Postgame: The Worst Lead in Hockey

Pat Steinberg
January 17 2011 09:04PM

I don't think anyone actually saw that coming, so watching the Calgary Flames come back to force overtime after trailing 4-0 in the second period was kinda fun.  Seeing P.K. Subban roof the overtime winner 66 seconds into the extra frame probably doesn't sting Flames fans as much as it would have otherwise, as Calgary finishes a four game road trip with six of a possible eight points.

What Happened

I really don't know.  This was as odd a hockey game as I've seen, with one team seeing almost everything go in to start, and then the same thing happening at the other end in the snap of a finger.  Montreal started things off 4:27 into the first period thanks to Lars Eller who swooped home his third of the season off an offensive rush to give Montreal the lead.  After a Calgary powerplay expired, the Habs would go up by two when Jeff Halpern found Mike Cammalleri out of the penalty box; he ripped the puck past Miikka Kiprusoff to give Montreal a 2-0 lead, a bulge they'd take into the first period.

Just 3:14 into the middle frame, an Andrei Kostitsyn wrist shot would change direction off Adam Pardy's stick and beat Kiprusoff, as it seemed this thing would get out of hand for Calgary.  And it got worse at 6:34 when a scramble in front of the Calgary net resulted in a goal from Halpern, and this one seemed out of hand.  The goal chased Kiprusoff from the Flames net, as he gave way for Henrik Karlsson and this one seemed like a sure thing for the home side.  But for whatever reason, things didn't settle down and the Habs were still playing loose, and Calgary kept coming.  Rene Bourque followed up an Olli Jokinen shot at 13:26 to get things going, but it seemed like much ado about nothing.  Even when Jarome Iginla tipped home a Jay Bouwmeester shot at 18:48, it still seemed like an easy Montreal win.  Nope, it wasn't until Karlsson stopped Max Pacioretty late in the frame on a great opportunity that I started to wonder.  Calgary trailed 4-2 after two.

The comeback bid didn't take long to turn into a real live thing, as Calgary scored 97 seconds into the third period thanks to Ales Kotalik on a Jokinen drop pass and this was a one goal game, and you could tell the Habs were rattled.  The Flames continued to take advantage, and bam, we had a tie game at 2:56 when Alex Tanguay pushed home his 11th of the season, and I don't think anyone saw it coming.  That would do it for the third period offence, as Montreal finally settled things down, and so off to overtime we went.  For the record, Kent had scoring chances 5-3 in that third period.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  Did they really lose?  I mean, let's be honest, 99% of Flames fans have to be happy with the point right?  I mean, basically, this game was a write-off and the Flames put on the full court press to tie it up, so it almost seems like a bonus point on my end.  I guess when you're in a playoff race, you need every point, so I'll answer the question, stop yelling.  Hey, the Flames fell down four goals, you don't win a lot of games like that.  And they didn't on this night.

Red Warrior

Hmmmm.  I really liked Jay Bouwmeester's game tonight, after a couple of not-so-great games prior.  With Cory Sarich not returning to action for the latter half of the game after his blocked shot lead to the first Flames goal, the Flames essentially went with four defenceman, and Bouwmeester was their best.  His shot was well chosen late in the second period, and he was good at moving the play north throughout.

Sum It Up

I know the team needs two points each and every night, that's the perils of being a 14th place team, but with a four goal deficit overcome, this one smacks of a whole lot more positive than negative.  Two questions come from this one.  First off, does this inspire even a little bit more from a hot Flames team going in their game against the Wild on Wednesday?  And how much scrutiny is Miikka Kiprusoff going to be under for the next few days?

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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 wattree
January 17 2011, 09:29PM
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I can't believe that they didn't roll over and play dead the rest of the way. I don't think this team is as fragile as they were a month ago. They just didn't let up. It was actually nice to see. I know a lot of people keep saying we need to lose, but that is sure hard to watch. Plus I don't think that you can start a rebuild until you have Jokinen an Kotalik off the books.

