February 12 2013 12:02AM
You would think with all the new players on both sides of the rosters, that we might be in for a different style of game that we've become so accustomed to when the Flames and the Wild. With guys like Parise and Suter on the Wild, they're bound to be more open and less of the trap right? With the Flames now having a decent power-play, thanks to guys like Wideman and creative playmaking from the likes of Hudler and Cervenka; they'd be able to create more offensive chances for Calgary, right?
yaaaaaawwwwn.. Um No.
Instead it was the same ol' game style that we always see from these two games, which meant it was inevitably going to come down the goaltending. Backstom and Irving. Who would stay
awake alert enough to keep their team in it until the end?
Well, it went all the way to the shoot-out where Irving was just out of his element against the Wild's shooters, and that would be the end of that.
It was pretty much the same story throughout all three periods and even overtime. Most of the play would stay between the two bluelines, creating very little in offensive chances.
As Kent mentioned in the FGD thread, you would have been hard pressed to find either team complete three consecutive passes.
When you are watching a game like that, it's not hard to lose track of what's happened... mostly because you've nodded off.
No worries, you didn't miss anything in the first. Shots were 8-7 in favour of the Mild and they also held the edge in *ahem* scoring chances 4-3. Both teams had one powe-play each, but no one scored; so we went to the intermission knotted at zeros on the scoreboard. See, nothin'.
So that means after the first being a "feeling out" period for the teams, they would come out skating in the second, right? Wrong.
Second verse... same as the first... Both teams exchanged power-plays again, but no, no one scored on those ones either. Calgary didn't exactly take it to the Wild, but they did out play them. However, even though they would double up the Wild's chances (4-2), it would be Minnesota that would wake up their goal judge first. With a little under two minute left in the period, Jarome Iginla would cough up the puck trying to clear the zone along the boards. The puck would land on Devon Setoguchi's stick right in front of Irving. As Irving tried to set for the shot, Setoguchi would throw the puck over to Kyle Broziak. Irving kicked over to cover the new shooter, but really over-played the slide. Brodziak would walk around Leland and put the puck in the empty net.
Sigh.. Shots were 10-10, but with the first major gaffe of the game, the Flames found themselve down 1-0.
The third looked promising when Minnesota would turn the puck over at the Flames blueline. Hudler would break in on the Wild with Cervenka on a 2 on 1, and after looking Roman off, would snipe a wrister past Backstrom to tie the game up.
Both teams would again exchange power-plays, but yeah, no one scored on those ones either. The Flames held the
massive edge in scoring chances 2-1, Dominated the Wild with six shots to their five, and well got a goal for their efforts. So it was off to overtime to see if Alex Tanguay could end it in the first minute once again.
Nope. They might as well have gone right to the shootout, cause nothing happened; like absolutely nothing. One shot apiece and Kent gave the home town boys a scoring chance on their shot... Probably because the remote slipped out of his hand and the channel changed while the Flames were in the offensive zone, so he thought, "What the Hell.."
As it turned out the shootout was over before it started as well. Irving faced Parise and Koivu as his first two shooters and he might as well have been watching from the bench. Like someone said on twitter, if there isn't a book on Leland Irving yet, Parise and Koivu just wrote it.
Why the Flames Lost...
Because Leland Irving was fed to the wolves, otherwise known as Parise and Koivu, and Backstrom faced Blair Jones, Jiri Hudler and Alex Tanguay.
That's not a knock against Tangs or Hudler either. Alex is historically the Flames best shooter and should be out there every shootout. Hudler seems to have take the reigns of this team and is doing everything and more that was expected of him.
We heard before he got here that Jiri was good on the shootout and he sure looked like it with the move he put on Backstrom.
But Blair Jones??? Haven't we seen this show before? Hartley said that Blair has been the best shooter for the team in practice. Practice? We talking about practice now? With all due respect for Hartley and everyone I'm about to slam but... He's relying on Blair Jones in a game situation to go out under those circumstances because he scores against Leland Irving, Danny Taylor and hell, even Kipper... in practice? o_O
Gonna have to go back to Hudler tonight.
He was the only guy that scored for the Flames in the game, and he was the only guyt that scored for the Flames in the shootout.
Leland played way better tonight than he did against Vancouver, I'll give him that, but there is no mistaking just how unprepared he is when it comes to the shootout, and that was the decider tonight.
Hudler's goal in the third was remenicient of Iggy coming down the wing and putting it home with the laser-like wrist shot. The way he looked off Cervenka, freezing Backstrom and putting the puck right where he wanted, is what he has been doing since he got here. Leading by example.
Which takes us back to his shootout goal. Line it up, pulled a sick move and scored when the team needed him to do so. No one else on the team could do that tonight.
Sum it Up
This team is going to go through a lot of uncertainity over thenext few days... maybe as soon as tomorrow.
With the addition of Joey McDonald off waivers, there are just way more questions than answers right now. Is Kipper's injury more sever than we know? Is there a trade in the works now that the Flames have 4 goalies and 8 defensemen on the roster? They are now at 49 contracts, something Feaster and Weisbrod were adamantly against, so obviously there is going to be movement of some kind.
Unfortunately for Irving (depending what side of the #PlayIrv fence you're on), since he has already cleared waivers, he seems the likely choice to be sent to Abby. Is that fair given that Danny Taylor hasn't even played yet? Or.. Is there really no danger of someone claiming Taylor if the put him on waivers?
Feaster has a news conference tomorrow at 10:00 am, so I'm sure many of us will be tuning in with bated breath.
In the end, I still can't get over the use of Blair Jones (sorry BoL) tonight in the shootout. I'm still shaking my head over it and you just have to wonder what the hell is going on with this team. Going back to the beginning of this article, with different personnel, you really expect to see this team address its issues in a different manner than we have seen over the last few years; yet we don't.
Stop putting lipstick on the pig! She ain't pretty, and we're getting tired of the smell!