Postgame: Pretty Close

Pat Steinberg
February 22 2011 10:09PM

The Boston Bruins were the better team Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames, and thus were full marks for their 3-1 win on the road.  Yet, This was a 1-0 game for the majoirty of the night, and the Flames were able to hang with a pretty good Boston team, a team many are pointing to as a contender out of the East.  They played a fairly solid hockey game, and on this night, fell short.

What Happened

This sucker got going early with the Flames getting a pretty quality scoring chance right off the hop before the Bruins went right back the other way and opened the scoring just 59 seconds in.  An odd man rush sent David Krejci and Milan Lucic in, and a hard Krejci pass found Lucic going hard to the net; his tap in was good for his 25th of the season and had the Bruins up 1-0.  Boston really controlled the first period, finishing ahead in the scoring chance count, with a 7-3 advantage.

The second period was much the same, with the Bruins doing a nice job limiting Calgary's offensive zone time to perimiter shots, many of which didn't get through.  Boston's strong job of keeping the home side to the outside was the story of the game, yet Bruins goalie Tim Thomas did need to make a few ten bell saves in the opening 40 minutes.  A strange Curtis Glencross double minor for high sticking carried over from the second to the third.

Calgary was able to kill off the entire four minutes, and when the powerplay time was done, the Flames were still only down by one.  But it didn't take long for the Bruins to score their second, with Boston's Patrice Bergeron keeping a play alive and after the puck was worked quickly around the perimiter, it lead to a scoring chance.  After taking a nice pass, Andrew Ference's shot got touched by Bergeron and stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff, before Brad Marchand hammered home the rebound to give the visitors a little breathing room.  A late Bergeron slashing call gave the Flames a chance on the powerplay, and they'd make good with a nice little passing play finishing with a deft cross crease Jarome Iginla pass finding Curtis Glencross for his 20th of the season at 17:27.  But with an empty net, the Bruins would seal it with just 47 seconds remaining as Lucic would tap home his second of the game and 26th of the season.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  They didn't do a good enough job of converting their possession and offensive zone time into quality scoring chances.  The Bruins held Calgary to 12 even strength scoring chances, and lets not forget, the Flames were chasing for almost the entire game.  Calgary had some odd man rushes and botched them, they had some good opportunities thwarted by a blocked shot, and of course, they ran into the NHL's best goalie in Tim Thomas a few times.

Red Warrior

I liked Robyn Regehr's game tonight.  We all know who he plays against and we all know the role he plays, and there were a few times where he used his savvy and his vision to turn a potential scoring chance for Boston into nothing.  I know he finished -1 and in the minus on the scoring chance count, but that'll happen sometimes, because overall I felt he had a pretty good night.

Sum It Up

Boston was the better team tonight, yet it wasn't as if they went out and dominated the Calgary Flames.  When we talk about the Flames playing their game and giving them a chance to win, this was the perfect example.  They continued doing the things that have made them successful for the most part on this night, and ran into a team that played their game too...and that team won, yet the Flames still were close and still had a chance to tie the game up late.

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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 FireOnIce
February 23 2011, 12:18AM
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For the most part it seemed to me as if the Flames just couldn't hold onto the puck. They'd break into the offensive zone and lose the puck quickly. Every time they shot, it came back out and the defenders couldn't hold it in.

They also ran into a semi-god like Tim Thomas. Glencross' goal seemed to be the only way to stop him - trick Thomas out of position and make a beauty pass to an open player. Too many shots into Thomas' glove and chest.

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#2 Vintage Flame
February 23 2011, 12:29AM
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Thomas was impressive tonight. IMO, the only reason Boston won this one was the play of Thomas.

As I said on Twitter, it looked like the Flames had a Heritage Classic hangover. The passing was sloppy and there wasn't much signs of puck pursuit by the Flames in the 1st period. They did pick up the play in the 2nd, but Thomas was as they say, "Equal to the task". Not to take anything away from Miikka either, cause he made some sick saves tonight as well.

1 REALLY bad line change and an open slot shot was all the Bruins needed, but I wasn't impressed with the teams play on a whole. Like i said, If not for Thomas, the 2 pts were going the other way.

My 2 cents anyways.

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#3 JF
February 23 2011, 07:25AM
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The Flames were... not good last night. seemed like they couldn't hold onto the puck for more then 5 seconds at times. Maybe tired from the HC, maybe just an off game, maybe the Bruins are just that damn good. Who knows, not much to do other then brush it off and get back to work.

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#4 icedawg_42
February 23 2011, 07:26AM
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Give Boston full marks for the win - I think as a group they help TT's numbers greatly. Boston fights hard on the boards and in the corners, collapse FAST on their net, and block a ton of shots. If you looked at almost any zone penetration last night, the puck carrier was literally swarmed by Boston Bruins. The Flames didn't get inside, lots of shots from the outside, but not enough crashing/crowding the crease - and that's due to Boston's positioning and winning battles. All in all Calgary played a decent game, just needed to start like they finished. I thought Jackman had a couple good shifts, but this was a game that needed to be a very "Jackman" style game from everyone, and it just wasnt. Tonight all those California teams can REALLY do a number on the Flames playoff position - when do all these teams finally make up some of these games in hand for real!!??

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#5 icedawg_42
February 23 2011, 07:31AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

Thomas was impressive tonight. IMO, the only reason Boston won this one was the play of Thomas.

As I said on Twitter, it looked like the Flames had a Heritage Classic hangover. The passing was sloppy and there wasn't much signs of puck pursuit by the Flames in the 1st period. They did pick up the play in the 2nd, but Thomas was as they say, "Equal to the task". Not to take anything away from Miikka either, cause he made some sick saves tonight as well.

1 REALLY bad line change and an open slot shot was all the Bruins needed, but I wasn't impressed with the teams play on a whole. Like i said, If not for Thomas, the 2 pts were going the other way.

My 2 cents anyways.

Yeah - I agree that it looked like the Flames were having trouble getting used to normal puck movement again...They're going to need to be especially sharp in March, cause their opponents ain't gonna get any easier!

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#6 B
February 23 2011, 10:28AM
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BOB MACKENZIE tweeted earlier today:

CGY puts Ales Kotalik on re-entry waivers, BUF puts Craig Rivet on waivers, PHI puts Nik Zherdev on waivers, NSH puts on Marek Svatos.

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#7 Scott
February 23 2011, 10:36AM
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I don't kow whether I want Kotalik picked up at half price or not. If he does go to the KHL next year, does the half priced salary come off our books? Either way it just eats the salary cap for this year. Interesting move... Mostly in a negative way.. He isn't going to play for us is he?

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