Staios era starts with a "W"

Jean Lefebvre
March 05 2010 09:30PM

The Flames didn't do so hot against Jacques Lemaire's old squad earlier this week, but they took care of business against his current club on Friday night at the Saddledome.

After finally ending a nasty goal drought that started before the Olympic break and wound up lasting 107 minutes and 45 seconds, Calgary picked up a 5-3 victory over Brent Sutter's former charges, the New Jersey Devils.

Calgary looked in full control with a 5-1 lead and less than four minutes to play, but a couple of quick strikes by the Devils made things interesting.

Sutter created a new presumptive first line by plunking Rene Bourque on the left side with Matt Stajan and Jarome Iginla and the trio accounted for a third-period insurance goal.

But it was guys like Christopher Higgins, Curtis Glencross and Eric Nystrom greasing the wheel for the Flames as the home side overcame a 1-0 first-intermission deficit. Calgary turned the contest by capitalizing on some shakiness by Martin Brodeur — Nystrom beat the Devils netminder coming and going when he scored his second-period goal — and some sloppiness by Ilya Kovalchuk, who was stripped of the puck while working the point on the power play on the sequence leading to Glencross' shorthanded marker.

All four lines took part in the offence as each contributed one even-strength goal — Stajan, Daymond Langkow, David Moss and Nystrom scored to go along with Glencross' shortie — and every forward except Jamal Mayers recorded a point.

Much talked-about defenceman Steve Staios had a very unremarkable night in his Calgary debut. Partnered with Jay Bouwmeester, Staios played 20 minutes, took a minor penalty when he grabbed Kovalchuk's stick, almost killed himself trying to deliver a hit and was minus-2. He had neither a hit nor a blocked shot.

To the best of anyone's knowledge, there were no incidents at the Flames bench involving Vesa Toskala, Calgary's other newcomer, slamming the gate on a teammate's fingers.

Oh, and in case you're interested, ex-Flame Dustin Boyd arrived in Detroit late this afternoon and wound up not dressing for his new club, the Nashville Predators, who lost 5-2 to the Red Wings.

Flames lines

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

Defence pairings

Giordano-Sarich
Bouwmeester-Staios
Regehr-White

Three Stars

  1. Curtis Glencross
  2. Eric Nystrom
  3. Zach Parise

Fight Card

Calgary's Jamal Mayers and New Jersey's David Clarkson went at it twice. The first tilt was fightfully uneventful but the fists were flying in the second bout. Clarkson scored the pinfall victory in both cases.

The Big Save

Shortly after Zach Parise had given the Devils a one-zip lead, New Jersey charged again. Dainius Zubrus made a great move and then a slick pass to set up Patrik Elias in the slot, but Miikka Kiprusoff slid across to pad away Elias' quick shot. If the Devils put that one in for 2-0, who knows how the rest of the night goes?

The Big Hit

Trying to make an early impression on his new club, Steve Staios tried to make an impression into the endboards in the shape of Ilya Kovalchuk. Just before impact, however, Kovalchuk lost his footing and hit the deck, which resulted in Staios face-planting himself into the boards. But it wasn't a totally lost cause for the Flames newcomer as the momentum of the collision brought his stick down onto the top of Kovalchuk's de-helmeted head.

What It Means

The victory allows the Flames (31-24-9) to keep pace with the Red Wings, who defeated Nashville earlier Friday evening. Calgary remains one point back of Detroit for eighth place and each club has 18 games to go, including two head-to-head confrontations.

What's Next

Calgary gets another crack at Cal Clutterbuck and the Minnesota Wild as the Flames travel to St. Paul for a Sunday matinee.

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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 walkinvisible
March 05 2010, 10:19PM
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your D pairings are a little off ---gio spent most of the night at ES paired with sarich, which might explain both the pair's +3 and the team's win....

as i said over at M&G re:#6 :

6th man mins + 3rd pairing comp + gio = steady. 2nd man mins + top pairing comp + jaybouw = a 4-0 minnesota win

regehr and white were never separated at ES, from the best of my knowledge.

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#2 SmellOfVictory
March 05 2010, 10:20PM
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Hahaha I thoroughly enjoyed the recap of the Staios hit attempt. Gave me a good Kovalchuckle.

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#4 RossCreekNation
March 05 2010, 10:30PM
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You filled in a lot of blanks for this cat, as I missed the first half of the game.

You MUST be a writer, lol - article filed before the boys were out of the shower.

Good stuff, Jean!

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#5 RossCreekNation
March 05 2010, 10:39PM
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OH MY! I just saw the attempted hit. Steve's lucky he didn't be-head himself there. Hay-Zeus!

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#6 R O
March 05 2010, 11:10PM
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Steinberg, I hope you are reading this.

You've got to stop propagating falsehoods on Overtime. "Langkow hasn't played well enough to earn a spot beside Jarome" is a verifiable falsehood. Despite playing by far the toughest minutes of all the centres on this team, Langkow has consistently moved the puck north and created more chances than he has given up.