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#2 Palt
January 17 2011, 09:32PM
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Tonight made me kinda wonder, Whos better:

Pardy or Mikkelson?

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#3 wattree
January 17 2011, 09:33PM
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Quick poll:

Which is worse, appearing in a commercial for the all-star game that you haven't been invited to, or having your likeness in said commercial be altered to not show your name, but having everyone know it's you.

Eat it Bobby Lou.

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#4 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 09:53PM
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Palt wrote:

Tonight made me kinda wonder, Whos better:

Pardy or Mikkelson?

Tonight Mikkelson.Who took the reins off Pardy and gave him the greenlight to be an offense gambler. That in itself has to be anwered. Brutal decision making. Some genius on the coaching staff planted a bug in his ear.Games against TO and the Sens are not too be factored in too greatly.

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#5 George.T.
January 17 2011, 09:55PM
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The next 19 game will tell us if we are trading anyone...15 of those are at home. If they get 30 of the next 38pts, "the feast" isn't making any big moves. Feb's the most pivotal month on this calendar year for the boys in red, either way this is gonna be a fun ride!!

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#6 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 10:16PM
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George.T. wrote:

The next 19 game will tell us if we are trading anyone...15 of those are at home. If they get 30 of the next 38pts, "the feast" isn't making any big moves. Feb's the most pivotal month on this calendar year for the boys in red, either way this is gonna be a fun ride!!

30 out of 38. wow thats 780 hockey.Possible but highly improbable.

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#7 BCFLAME
January 18 2011, 12:21AM
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Lol, if the Flames can garner 30 out of a possible 38 points in their next 19 games, forget about making the playoffs, this team will be a Stanley Cup favorite. Not likely, though.

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#8 lon.17
January 18 2011, 12:31AM
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yup we got it in the bag!! stanleycup champs for sure,i even think were gonna get 37/38 of next points!this is our year guaranteed!!go flames go!!

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#9 Sean Elekes
January 18 2011, 03:08AM
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Another great birthday present a 5-4 loss. Hey, at least it wasn't a 9-1 kick to the teeth like last year. I think I might stop making wishes. Is it to much to ask for Rick Nash?

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#10 the-wolf
January 18 2011, 06:13AM
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Not to be a downer, but anyone who thinks the flames are going to keep up this pace for another 38 games or whatever are dreaming. They'll fall off the cliff eventually. Right now we seem to be largely benefiting from a combination of poor teams and poor showings from the better teams. As the season wears on and all the rest of the teams start to increase their own efforts in the annual ramp-up towards the playoffs I think Calgary will fall out.

Ditto for NJ and NYI, these teams and Calgary are just making the push early. Calgary, especially, with their advanced age, will fall short. But not before ruining their draft position.

The other thing, I think, is that guys Kotalik and Jokinen have seen the writing on the wall as far as their careers go and have upped their compete levels.

I think Darryl being gone has bouyed the mood in the room and happier players make better players.

And we got some points solely off the fact that our bottom 6 are a lot better than other teams' bottom 6.

Which is all good, but my original point will trump the other point seventually.

Also makes me think that instead of rebuilding, Jay will merely try to add another offensive stud to the top 6 in yet another vain effort to remain competitive.

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#11 George.T.
January 18 2011, 07:04AM
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that was 15 of 19 games = 30 of 38 pts fellas!!

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#12 PrairieStew
January 18 2011, 07:45AM
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12 of next 14 before the outdoor game are against Western Conference opponents.

Every time I look at the schedule - I say we will know for sure soon which direction to head. Just when I think it's over they get points in 8 of 10. When I start to think they have got a shot they lose 3 in a row to WC opponents.

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#13 funkyjaman
January 18 2011, 11:17AM
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the_wolf wrote: Calgary, especially, with their advanced age, will fall short.

