Postgame: It's All Good

Pat Steinberg
January 15 2011 08:31PM

Hey, it wasn't exactly the script the Calgary Flames would have wanted to play out Saturday night in Toronto, but after a late Leafs goal sent things to extra time, the Flames were able to use three consecutive shootout goals to reclaim two points in a 2-1 win.  It extends Calgary's point streak to four games and gets them back to the magical .500 mark.

What Happened

Um, to be honest, in the opening 40 minutes, not a whole lot happened.  The first period saw Calgary get some scoring opportunities but were unable to convert on them, and even with outshooting the Leafs 11-6, this game was scoreless heading into the second period.  Calgary did run the first period though, as they had possession and were able to generate some good things down low.

Toronto was able to reel things in a little bit and actually outchanced the Flames by Kent's count, although it was a pretty non-descript second period.  As Toronto settled things down, the majority of the period saw both teams playing things pretty close to the vest, which I guess you can expect.  So, no scoring in the second, and after two periods of play the game remained scoreless.

Calgary would open the scoring well past the midway mark of the third period, and it was the former Leaf Matt Stajan getting them on the board.  Niklas Hagman did a nice job of moving the puck to the front of the net from the right corner, and after a goal mouth scramble, Stajan would bang home the garbage for his third or the season and first in 12 games.  That would put the full court press on for Toronto, and a few Miikka Kiprusoff saves later, we were into the waning minutes of the game.  A lazy Ales Kotalik hooking penalty on a Phil Kessel chance would put Toronto on a late powerplay, and with just 13 seconds remaining, they'd cash in.  Mikhail Grabovski fired home a rebound from the right side of the crease for his 18th of the season, and off to overtime we went.

Toronto had the bulk of the chances early on in the extra frame, until a Nikolai Kulemin penalty saw Calgary get a chance on a 4-on-3 powerplay.  They didn't do a whole lot with it, and off to a shootout, and what a weird shootout it was.  After Tyler Bozak scored and Rene Bourque was stopped, things looked bleak...until three consecutive goals came off the sticks of Alex Tanguay, Kotalik and Olli Jokinen (Colby Armstrong scored for TO).  Jokinen's would come in extra shooters after Grabovski was stopped, and the Flames would come away with two points and a 2-1 win.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames won?  They won the shootout, basically.  It was a game where both teams seemed to be skating in quicksand, and neither team really controlled things.  I thought Toronto was the better team for the latter half of the game, but it wasn't markedly slanted or anything like that.  They stuck with it in the shootout, scored three times in succession, and got the two points.

Red Warrior

I'll give her to Matt Stajan.  He scored the only goal and centred the best Flames trio on the night, and hey, it was a pretty big game for him in his first visit to Toronto since January 31st of last year.  That line has played some pretty good hockey over the first three games of this road trip, which is encouraging, as Stajan, Hagman and Curtis Glencross were not strong for a long period of time.

Sum It Up

Fact of the matter is, as much as people don't want to see them win right now, they're doing a pretty solid job of pulling out points when they need to.  Are they playing incredible hockey?  No, but they're finding ways over a 10 game span, with 14 points over that time.  That's .700 hockey.  Just sayin!

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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 SmellOfVictory
January 15 2011, 08:56PM
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Coincidentally, I was watching Tombstone today. That is all I have to add. I don't think there's any real hockey-related discussion to be had for at least another 10 games, to be honest (at which point we can probably know with certainty whether or not the Flames will be dead in the water for this season).

But yeah, boring game, and not great for any of my fantasy hockey stuff.

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#2 negrilcowboy
January 15 2011, 09:35PM
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@SmellOfVictory

With the exception of Minny, these next 10 games are not a cakewalk by any means. A ton of tough teams,the next 2 weeks is gut check time.

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#3 GermanFlame
January 15 2011, 10:01PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

With the exception of Minny, these next 10 games are not a cakewalk by any means. A ton of tough teams,the next 2 weeks is gut check time.

Nashville, Dallas and St Louis in my eyes, are teams the Flames need to beat in order to stay in the race for the playoff spot.

IMO, Those are the teams that the will be contending for that final playoff spot.

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#4 GermanFlame
January 15 2011, 10:01PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

With the exception of Minny, these next 10 games are not a cakewalk by any means. A ton of tough teams,the next 2 weeks is gut check time.

