Postgame: Out With a Bang

Pat Steinberg
December 31 2010 10:41PM

The Calgary Flames ended the calendar year the way they needed to: with a win.  Three goals in the second period staked them to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche and gives the team three consecutive wins for the first time since October.  If the team is going to claw their way back into contention, they have to win games, in whatever fashion...they did that tonight.

What Happened

Things were fairly even in the first period with both teams playing just okay at even strength.  Calgary found themselves with a couple powerplay opportunities, and their second one midway through the period really seemed to get the Flames into the game.  The period would finish scoreless heading into the second period.

The middle frame saw all the offence Calgary would get, and all the scoring they'd need.  The fourth line would open things up at 5:53, all started by a Mark Giordano pass from the left point.  He'd go cross ice from blue to corner to find Tim Jackman; after his initial shot was thrwarted, Tom Kostopoulos banged home the rebound to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. 

They'd go up two just 42 seconds later, this time catching a bit of a break.  As the Avs broke in on an odd man rush, Olli Jokinen intercepted a cross seam pass right in front of his own crease to feed Alex Tanguay in the neutral zone; Tanguay would drop the puck too early on a play that seemed off side, but uncalled, Jarome Iginla made good on the follow up potting his 16th from the high slot. 

For a team that hasn't caught a whole lot of breaks this season, I think Flames fans will be just fine with that one.  Tim Jackman would put Calgary up three at 13:23 as he was sprung on a partial break away; staying with the play, he'd beat Craig Anderson to give the Flames a nice lead heading into the final frame.

The third period didn't go totally according to plan, but it worked.  On a powerplay, the Flames would surrender a bit of a break and Daniel Winnik would make good on it, although Miikka Kiprusoff sure made it easy on him...but oh well. 

On a rare Mark Giordano mistake, the Avs would get within one with 2:32 remaining, as Tomas Fleischmann would score his eleventh but that's all Colorado would get.  Give the Flames a ton of credit for their final two minutes or so, as they really didn't give a high powered Avalanche offence much of anything and they made sure they earned the two points.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames won?  They did a good job of neutralizing the top players for the Avalanche.  The top two lines for the Avs didn't do a whole lot, and that's where they really do live and die.  Paul Stastny had about as ineffective a game as we've ever seen from him against Calgary, and his whole line was basically a non factor. 

And while the Duchene line did end up scoring, they didn't get enough done on a regular basis...they were matched up against the Iginla unit basically shift for shift.  And then on the powerplay, the Flames did what they needed, as the Avs came away with nothing on two opportunities.

Red Warrior

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 27: Tim Jackman  of the Calgary Flames and Deryk Engelland  of the Pittsburgh Penguins mix it up at Consol Energy Center on November 27, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
 

Hey, why not, I'll go Tim Jackman.  Did you see that fist pump on the first goal?  That earns him the vaunted award alone, and he also had a couple points...so why not?  Jackman does a decent job with his ice time on a fairly regular basis, and did so in a good way tonight.  The Flames fourth line was good for two-thirds of the offence tonight...so I guess one of them can get some recognition.

Sum It Up

A win is a win, and the Flames deserved the win, I think that's pertinent to point out.  They outplayed the Avalanche for a lot in this game, and made sure they didn't let them all the way back in this game.  And where the Flames are right now, it's a little silly to be critiquing wins.  They've got Edmonton on New Years Day, so three is better than four, right?

Happy F'ing New Year from all of us at FlamesNation:)

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 propositionWes
January 01 2011, 12:16AM
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Nice game by the hometown heroes and a nice win. Let's just take it for what it is and enjoy it. Happy New Years Boys.

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#2 Marcus
January 01 2011, 04:14AM
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Streak was 2 games in before Sutter left. He was smart to pick up Metropolis and Jackman was an epiphany that came to life through Brent. I've been cheering for this 2010 edition so hard it's great to see the cohesion kick in while everyone gets healthy. 7-0 in the preseason wasn't a fluke nor was the last 3.

thank-you for the great memories Darryl! 2004 it was in!!!!! Geo, Bouw, Nolan, Cammalleri, Tanguay, Bertuzzi, Cujo, watch out Ortio, Howse, Ramage & ERIXON are making waves!!!!

FYI. Karlsson is a stud

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#3 wattree
January 01 2011, 11:15AM
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Good to see a win. The one upside to being asbad as they have been is that the wins seem extra sweet this year.

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#4 icedawg_42
January 01 2011, 11:58AM
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Jackman was fantastic last night - great to see him get rewarded for that hard nosed hard work he does. Love that guy!

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#5 RossCreekNation
January 01 2011, 12:10PM
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Happy New Year, Nation!

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#6 dickshilling
January 01 2011, 12:24PM
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Heres to hoping this January ends up better than the 2010 edition

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#7 RossCreekNation
January 01 2011, 12:30PM
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@dickshilling

I'm actually hoping it turns out even worse... no sense finishing 10th or 11th... bottom out!! Lets just hope that from the June draft on, 2011 kicks 2010's arse!

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#8 mikeecho
January 01 2011, 12:38PM
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With Daryl gone, it is safe to say that Raitis Ivanans won't see another minute of ice time in 2011 (assuming he recovers from getting his face pounded in on opening day). Good thing we locked him up on a 2 year deal!

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#9 RossCreekNation
January 01 2011, 12:52PM
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@mikeecho

That Ivanans fight pretty much sums up the Flames season.

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#10 BCFLAME
January 01 2011, 01:43PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'm actually hoping it turns out even worse... no sense finishing 10th or 11th... bottom out!! Lets just hope that from the June draft on, 2011 kicks 2010's arse!

I share your sentiments, buddy, but let`s not overdo it. We need to finish in the bottom of the West to get a crack at a top 4 pick in June, which should be a forward unless Larsson is still available.

However, we cannot completely tank as we need marketable assets during the deadline and off-season. Iggy, Tanguay, Kipper, and Reggie need to play great and look good, despite the losses until Feb.28, so that we can maximize trade value. In other words, we need our top players to perform good, with the Flames still coming up short. Fortunately, with the Flames system and make^-up, I don`t think that is hard (look at the season so far). Let Iggy tear it up, let Kipper keep it close, and let`s lose more of those one goal games as we have been doing so far.

That way we get a high draft pick, and awesome prospects and more draft picks for our veterans. We can load up for upcoming years with one big implosion!!!!

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