Postgame: Heritage Victory

Kent Wilson
February 20 2011 07:53PM

 

 

Flames braved the cold and jumped into 6th in the Western Conference this evening by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-0. The conditions weren't ideal, with chippy, fragile ice and bitter winds, but Calgary kept things exceedingly simple and rode a dominant first period to a relatively easy victory.

What Happened

Calgary hopped on the visitors right away, exploiting a couple of early PP's to record the games first six scoring chances, culminating in Bourque's first of the evening during a 5-on-3. Montreal had trouble regaining their footing in the first frame and were ultimately outchanced 12-2 by my count and probably lucky to be down by just one heading into the first intermission.

The Habs managed to push back a bit to start the second and were actually handily outshooting and outchancing Calgary for the first 10 minutes or so before twin strikes by Bourque (ES) and Babchuk (SHG) swung things back into Calgary's favor for the rest of the frame. Chances ended up 8-8 despite Montreal's initial push back, which reflects how well the Flames held off the chasing visitors. Bouncing pucks, bad ice and a near total lack of hitting limited the contest to a very simplistic formula of dump-in, dump-out and take advantage of a bouce or two when you can. Calgary got the lion's share of odd-man rushes via this method, thus their superior chance numbers in the end.

The game was mostly a formailty by the third. The Canadiens started running up the shot totals, but they were mostly shunted to the outside in the offensive zone and only marginally outchanced the Flames as a result. Calgary put things away with another PP marker, this time with Iginla feeding Tanguay for a tap-in.

One Good Reason...

...Why the Flames won? They were by far the better team when the score was in doubt and were highly successful at limiting the Habs to just a handful of quality scoring chances for the rest of the game. Flames depth was again the difference in this one, particularly with the Bourque, Stajan and Kostopolous mostly beating up on Pouliot, Desharnais and Cammalleri. The Flames big guns from Iginla to Bouwmeester ended up well under water in terms of possession, but again were never really in trouble at any point in this one.

Red Warrior

This one's easy. Rene Bourque, who has had a tough season this year after signing his big, fat contract extension last year was something of his old self this evening. The previously ineffectual winger scored two goals, was in the black in terms of possession and fired a game-high 11 shots on net. That's the same amount of shots h'ed managed in the previous four games combined.

I don't know if this is a one-off or if Bourque is finallty ready to awaken from his four and half month slumber, but either way he stole the show this evening.

Sum Up

Calgary was the better team top-to-bottom this evening. They overcame some of the isses afflicting the venue and kept their game simple enough to limit the gaffes and chances against. Calgary's depth and special teams were superior this eve

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Backburner52
February 20 2011, 08:22PM
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It was a good game and a great experience! I don't even care that I lost feeling in my toes and fingers half way through the game, watching the Flames shutout the Habs was worth the discomfort. I may be a tad caught up in the moment, but I will still say GO FLAMES GO!

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#2 Jarom
February 20 2011, 09:49PM
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This is great for Bourque's confidence I think. He didn't look slow and lazy out there. He was driving the net and letting shots go. He could have easily had a hat trick tonight if it weren't for Price. Let's hope his strong play continues into the playoffs.

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#3 BCFLAME
February 20 2011, 10:07PM
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Bourque has quietly put up 19 goals this season, despite inconsistent efforts. Imagine what he is capable of if he keeps playing like tonight.

Bourque was easily the best player out there tonight, and can actually be the best player on this team if he decides to play like this consistently. He has been playing better for sure over the last few games, as well.

However, I do not think his more "perimeter" play over much of this year have been symptomatic of a lack of effort. He was on fire to start the season, but in our first game against the Red Wings he was hit by Abdelkator very awkwardly and thereafter refrained from playing the physical/finesse game he is capable of.

I truly think an upper body ailment prevented him from playing his style, and hopefully he has now fully recovered from it. Bourque is not a player to sit smugly on a big, fat paycheque. He's been a warrior his whole career.

Great game!!!!GFG!!!!