Nashville, Dallas and St Louis in my eyes, are teams the Flames need to beat in order to stay in the race for the playoff spot.

IMO, Those are the teams that the will be contending for that final playoff spot.

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#5 negrilcowboy
January 15 2011, 10:24PM
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GermanFlame wrote:

Nashville, Dallas and St Louis in my eyes, are teams the Flames need to beat in order to stay in the race for the playoff spot.

IMO, Those are the teams that the will be contending for that final playoff spot.

Add the Kings,Sharks,Ducks,Avs.The next 10 games are all big games, not only do thet have to make up ground, but losses also loose you ground.The second 10 out from here are equally difficult.

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#6 dustin642
January 15 2011, 10:48PM
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I tweeted about it a few times tonight, but I would like to point out how well Adam Pardy has played the last 2 games. He finished the night tonight with just under 26 minutes of ice time, led the team at EV in ice time with just under 24 minutes, made smart plays just about every shift. He has been the reason why the Flames blue line has not missed Reggie these last couple games. If it's a minutes thing with Pardy, once Regehr gets back, maybe giving Pardy a shot in the top 4 with Gio, JBo, and Reggie. That and Im all for keeping Cory Sarich on the bench a little bit more.

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#7 BCFLAME
January 15 2011, 11:02PM
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dustin642 wrote:

I tweeted about it a few times tonight, but I would like to point out how well Adam Pardy has played the last 2 games. He finished the night tonight with just under 26 minutes of ice time, led the team at EV in ice time with just under 24 minutes, made smart plays just about every shift. He has been the reason why the Flames blue line has not missed Reggie these last couple games. If it's a minutes thing with Pardy, once Regehr gets back, maybe giving Pardy a shot in the top 4 with Gio, JBo, and Reggie. That and Im all for keeping Cory Sarich on the bench a little bit more.

Wow, thanks for pointing out the minutes he logged. Was at work and only got to watch the third period, so he really didn't stick out. But maybe he's got more potential than a third pairing defender? It sure seemed like he could crack the top 4 2 years ago, and here's hoping his play continues to improve.

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#8 Palt
January 15 2011, 11:51PM
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I wish Conroy had smacked Phaneuf in the face.

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#9 BCFLAME
January 16 2011, 12:04AM
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Well, we won two against the cellar dwellers of the east. Now the the real fun starts, and I'm hoping my beloved Flames choke all the way to a lottery pick, instead of 9-11 position.

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#10 MC Hockey
January 16 2011, 12:53AM
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Weird game and shockingly nice to see Flames win the shootout from behind after giving the Leaf-lets a chance with the late goal. Flames need to keep up solid efforts like last 10 games and they may just keep those slim playoff hopes alive for 7 more weeks (trade deadline). That happening would make Jay Feaster's job harder if he is still unsure of the season's likely ending so will be unsure to make trades or not. I have a feeling little will happen, hope I am wrong and Flames either bring in top-notch scoring centre or a bunch of young guys. Who the heck knows, that's why they play the games and make the trade decisions.

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#11 B
January 16 2011, 01:01AM
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Go Flames go ;)

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#12 Jarom
January 16 2011, 08:57AM
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@BCFLAME

This is the fact. We barely managed to beat 2 mediocre teams. Are we really content with just squeeking into the playoffs and saying "Once you're in anything can happen?" I want game seven in Calgary for the cup, the red mile and all the hoopla that goes with it! If the goal isn't a cup win then we're on the worng track.

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#13 Gange
January 16 2011, 10:51AM
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What was of note here is Kipper playing a solid game.

Perhaps we can tank the talk of trading him. It would be the worst move you could make at this time.

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#14 lonnie
January 16 2011, 03:47PM
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flames

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#15 lon.17
January 16 2011, 04:11PM
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if the flames can stay inspired,every one on the team,and play full out they can go all the way!! stanley cup winners for sure!!ha ha gio is just gonna go end to end all day long, and tangs is gonna float a backhand saucer through 10 guys to feed iggy whos gonna put it top corner post and in!but thats only after reggie and sarich sandwich all 3 forwards on any Opposing team,like jam in my toast!oh and if the other team gets any shots,kipper will stop them upside down no big deal!!oh and ollie ollie will be lettin his lazer beam snap shots go all night, along with his shootout snipes in the bag!come on boys this is our year hands down!!GO FLAMES GO!!!!

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