Game No. 28: Throwin' haymakers

Ryan Lambert
December 07 2010 06:21PM



Don't wanna see(n) Stamkos. :(

Tampa has hit a bit of a rough stretch over the last week or so, winning just two of their last five thanks to goaltending that makes the creasework in Edmonton look positively Vezina-worthy.

You might look at the 30 goals allowed in the last six games (!) and think that the defense has let Danny Ellis and Mikey Smith down. And with a blue line corps led in minutes by the still-learning Victor Hedman, who has occasionally looked well out of his depth, and the ghost of Pavel Kubina, you wouldn't be far off. (Bonus hockey nerd points if you can name three other Tampa defensemen without looking, by the way. I got the next five but then again I'm the absolute worst.)

But seeing as Tampa is one of those appointment-viewing teams this year, I can tell you for sure that this run of futile work is almost entirely the work of Ellis and Smith. Comedy goals? You want 'em, they got 'em. Miscues aplenty? They have a bucketful they'd like to sell you. Worse mechanics than the least successful NASCAR pit crew? They wrote the book on it.

Now, look, I know what that forward group can do. Marty St. Louis has been dissecting NHL defenses longer than most of us care to remember (certainly he didn't start in those Stanley Cup Finals), and Steven Stamkos' shot does to opposing teams what the Death Star did to Dantooine. When Vinny Lecavalier is pretty much a distant third on your forward depth chart, you have a terrifying ability to score goals and do it by the bucketful. Simon Gagne, a two-time 40-goal scorer, is a deep, deep fourth.

Point is this: Calgary can occasionally score goals, especially against suspect netminders. So far this year they've hung five or more on Khabibulin (twice), Mason, Budaj, and Turco. Right now, Tampa wishes it had Marty Turco. But if you want the Flames to go and get in a slugfest with the Tampa Bay freaking Lightning, you are the dumbest human.

If the Flames have the juice to hang four or five on Dan Ellis (and these days, who doesn't?), then Tampa can run at least six past a defense featuring Cory Sarich in a somewhat significant role. That isn't something you want to see unless Tampa scores a boatload early and forces Calgary's hand with regard to pressing offensively.

But hey, Olli Jokinen might get scratched for a guy who was a healthy scratch last time out, and had eight minutes of ice time in his previous games. So there's that.

Oh and some guy on Twitter told me I'd be a fool to not link to this video. He was right.

 

 

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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 harry
December 07 2010, 07:34PM
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The xtranormal video was originally a conversation between a lawyer and a prospective "0L" law school student. Classic stuff.

"Why do you want to go to law school?"

"I love the constitution."

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#2 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 07:34PM
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So it's Moss who is the scratch. Not Jokinen.

Give me strength.

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#3 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 07:38PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

So it's Moss who is the scratch. Not Jokinen.

Give me strength.

perplexing move. why not koto or the joker.

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#4 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 07:40PM
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hal a pena wrote:

perplexing move. why not koto or the joker.

I don't know. Frankly, anticipating what these jokers will do these days is a fools errand.

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#6 M F
December 07 2010, 07:45PM
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I thought you said the Flames count chances Kent. Baffling. It's as if they want to lose

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#7 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 07:47PM
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M F wrote:

I thought you said the Flames count chances Kent. Baffling. It's as if they want to lose

I dont know if they do or not.

As for chances...that opening PP has to be one of the limpest efforts I've ever seen.

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#8 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 07:52PM
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Well, the start aside from the PP has been a decent one.

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#9 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 07:56PM
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Jackman was the main guy on the Sarich goal. Perfect screen.

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#10 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 08:02PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Jackman was the main guy on the Sarich goal. Perfect screen.

yep and brent will reward him with 8 minutes total icetime.

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#11 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:03PM
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Nice bounce on the Kosto goal.

Flames have done well in the possession game thus far. Puck luck has been kind for a change too.

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#12 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:08PM
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Ellis looks really, really shakey. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.

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#13 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:10PM
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Ellis looks really, really shakey. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.

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#14 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:12PM
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Bourque with a decent effort for a change this period. Hopefully he keeps it up.

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#15 dotfras
December 07 2010, 08:13PM
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Love the pace the Flames played at that period, controlled the play and moved the puck really well.

How come we can't play like this every game?

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#16 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:15PM
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Scoring chances were even in the first 5-5.

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#17 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:15PM
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dotfras wrote:

Love the pace the Flames played at that period, controlled the play and moved the puck really well.

How come we can't play like this every game?

This is the question that every non-playoff team asks about their club.

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#18 RossCreekNation
December 07 2010, 08:16PM
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I think it was Cruickshank that speculated Moss could be out because he took 3 highsticking penalties last game.

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#19 Robert Cleave
December 07 2010, 08:18PM
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Corsi.

CGY +5, EV shots 10-7 Tampa. I think the Dan Ellis' Problems hashtag on Twitter might need to be revived if he keeps treating the puck like it's carrying Ebola.

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#20 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:18PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I think it was Cruickshank that speculated Moss could be out because he took 3 highsticking penalties last game.

Prescient call by Cruickshank then.

I still don't like it.

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#21 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:20PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY +5, EV shots 10-7 Tampa. I think the Dan Ellis' Problems hashtag on Twitter might need to be revived if he keeps treating the puck like it's carrying Ebola.

Possession mostly driven by the bottom two lines, which matches my own observations. Fourth line had quite the time and Bourque playing like he can didn't hurt the Backlund unit.

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#22 thymebalm
December 07 2010, 08:23PM
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Re: Moss Scratched

Didn't he take six minutes in PIMs from sloppy stick work resulting in 2 GA? He'd better be sitting a game. Teach this team how to be disciplined.

