October 07 2010 10:55PM
We'll just pretend Thursday's Calgary Flames opener was the eight preseason game. The regular season starts on Sunday, lets go with that. Fact is, the Flames were not the better team at Rexall Place in Edmonton, and the new look Oilers were full marks for a 4-0 win.
A poor, flat footed first period for the Flames gave the Oilers the jump they needed. Gilbert Brule opened the scoring on the powerplay, as Calgary found themselves trying to keep up with their fired up opponents. Calgary took four first period penalties, including two for delay of game from Adam Pardy and Jay Bouwmeester. All four of those minors were the result of Edmonton pressure and skating, and the Oilers were unrelenting for 19 minutes. Shots were 19-9, but I got the feeling they weathered a bit of a storm, and only being down 1-0 could be looked at as a positive.
The middle frame saw things tilted back to the visitors. They started playing their game, using their down low advantage to generate shtos and draw penalties. But they were unable to score in that second period, as they ran into their old nemesis Nikolai Khabibulin. The problem with Calgary's period was their lack of ability to get the puck with speed to the net. They'd gain the zone fine, but most of their shots came from the perimiter.
Two goals in a span of 1:19 in the final frame closed this sucker out, as Jordan Eberle snuck behind T.J. Brodie to put the Oil up 2-0 before Ales Hemsky blasted a shot past Kiprusoff off the right wing. Shawn Horcoff's ankle deflected an Eberle PP shot to give the Oilers their four goal bulge, and seal their first victory over Calgary since the 2008-09 season.
One Good Reason...
...the Flames lost? Well, plain and simple, they were flat footed in the first and to start the third period. If you're not going to score on your 18 second period shots, you can't let two go in in under 80 seconds to start the final frame. In a one goal game, you can't let in an early shortie like that. Of course there would be more reasons I'm sure you'll get to in the comments section belo...
Not a whole lot to choose from on this night, but I'll go with Mark Giordano. He was by far the best Flame on the ice. How many times will we say that this season?
Sum It Up
Just not good enough. The Steve MacIntyre KTFO on Raitis Ivanans kinda told all you need to know...Oilers win big (hope all the best for #41 though). The top line was dismal, the powerplay looked mediocre, and the Flames didn't cash in their opportunities. Um, just be better Sunday at home. No good. *shakes head*