A lot of people listen to your show, you might try to go deeper than "he hasn't scored in 21 games".

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#7 Pat Steinberg
March 05 2010, 11:40PM
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R O wrote:

Steinberg, I hope you are reading this.

You've got to stop propagating falsehoods on Overtime. "Langkow hasn't played well enough to earn a spot beside Jarome" is a verifiable falsehood. Despite playing by far the toughest minutes of all the centres on this team, Langkow has consistently moved the puck north and created more chances than he has given up.

A lot of people listen to your show, you might try to go deeper than "he hasn't scored in 21 games".

Seriously? You're defending Langkow after 1 game? Come on man, he hasn't scored in 21 games because he hasn't been playing well. He's not creating, he's giving up the puck, and he hasn't been great in his own zone.

I thought he was a Selke trophy nominee in the first half of the season. He hasn't been nearly that good in the last 20-25 games.

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#8 R O
March 05 2010, 11:45PM
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He's not creating, he's giving up the puck, and he hasn't been great in his own zone.

This is flat out not happening on the ice. He hasn't scored. We know that. But look at Kent's scoring chance numbers, he's very often on the good side of the ledger. All while playing in brutally tough minutes, against the best and often starting his shifts having to retrieve the puck out of the zone.

I mean you watch all of the games, you have to see stuff like this. There's no hope otherwise.

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#9 Pat Steinberg
March 05 2010, 11:59PM
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R O wrote:

He's not creating, he's giving up the puck, and he hasn't been great in his own zone.

This is flat out not happening on the ice. He hasn't scored. We know that. But look at Kent's scoring chance numbers, he's very often on the good side of the ledger. All while playing in brutally tough minutes, against the best and often starting his shifts having to retrieve the puck out of the zone.

I mean you watch all of the games, you have to see stuff like this. There's no hope otherwise.

I'm not with you. I'll retract the "he's not creating" part, because he's had chances at times. In fact, the first 3 games he was with Kotalik and Higgins, I was really impressed.

All I'm saying is that his play has not been as consistent or impressive in the last 20 games or so. His play defensively? Not as good...he's been out of position way more often. If you don't see that, does that mean there's no hope for you?

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#10 R O
March 06 2010, 12:09AM
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Not as good...he's been out of position way more often

Out of position eh? I mean I suppose you're right, Langkow doesn't cheat like Bertuzzi in his prime when the puck's in the Flames zone, and we all know how much of a dynamic difference maker Bertuzzi was in his tenure as a Flame.

Langkow out of position... man, that's funny. Langkow is always the first forward back and last one out, he's always providing strong support to the D when the puck's behind the Flames net, more so than Jokinen and Stajan and Boyd and Backlund *combined*.

If you want to see out of position, just think back to the deservedly-malinged Jokinen. That guy did not even play a centre's game in the defensive zone. Always hanging around above the faceoff dots looking for the cheaty-cheat breakout pass that wasn't coming because the defense were too busy getting manhandled behind the net because their centre did not provide them puck support.

But yeah, Langkow, out of position. Right.

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#11 Pat Steinberg
March 06 2010, 12:25AM
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R O wrote:

Not as good...he's been out of position way more often

Out of position eh? I mean I suppose you're right, Langkow doesn't cheat like Bertuzzi in his prime when the puck's in the Flames zone, and we all know how much of a dynamic difference maker Bertuzzi was in his tenure as a Flame.

Langkow out of position... man, that's funny. Langkow is always the first forward back and last one out, he's always providing strong support to the D when the puck's behind the Flames net, more so than Jokinen and Stajan and Boyd and Backlund *combined*.

If you want to see out of position, just think back to the deservedly-malinged Jokinen. That guy did not even play a centre's game in the defensive zone. Always hanging around above the faceoff dots looking for the cheaty-cheat breakout pass that wasn't coming because the defense were too busy getting manhandled behind the net because their centre did not provide them puck support.

But yeah, Langkow, out of position. Right.

I say that relative to how he played earlier this season...still a huge fan of how Langkow plays when he does it. But I think, say, Higgins for instance has been better defensively.

And I think you're overstating things when you say ALWAYS...but I'll keep a close eye on it and you can too, and lets chat in 10 games or so.

