A dagger to the heart

Jean Lefebvre
March 15 2010 10:05PM

We'll never know for sure what effect it could have had on Monday's game at the Saddledome, of course, but what if a team had the option of choosing that a minor penalty be assessed to the opposition instead of accepting a penalty shot? Maybe, just maybe, it would have been the difference between a win and a loss for the Flames in their crucial contest against the Detroit Red Wings.

In the second period, with the Flames leading 1-0, Flames winger Curtis Glencross sprinted off on a partial brekaway while killing a penalty. He was hooked by Jason Williams on the play, which reuslted in a penalty-shot call instead of a two-minute infraction that would have wiped out the rest of Detroit's man advantage.

Glencross was stuffed by Jimmy Howard, the Wings went back on the power play and Pavel Datsyuk promptly scored the equalizer. The end result of that titanic momentum shift was a 2-1 Red Wings that keeps the Flames in ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Flames were starting to feel pretty good about themselves after a four-game winning streak but two losses in 26 hours has them gasping for air once again. A cruel twist of fate perhaps, but also the wages of the sins committed during that dreadful three-month stretch of hockey turned in by the Flames in December, January and Fenruary.

Tomas Holmstrom, who was doing his human eclipse routine on the Datsyuk goal, tipped in the game-winner with 1:19 to play in regulation. Craig Conroy scored the only Calgary goal. In addition to accounting for the hosts' offence, Conroy provided faceoff-dot wizardry (he was 12-for-12) and timely bleeding (he took a high stick that give the Flames four-minute power play).

Even if the penalties were few on the night, the Flames got clobbered on special teams. They whiffed on their four power-play chances and looked awful doing so. They also came up empty on Glencross' penalty shot. Meanwhile, the Red Wings capitalized on their one and only man-advantage opportunity.

Flames lines

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

Defence pairings

Giordano-Sarich
Bouwmeester-Staios
Regehr-White

Three Stars

  1. Tomas Holmstrom
  2. Craig Conroy
  3. Drew Miller

Fight Card

There was nothing doing in this category.

The Big Save

Miikka Kiprusoff preserved a 1-0 Flames lead in the first period by making a pad stop on Drew Miller from point-blank range and then smothering the rebound as it slid dangerously through the slot.

The Big Hit

Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom, many strides away from the relative safety of his home in the slot, was streaking down the left wing in the offensive zone when he was steamrolled by Flames blue-liner Mark Giordano.

What It Means

Calgary misses out on a chance to leapfrog the Red Wings for the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. The Wings earn a split of the four-game season series.

What's Next

The Flames are back on the road as they travel to Denver on Wednesday to face an Avalanche team they have dominated in every way but the scoreboard so far this season.

32a247e515fecc03210581093e1a5ee8
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."
Avatar
#1 Kent Wilson
March 15 2010, 10:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

Avatar
#2 Justin
March 15 2010, 10:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

A PP would have been nice if the Flames didn't suck so much on it. They also had 2 total shots on a 4 minute PP. Oi...

Avatar
#4 Rob in Toronto
March 15 2010, 10:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Jean Lefebvre

Given how lousy the Flames powerplay has been lately, I think that even if he had the choice, Sutter would have probably taken the penalty shot. Hell, I would have too.

Avatar
#6 zak
March 15 2010, 11:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

is this what it has come to ??? imagining that the flames would be winners if the NHL would change their rules?

c'mon guys. get over it. this is a team of losers. they're cooked.

Avatar
#7 jeff
March 16 2010, 12:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Flames win next six, reasoning, blind faith

Avatar
#8 Brent
March 16 2010, 12:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The second the ref signaled penalty shot, I too whispered, "We'd be better off with a penalty."

Glencross, bless his chuckwagon-sized heart, reminds me a little of a younger Shaun Donovan. Lots of speed, occasional flare, but more often than not, hands of stone.

Avatar
#9 A18
March 16 2010, 08:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The powerplay has plagued this team for some time. There have been occasions in the past where it looks dominant. Otherwise more often then not it's just two (or four) minutes in which we don't get scored on and chase the puck around the ice.

I'll keep hoping that the Flames make the playoffs until they are mathematically eliminated. Unfortunately that's what I did as a kid watching the Flames miss all those post seasons in the pre D Sutter era. Logic is telling me unless they go on a complete tear, it's going to be tough. \their schedule is the most challenging out of the teams they are fighting a spot for.

I really still can't figure our what our GM has done with the team. The margin for error is getting smaller every game. Wake up and start competing, the team still has a chance.

Avatar
#10 Arik
March 16 2010, 08:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This loss caused me to write a Dear John letter to the playoffs. I mean, Sports Club stats lists our chances at making the dance at 20%. We're finished for the year, and it should surprise nobody. The team just isn't that good anymore.

Avatar
#11 Bob Cob
March 16 2010, 09:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Dear Calgary Flames,

Thank you for taking it upon yourself to play your way out of the playoffs. As we are trying to rebuild, finally, the mess that Kevin Lowe has gotten us into as well as try to get the first overall pick, we appreciate what you are doing to make us feel included because afterall misery loves company and you guys have been playing great. Oh and one more thing, thanks for taking Staios off our hands, who says we can't get along and see you on the course. First rounds on us, Cheers!!!

Signed, The Edmonton Oilers and their fans.

Avatar
#12 Upops
March 16 2010, 09:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

No playoffs, no draft picks, no prospects, no hope.

Well done.

Avatar
#13 rubbertrout
March 16 2010, 10:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Bob Cob

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Enjoy Kotalik and Staios suckers!

Avatar
#14 Kent Wilson
March 16 2010, 10:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
rubbertrout wrote:

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Enjoy Kotalik and Staios suckers!

Don't forget Sarich...

Avatar
#15 SmellOfVictory
March 16 2010, 11:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I do believe "SUTTER" is going to become a swear word in my vocabulary pretty soon.

Avatar
#16 Domebeers.com
March 16 2010, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

No joke, that was going to be todays title on Domebeers.com. Oh well.

Avatar
#17 Kent Wilson
March 16 2010, 11:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Domebeers.com wrote:

No joke, that was going to be todays title on Domebeers.com. Oh well.

Haha, sorry man. Feel free to run with it anyways. It's highly applicable.

Avatar
#18 stilldrinkingthekoolaid
March 16 2010, 12:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Don't forget Sarich...

seconded

Avatar
#19 rubbertrout
March 16 2010, 01:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Don't forget Sarich...

I was just limiting my comment to players who previously donned the copper and blue.

Staios + Kotalik + Sarich + 6 years of Bourque's injuries + aging Kipper and Iggy = Edmonton Oilers 09/10 - first round draft picks.

Things look bleak for the future of the Flames.

Avatar
#20 RossCreekNation
March 16 2010, 02:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Its not over til the fat lad... WHAAAT?! OMG, everybody run! Its Rita McNiel...

Comments are closed for this article.