game (I predicted five to a buddy). With four scraps, I wasn't far off (although three of them came late). For your viewing pleasure (courtesy HockeyFightsDOTcom)...
The LA Kings will visit "The 'Dome" Wednesday night (12/30/09 @ 7:30, live on Sportsnet West), and we'll see if the Flames can keep it rolling against a much better team before the New Years Eve rematch with the Oilers. A three game winning streak would be a real positive way to not only round out the year, but also what's been a rough month of December for this struggling Flames squad.
Could this team not use Jamie Lundmark? I mean, they had an offensive "outburst" tonight by their standards, but couldn't they find a spot for him in the lineup say 2 out of 3 games? Just saying.
I was at the game tonight and had the ~honour~ of sitting in front of Jason Strudwick's #1 fan. I'm fairly certain he was drunk before the game started, but I couldn't tell if he was being serious or facetious. He kept yelling "give it to Struds", "Struds will take care of em", "look at Struds out there directing the traffic", "Struds back with the defensive play" and so on. Maybe it was a relative?