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#12 walkinvisible
March 06 2010, 02:00AM
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All I'm saying is that his play has not been as consistent or impressive in the last 20 games or so. His play defensively? Not as good...he's been out of position way more often. If you don't see that, does that mean there's no hope for you?

wow. that's actually kindof an infuriating quote right there...

first of all, the last twenty games have been an absolute abomination by the ENTIRE flames squad, so let's not heap "defensive" criticism on a guy who shows up every night. secondly, i'm with R.O on this one: langkow is inarguably the team's best two-way centre (if not their best FORWARD, full-stop), night in and night out, and is "in position" a great portion of the time on both sides of the red line.... and finally: in the last twenty games, poor daymond saw a veritable rotating door of wingers due to injury (both dawes and bourque spent ample time on the shelf during this period), not to mention the impact of the omnipresent brent sutter line blender.

it matters what you suggest on the radio, because the flames' faithful often blindly follow the MSM, and (like it or not) you are a big part of that.

ps: a couple of years ago both rob kerr (during a call-in on the fan) and randy sportak (in an email response) made me feel like a perfectly ill-informed girl for thinking giordano was showing the potential of being a ridiculously good blueliner... kindly bear in mind that sometimes the caller isn't wrong.

sorry for hijacking your comments thread, jean. ;)

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#13 Pat Steinberg
March 06 2010, 03:46AM
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@walkinvisible

First off, to walkinvisible, nobody is saying you're wrong. In fact, you guys are jumping on me telling me how uninformed I am for stating an opinion and backing it up. I haven't told you or RO how wrong you are...I enjoy a good conversation.

Second, if anybody follows what I say as gospel, that's on them. I go out of my way to drive home that I'm NOT an expert, nor do I have any great knowledge of the inner working of the team or the game. Never played, only have watched as a student.

Fact is, all I said is the last little while I didn't feel Langkow deserved to be on the top line. In response to a question I got...one in a LONG line of Langkow questions. That's been one of the biggest topics the last few months, and that's with me DEFENDING him for most of that time. Does that mean that all those people who have asked questions are totally uninformed and know nothing as well? By your logic, if I have so much impact, shouldn't all the questions stop? No. People form their own opinions, just like you and RO have. And I'm glad, because discussion is my favorite part of this job.

It's an opinion, and I've backed it up with why. As I said...I thought he was a Selke trophy nominee for 40+ games of the season. If you're telling me he's been as good the last 20 games or so as he was before that, I completely and 100% disagree.

That doesn't mean I'm right nor does it mean you're wrong. I liked him in this game, and I'm a huge fan.

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#15 Wanye
March 06 2010, 07:50PM
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@ Jean Lefebvre

We don't have the same type of problems up here deciding if our players are good a or not nymore. The answer has been "no" for such a depressingly long time we now debate things like "yeah, but if Whitney Houston DID go back to Bobby Brown do you think they could make it work?"*

*Actual debate topic

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#16 Bob Cob
March 07 2010, 10:49AM
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When I read "I thought Langkow was a Selke trophy nominee" I just about fell off my chair. Every player in Calgary is a nominee for something according to the media in this town, take off the rose color glasses for once. The Flames are soooo overrated its not even funny, since the '04 run (fluke), all Calgary is and will continue to be a team that has decent goaltending, not great cause lets face it Kiprsoff has gone down hill, best goalie in the league my ass, and a sub par 4 line team of 4th line checkers.

War the Flames missing the playoffs in 2010 and being in the same position as the Oilers this year in 2 or 3 years.

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#17 RossCreekNation
March 07 2010, 03:23PM
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@Bob Cob

~When I hear "I thought Horcoff was a Selke trophy nominee" I just about fell off my chair. Every player in Edmonton is a nominee for something according to the media in this town, take off the rose color glasses for once. The Oilers are soooo terrible its not even funny, since the '06 run (fluke), all Edmonton is and will continue to be a team that has brutal goaltending, cause lets face it Khabibulin is dead and Deslauriers has an uphill battle, drunkest goalie in the league, and a core full of smurfs.~

War...NNNNNT!!

Weak take pal. Check yo self before you wrecks yo self. Check Kiprusoff's numbers this year.

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#18 Bob Cob
March 07 2010, 07:30PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

~When I hear "I thought Horcoff was a Selke trophy nominee" I just about fell off my chair. Every player in Edmonton is a nominee for something according to the media in this town, take off the rose color glasses for once. The Oilers are soooo terrible its not even funny, since the '06 run (fluke), all Edmonton is and will continue to be a team that has brutal goaltending, cause lets face it Khabibulin is dead and Deslauriers has an uphill battle, drunkest goalie in the league, and a core full of smurfs.~

War...NNNNNT!!

Weak take pal. Check yo self before you wrecks yo self. Check Kiprusoff's numbers this year.

Hey I agree with you, Kevin Lowe and the rest of the Oilers brass have put the Oilers in a bad place by signing guys like Horcoff and Khabibulin to rediculous contracts, I hated when they signed Comrie too. At least Oiler fans are realistic enough to realize they need to rebuild, unlike Flames fans who think adding Stajan, an overrated and over the hill Staios and Toskala is the build up to a Stanley Cup run. With the high contracts the Flames have in Langkow, Iginla, Kiprusoff, Regher and now Stajan, if they dont produce the Flames will be in the same boat as the Oilers this year where they have stupid contracts that cant be moved, thats all I'm saying. Oh and with the exception of Backlund in the AHL who do the Flames have in their system? No one, thats who, at least the Oilers have some prospects to be excited about.

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