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#4 RossCreekNation
February 20 2011, 10:22PM
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Courtesy Adrian Dater:

Rumors – yup, I’ve heard a few. I have no real confidence in this one, but I’ve heard this one going around the water cooler. Ready?
Stastny, TJ Galiardi and maybe a pick/another player to Los Angeles for Jack Johnson, Jonathan Bernier and Jarret Stoll.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/avs/2011/02/20/avs-now-with-five-centers-whos-going-to-go/6559/

Elliotte Friedman than chimed in with this:

@adater if it makes you feel any better, I've heard a variation of the same thing

And then, from Dave Pagnotta from TheFourthPeriod...

Way too much chatter coming from the rockies... Hearing Avalanche closing in on another potentially big trade.

I'm not so sure about the specific rumor involving Jack Johnson, but I can't help but think Paul Stastny could be on the move.

BIG THINGS POPPIN'

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#5 Vintage Flame
February 20 2011, 11:04PM
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@RossCreekNation

I really hope this trade doesn't happen with LA. Going to really add to LA.. We don't need that.

Might be a good start for Bernier in Colorado since he is greatly out-shadowed in LA. You would have to assume that would mean the end of Budaj in the Rockies.. No loss there.

I cringe next year at looking at Erik and Jack Johnson on that blue line.. wow.. Good potential.

Damn I hate seeing trades that benefit.. well, not us!

Edit: Reports are CBJ could claim Sheldon Souray

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#6 walkinvisible
February 20 2011, 11:52PM
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newsboy asked me, postgame, what the best part was and i noted that it was the pyro on the first goal. i also loved the C and RED in the american anthem, but now that you post this photo, i think the best part WAS the team saluting the fans euro/rangers style.

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#7 walkinvisible
February 20 2011, 11:55PM
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i also think regehr could EASILY have taken the red warrior title tonight. from where i was sitting, he absolutely manhandled the opposition and was probably as instrumental in kippy's shutout as kippy himself.

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#8 Rude
February 21 2011, 12:23AM
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I missed it all. Had to work god damn it!!! I could punch my job in the balls right now. The radio in my truck died the other day so it made for some frustrating miles today. Great to hear Bourque tore it up today. I still haven't lost hope for him

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#9 FireOnIce
February 21 2011, 01:03AM
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Despite the dominating score, still a great game to watch. The pass by Iggy to Tanguay for the 4th goal, what a beaut (though it may have had some help from the Montreal defender).

Also: holy crap on a stick. If LA/COL pull off that trade... wow, just, wow. Certainly a full on rebuild for the Avs at this point if that happens. 10 game slide might do that to anyone I'm afraid.

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#10 FireOnIce
February 21 2011, 01:06AM
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RE: LA/COL trade

Somehow, I doubt Jack Johnson would be in play. He has been having a career year and they just paid him handsomely. Doughty has been somewhat of a slag this season so I don't see how getting rid of one of the bright spots on LA's D would do them any good. And for Stastny and Gagliardi?

TJ has had some wrist issues ever since being mooshed by Iggy earlier this season. Broke his wrist then, and his wrist is busted again now.

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#11 CitizenFlame
February 21 2011, 02:02AM
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The HC was awesome! Loved every second of it. Only wish I could watch it on TV now so I could get a better feel for the play. At times it was difficult to follow because of the sun and distance. I feel for the Habs fans as they were way more engaged than their team appeared to be. I definitely got caught up in the atmosphere, but that was a fantastic experience and the cold was pretty much a non-factor for me. Most importantly, the Flames secure another two points. Glad you mentioned the lack of hitting Kent, because that was something that really stood out to me during this game. I thought Glencross was the only Flames forward that threw a check the entire game.

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#12 That_Angela
February 21 2011, 08:29AM
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Goddamn, it was fun to be a part of that yesterday. I didn't care how cold my feet got.

I packed my point and shoot and if you're interested in seeing the results, they're on my Flickr at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/exploreab/sets/72157625974586251/with/5463688301/

Some of the shots are grainy and soft but I didn't want to subject my D200 to the temperatures.

If you were there, I hope you had as much fun as I did. If you weren't, I can't believe you missed it.

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