You are trying to make it sound as if these guys are 60+. They are in there late 20's early 30's it not that big a deal. Unless of course you are a heavy smoking, drinking, eating drugged up red neck living in momas basement. Which these guys are not.

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#14 the forgotten man
January 18 2011, 12:13PM
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Before some of us start booking our seat on the parade route, these are the 2 biggest facts:

25th best powerplay

21st best penalty kill

With those numbers this team is going nowhere - period/full stop.

If these numbers continue to hover in this range by the end of year, then its time to say Adios Butter et al. Special teams is the one category that falls on the Coaching staff...the rest you can blame on the players.

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#15 the-wolf
January 18 2011, 12:42PM
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funkyjaman wrote:

the_wolf wrote: Calgary, especially, with their advanced age, will fall short.

You are trying to make it sound as if these guys are 60+. They are in there late 20's early 30's it not that big a deal. Unless of course you are a heavy smoking, drinking, eating drugged up red neck living in momas basement. Which these guys are not.

Some sarcasm was intended there, but also some truth. Calgary has had a hard time this season and last with teams that are young and fast. The NHL is tailored around those teams now (except Deroit it seems, but they don't lack for skill). Regardless of the shape you're in legs in their early and mid 20's recover faster and go longer and harder than legs in their late 20's and early 30's.

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#16 icedawg_42
January 18 2011, 01:03PM
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2 of the last 3 games were against some of the league's worst. The Flames' "hot streak" is misleading because 4 of those 6 points are loser points. I fear the Flames will continue to garner enough of these type of points until it's too close to the trade deadline to really 'retool' - so I think that we might not see significant moves until the summer. The team's heart and push are fun to watch, sure, but clawing their way to a 9th spot finish on the back of a bunch of single point OT appearances will only sentence this team to more years of mediocrity (at best).

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#17 JF
January 18 2011, 01:26PM
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I hate to be a Debbie Downer but c'mon, yes we got 6 out of a possible 8 on the road trip with the net result being that we've gone from 14th in the WC to... 14th in the WC.

Sorry, just seems like false hope to me.

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#18 PrairieStew
January 18 2011, 01:45PM
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@JF

It's tough to watch. After the Vancouver game ( game 41) they were 6 points out of 8th and 8 points out of 4th. The only thing that has changed over the past 5 games is now they are 9 points out of 4th.

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#19 PrairieStew
January 18 2011, 01:48PM
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@icedawg_42

Loser points are fine if you are gaining them against the Eastern teams or the top 3 or 4 in the West - because these don't affect the ability of the Flames to make or not make the playoffs. Against WC opponents you need the outright wins, because loser points mean someone you are chasing just got 2 and you only got 1.

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#20 funkyjaman
January 18 2011, 01:50PM
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@the-wolf

Ya your right, but I am trying to be an optimist in the times of extreme negativity and pessimism. Back in the good old days a win was a win and a loss a loss. Pretty cut and dry! Now everyone gets down on a team/ player for age, corsi, zone starts blah, blah, blah even if the team wins or gets an extra point. We all get it, the team's not living up to expectation. Move on, look forward, we could be Winnipeg or Quebec!

sorry I felt like a minor rant, GFG!!

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#21 icedawg_42
January 18 2011, 01:51PM
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PrairieStew wrote:

It's tough to watch. After the Vancouver game ( game 41) they were 6 points out of 8th and 8 points out of 4th. The only thing that has changed over the past 5 games is now they are 9 points out of 4th.

I would add that another thing that has changed is that the Flames have overtaken Buffalo and Florida in the overall league standings....now out of the top 5 at draft time. Most people probably wont care at this point of the season, but I'm having a recurring nightmare of a 9th place finish and drafting a "possible future NHL'er" instead of a "possible future star"

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#22 FireOnIce
January 18 2011, 02:02PM
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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/think-darryl-sutter-got-a-raw-deal/article1874470/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Wow, so Sutter was offered Fleischmann for Regehr... good thing we fired his ass. What a maroon.

