Love wins, hate baseball scores

Ryan Lambert
February 15 2009 01:43PM

n27092

Well I mean sure, the game was a total gong show and every defenseman on both teams acted like matadors for the oncoming opposition, but hey, a win's a win.

...Right?

The only way to describe that game was ugly and depressing. No hockey game should ever, ever end with the teams scoring 12 combined goals. Shouldn't happen. Maybe not even in baseball.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Flames put up a touchdown and an extra point, won their second road game in a row (that's gotta be a franchise record..?) and now have points in four straight, but the way they've done it has been more than a little troubling.

Apart from the 6-2 win over a pitiful Montreal team last Monday, this team hasn't exactly looked all that convincing. The Flames are lucky they played the slip-slidin' Coyotes last night, because when you give up five goals, you almost never win.

The Good

  • Seven goals is a lot, no matter which way you care to look at it. Any time you can get four goals for yourself in the second period, you've put yourself in a very good position to win. The number of goals also (hopefully) bookends a rather so-so two games, offensively. Three non-empty net goals in the previous six-plus periods of hockey is a more or less inexcusable number, so I'll take the seven gladly and not get into quality of opponent or anything like that.
  • Matt Lombardi continues to impose his will on opposing defenses. He had another two goals and an assist last night, giving him seven points in his last four games. He might only have eight goals and 27 points in 43 games this year, but he's getting hot at the right time, and that's great to see.
  • Todd Bertuzzi somehow had four assists. Not sure how that happened, but I'll accept it.
  • Cory Sarich really contributed on both ends of the ice, eating 22:27, putting four shots on net, finishing plus-2 and scoring a goal and two assists. You'll take a night like that out of any defenseman in the league, never mind your No. 3 guy.
  • Outshooting the Coyotes 21-8 in the second period, and outscoring them 4-1.

The Bad

  • Calgary didn't draw one penalty. There were two sets of matching minors in the third period, but other than that, the Coyotes were not whistled for a single call. Statistically, I can't imagine you win too many games in which you don't get a power play.
  • That third period was reaaaaaal ugly. While the Flames were only outscored by a goal and had a three-goal cushion headed in, you don't want to give up three third-period goals to anyone, least of all the Coyotes, whose third-period offense is 17th in the league. Calgary's third-period defense is now seventh.
  • Kiprusoff wasn't outwardly bad, certainly, but five goals against on 37 shots ain't good either.
  • Yeah he had four assists but Todd Bertuzzi's penalties in the first period were awful bad. The second, not surprisingly, led to a power play goal. And despite getting those four assists (all were primary helpers, shockingly), he was still on the ice for two goals against and indirectly contributed to a third. So yeah, great night outta Bert.

The Ugly

  • *This spot reserved for every one of Jarome Iginla’s last eight games*

And to the commenter that said in last night's sparsely-read GDFD that he's still leading the team to wins even if he's not directly contributing to them, and is on pace for 86 points in 82 games, consider this: in those eight games, during which his team has gone 3-4-1 (see also: sub-.500), he has 1-3-4 and is a minus-4. The Flames continue to win DESPITE him. Mike Cammalleri and Matt Lombardi, and to a lesser extent Miikka Kiprusoff and Rene Bourque, have been carrying this team for the last two weeks or so.

  • Five goals is a lot, no matter which way you care to look at it. Any time you give up three goals in the third period, you've put yourself in a very good position to lose. Calgary was just lucky that Phoenix has made a nasty habit of giving up a lot of goals lately (23 in their last five, and that includes a miraculous 1-0 shutout win!) and was able to benefit from that.
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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 walkinvisible
February 15 2009, 02:24PM
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Statistically, I can’t imagine you win too many games in which you don’t get a power play.

in the last 15-or-so games (and certainly in the last 6 or 7), i know i'm much more confident when the PK steps on the ice than when the PP does. and i'm not sure the stats, but i know we've got at least three shorties in the past few games, with (i'd say) equal or fewer PP goals....

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#2 Anonymous
February 15 2009, 02:54PM
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Calgary's go-ahead goal was scored on a delayed penalty. That's better than a powerplay, given our powerplay.

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#3 Kent
February 15 2009, 03:04PM
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It was interesting to see the formation and success of the Good Fellas, which is something I've been pushing for some time.

Of course, taking anything away from that game is probably foolhardy. The Coyotes were bad in their won last night.

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#4 Sabby
February 16 2009, 12:49AM
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ha! thanks for using italics, the all caps key and pointing out what sub 500 means.

iggy is in a slump. i didn't say he wasn't. what i disagree with is people stating that he's having a terrible season. the flames are not winning despite him. they are winning with him. you think that if iggy had been sitting in the press box for the majority of the season or even the last 10 games that they would have as many wins as they do right now? i have lost track of how many times i've heard cammy say that his goal production is largely due to playing on a line with jarome. so, iggy is on pace to get what...10 points less than a great season and 15 points less than an outstanding season? because of that he's not an excellent captain and leading his team to a division title?

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