Flames throw a block party

Jean Lefebvre
March 11 2010 10:34PM

If you're a big fan of broken Plexiglas and people throwing themselves in front of speeding rubber, then Thursday night's all-Canadian contest between the Flames and the Senators at the Saddledome was for you.

Some Jacques Clouseau-like repair work on the Saddledome glass resulted in a lengthy delay to the the start of the contest and maybe that's why the majority of the game had all the allure of a week-old egg-salad sandwich.

Meanwhile, the Flames followed up their most important victory of the season to date — Tuesday's comeback effort in Detroit — with a pretty sloppy performance, but they did so well in the closely related blue-collar categories of shot-blocking and penalty-killing that they pulled out a 2-0 win over the Sens. It was the Flames' fourth straight dubya.

The blue-line tandem of Cory Sarich and Mark Giordano in particular was in self-sacrificing mode as each d-man seemed intent to give Miikka Kiprusoff a run for his money in the race to stop the most pucks. Between them, Sarich and Giordano accounted for 11 of the Flames' 30 blocked shots. Kiprusoff, incidentally, made 33 stops for the shutout.

In addition to drawing assists on Jamal Mayers ice-breaking goal — the ex-Leaf's first as a Flame — Curtis Glencross and Eric Nystrom played integral roles in a Calgary penalty-killing unit that survived five straight Ottawa power plays.

Chris Higgins also beat a goaltender for the first time since joining the Flames (his first Calgary marker was an empty-netter to ice Tuesday's contest at the Joe Louis Arena).

Flames lines

Bourque-Stajan-Iginla
Higgins-Langkow-Kotalik
Hagman-Conroy-Moss
Nystrom-Mayers-Glencross

Defence pairings

Giordano-Sarich
Bouwmeester-Staios
Regehr-White

Three Stars

  1. Mark Giordano
  2. Cory Sarich
  3. Miikka Kiprusoff
  4. The Saddledome workman who finally suggested they use a replacement pane that was the same size as the hole in the seamless glass

Fight Card

Everyone was more or less on their best behaviour and the fists were kept holstered.

The Big Save

The combination of a crossbar, Ottawa forward Peter Regin's wayward shooting and perhaps, just perhaps, the very edge of Miikka Kiprusoff's pad resulted in a whiff on a wide-open chance at the Flames net in the third period.

The Big Hit

Ottawa's Milan Michalek had a full head of steam rushing into the Flames zone in the second period but he was abruptly cut off at the pass by little Calgary blue-liner Ian White's solid jolt.

What It Means

For a third time in a week, the Flames (34-24-9) responded to a Detroit victory earlier in the day in an easterly time zone by recording a win of their own. Calgary thus stays one point ahead of the Motowners. It also means the Flames finished the season 5-0 in their spiffy vintage red sweaters.

What's Next

Jarome Iginla returns to the scene of Canada's recent Olympic triumph on Sunday and he'll have the rest of his Calgary buddies with him as the Flames take on Jannik Hansen and the Vancouver Canucks.

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Lefebvre is in that awkward stage of hockey following -- old enough to fondly remember the Cleveland Barons and too set in his ways to accept charity points and games where there's a winner but apparently no loser. As a long-time ink-stained wretch, he's also a firm believer in the old Bobby Knight quote about journalists: "All of us learn to write in second grade, but most of us go on to better things."
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#1 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:38PM
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OMG, Jean. YOU are A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

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#2 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:45PM
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You had this finished in the second period, didn't you?

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#4 Kent Wilson
March 11 2010, 10:47PM
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Not that I blame you...it would have been vastly more interesting than watching the game.

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#6 MattF
March 11 2010, 10:52PM
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>>>Chris Higgins also beat a goaltender for the first time since joining the Flames (his first Calgary marker was an empty-netter to ice Tuesday's contest at the Joe Louis Arena).

Yeah, don't tell me that confidence doesn't mean ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

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#7 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 10:56PM
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@MattF

He must have gained ALOTTA confidence from that empty netter, eh. LOLZ Loubardias. I'm sure Domebeers loved that.

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#8 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 11:02PM
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5-0 in their spiffy vintage red sweaters, eh? And I hear they're planning on wearing them even more next year. Nice.

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#9 RossCreekNation
March 11 2010, 11:13PM
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PREDS COLLAPSE... "I Luv It"

*Pretty funny video... maybe Snoop Blogg will like*

Perhaps Brent threatened 'no more congical visits', lol.

Where's Wanye?

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#10 Guti
March 12 2010, 12:20AM
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I was in the bowel of the dome and you would not believe how riddiculous the whole pane of glass thing was.

The had no pane's of glass that fit that size, they where phoning other rinks trying to get glass including max bell before they decided to cut another peice of glass. That is what took so long.

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#11 Snoop Blogg
March 12 2010, 09:45AM
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Stoked on Kotty slowly climbing his way out of the red in the plus minus category. What are the chances of the flames keeping those beautiful uniforms for next year. I think if they dont i will be a little destroyed inside

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#12 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 09:58AM
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@Snoop Blogg

As the lovely Alex Ruiz tweeted yesterday...

Flames just announced their vintage jersey = 3rd jersey next season!

http://twitter.com/alex_ruiz/status/10343447663

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#13 Tach
March 12 2010, 02:25PM
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The single best moment in this game was when Sportsnet went in for the reaction shot on Higgins, only to catch him issue a great big "F#&$ Yeah!" And then have them go back to the same replay going into the commercial break, in slow motion.

The look in his eyes told me that goal gave him a hell of a lot more "confidence" than the empty netter.

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