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#23 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 08:25PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Possession mostly driven by the bottom two lines, which matches my own observations. Fourth line had quite the time and Bourque playing like he can didn't hurt the Backlund unit.

flames fourth line has been the difference in the game. ellis looks like he is handling nuclear waste.

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#24 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:36PM
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Tampa Bay coming hard as expected in the second, but they aren't geenrating a lot of chances. Yet.

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#25 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:39PM
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Great goal out of Backlund et al.

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#26 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:44PM
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Just a butter soft goal on Kipper.

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#27 RossCreekNation
December 07 2010, 08:46PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Prescient call by Cruickshank then.

I still don't like it.

Ya it was Cruickshank. He didn't predict it beforehand, though.

No RW/C David Moss out for the warmup. Maybe taking three high-sticking minors in the first period Sunday isn't a good thing.

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#28 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:46PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Ya it was Cruickshank. He didn't predict it beforehand, though.

No RW/C David Moss out for the warmup. Maybe taking three high-sticking minors in the first period Sunday isn't a good thing.

We'll probably discuss it during the Heralds chat tomorrow.

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#29 scott
December 07 2010, 08:54PM
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Please tell me I did not see babchuck on the PK just now! Wow that was scary!

Sitting moss really woke up the depth guys tonight! They are on fire, hope the top end guys pick it now and finish this game off.

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#30 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 08:58PM
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scott wrote:

Please tell me I did not see babchuck on the PK just now! Wow that was scary!

Sitting moss really woke up the depth guys tonight! They are on fire, hope the top end guys pick it now and finish this game off.

It was the last 30 seconds, so no big deal.

Bourque has awoken from whatever slumber he was in. I hope it lasts.

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#31 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:06PM
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Chances were even in that one again, 6-6. Flames were leading for most of the period, then the Bolts reeled off 3 straight to end the period.

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#32 SmellOfVictory
December 07 2010, 09:10PM
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Alderaan wouldv'e been a better analogy ;)

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#33 Robert Cleave
December 07 2010, 09:11PM
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Corsi.

Even, Tampa +5 in the second, EV shots 14-13 T.Bay, 6-4 CGY in the period. The Flames' PP is just painful to watch, again.

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#34 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:14PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

Even, Tampa +5 in the second, EV shots 14-13 T.Bay, 6-4 CGY in the period. The Flames' PP is just painful to watch, again.

I called the Flames PP "the two minutes hate" the other night on twitter. It's something that may catch on if this keeps up.

Looks like corsi and chances are marching in lock-step this evening too. At least in the broad strokes.

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#35 Robert Cleave
December 07 2010, 09:17PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I called the Flames PP "the two minutes hate" the other night on twitter. It's something that may catch on if this keeps up.

Looks like corsi and chances are marching in lock-step this evening too. At least in the broad strokes.

I think I've mentioned before that the semi-arranged fights that occasionally happen are my cue to head to the refrigerator. The Flames' PP is headed for that status pretty damn soon.

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#36 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:21PM
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@Robert Cleave

Heh. "Might as well go for a soda..."

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#37 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:24PM
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Wow. Flames got really lucky on that initial St.Louis chance.

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#38 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:34PM
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Flames have settled things down after the first couple of minutes.

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#39 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:38PM
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Well, nice to get one with the man advantage. Even if it was a 5on3.

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#40 CitizenFlame
December 07 2010, 09:39PM
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Iggy and Bourque finally scored in the same game!

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#41 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 09:41PM
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ellis is doing the best andre redlight raciot impersonation i have ever witnessed. man, hes terrible tonight.

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#42 CitizenFlame
December 07 2010, 09:43PM
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I guess that answers lawrences questions about whehter T-bays goalies were that bad or if it was the system.

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#43 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:48PM
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CitizenFlame wrote:

Iggy and Bourque finally scored in the same game!

haha, yeah. wonder when the last time that happened?

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#44 CitizenFlame
December 07 2010, 09:53PM
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I don't know if it has happened this year.

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#45 Rain Dogs
December 07 2010, 09:53PM
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@CitizenFlame

TB does allow some juicy chances against in their few shots, but certainly Ellis hasn't been a world beater, dunno if many goalies would have saved the first, third and fourth however.

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#46 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:57PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

TB does allow some juicy chances against in their few shots, but certainly Ellis hasn't been a world beater, dunno if many goalies would have saved the first, third and fourth however.

Oddly I wouldn't put a lot of the Flames goals on him tonight. Perfect screen, lucky bounce and then nice passing play. But man did he look like a nervous rookie through the first half of the game.

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#47 CitizenFlame
December 07 2010, 09:57PM
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That is a fair comment. Especially the 4th on the PP was a pretty tough one. I didn't think the first one was great though. But thats my opinion.

What a hit by Reggie on St.Louis!!

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#48 Kent Wilson
December 07 2010, 09:58PM
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Really solid period by the Flames. The life kinda fell out of the Lightning after the Iginla goal, but CGY certainly pressed the issue.

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#49 Rain Dogs
December 07 2010, 10:03PM
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phew.

That's 1-0-0 in this "pre-new year stretch"

Keep it going guys. Only 6 more.

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#50 Robert Cleave
December 07 2010, 10:07PM
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Corsi.

Even, and even in the third, so nice work considering the Flames had the lead. EV shots officially 20-18 Tampa, but two of those were when they pulled Ellis, so only 4 normal EV SOG against in the third. Better effort in general, and a PP goal scored to boot.

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