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#23 icedawg_42
January 18 2011, 02:28PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/think-darryl-sutter-got-a-raw-deal/article1874470/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Wow, so Sutter was offered Fleischmann for Regehr... good thing we fired his ass. What a maroon.

Think Feaster will/would do differently? Im not so warm and fuzzy on that.

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#24 B
January 18 2011, 02:44PM
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@FireOnIce

...IMO Fleischmann is overrated. Petty article.

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#25 Vintage Flame
January 18 2011, 03:22PM
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Fleischmann has scored 8 goals and 12 assists with the Avs in 21 games.. Not bad..

Had he come to the Flames, he'd probably would have had 5 assists and been injured by now...

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#26 Jay
January 18 2011, 03:44PM
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well 20 points looks pretty good, and he might offer a glimmer of hope. besides we still have JBO's contract and Staios to worry about.... tell me again why we picked up Staios ?

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#27 Vintage Flame
January 18 2011, 04:08PM
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@Jay

Good question Jay? I STILL shake my head at the fact that we actually TRADED someone to get Staios... Unreal.. Now I'm all mad again!

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#28 CitizenFlame
January 18 2011, 04:16PM
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Just out of curiousity, is now a good time to randomly praise Iginla's leadership qualities as Captain of this team? As so many had ripped his leadership qualities when the team was fragile and freefalling.

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#29 SmellOfVictory
January 18 2011, 05:49PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/think-darryl-sutter-got-a-raw-deal/article1874470/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Wow, so Sutter was offered Fleischmann for Regehr... good thing we fired his ass. What a maroon.

Sutter did the right thing. Regehr is a #1 shutdown defenceman on almost any team in the league; Fleischmann is an okay 2nd liner. Sarich for Fleischmann I would agree with, but Regehr for Fleischmann would be a horrible, horrible deal for the Flames.

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#30 BCFLAME
January 18 2011, 08:39PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

Before some of us start booking our seat on the parade route, these are the 2 biggest facts:

25th best powerplay

21st best penalty kill

With those numbers this team is going nowhere - period/full stop.

If these numbers continue to hover in this range by the end of year, then its time to say Adios Butter et al. Special teams is the one category that falls on the Coaching staff...the rest you can blame on the players.

Well said, Forgotten Man.

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#31 BCFLAME
January 18 2011, 08:39PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

Before some of us start booking our seat on the parade route, these are the 2 biggest facts:

25th best powerplay

21st best penalty kill

With those numbers this team is going nowhere - period/full stop.

If these numbers continue to hover in this range by the end of year, then its time to say Adios Butter et al. Special teams is the one category that falls on the Coaching staff...the rest you can blame on the players.

Well said, Forgotten Man.

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#32 the-wolf
January 19 2011, 05:55AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Sutter did the right thing. Regehr is a #1 shutdown defenceman on almost any team in the league; Fleischmann is an okay 2nd liner. Sarich for Fleischmann I would agree with, but Regehr for Fleischmann would be a horrible, horrible deal for the Flames.

After some reflection on this, yeah. Regehr is too much. Sarich would’ve been more appropriate. Maybe Sutter tried that, who knows? Maybe Regehr did invoke his NTC, who knows? The bad part is that Fleischmann is a UFA this summer, I would not have given more than Sarich. Regehr is worth substantially more, especially at the deadline.

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#33 PrairieStew
January 19 2011, 07:30AM
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@the-wolf

Definetly in the camp of supporting Darryl in this non move. With Fleischman's contract expiring and RR signed up for 2 more years beyond this year - we would sure need a whole lot more to make that deal. A marginal improvement on the top 6 forwards for only this year is not enough return for an asset like RR.

Maki's article is petty, trying to convince people that Sutter deserved to get fired. I think we all knew it was time to move on, and I bet he did too.

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#34 icedawg_42
January 19 2011, 08:04AM
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I had no idea Fleichman was a pending UFA....Reggie for that? Give me a break!

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