Post-Game: Flames Stymie 'Canes

Taylor McKee
January 13 2014 08:00PM

Pic via tico_manudo

There has been a lot of darkness surrounding the Flames as of late, a lot of glum discussions about offensive futility, frustrations at the makeup of the roster, and wringing of hands regarding the lack of roster movements. A win or loss in any one game doesn't alleviate these concerns in any real sense but a win like tonight's in Raleigh just feels nice. 

Sure the Hurricanes didn't play great and the Flames were bound to start scoring eventually after an unprecedented stretch of impotence but tonight's 2-0 win over Carolina was a nice glass of warm milk compared to the waking nightmare of the past few games. 

The Flames got strong efforts from Backlund, Brodie, Monahan, Byron, (Backlund and Monahan scoring the goals) and carried the play throughout the whole game, wholly deserving this victory. Also, Karri Ramo earned his first career shutout which was nice to see as well. 

GAME SUMMARY

Of note to start this game, Mikael Backlund donned an 'A' with Cammalleri going down with a concussion. I can get used to seeing that. Hopefully, this is an indicator that Backlund is viewed as an integral part of the club moving forward in this rebuild.

The Flames started off with a lot of life in their legs, getting a few good scoring chances in the first few minutes. The line of Monahan, Colborne, and Byron started the game with a lot of jump and Byron almost buried a chance from on a nice feed from Monahan. That line also drew a penalty in the first five minutes and on the powerplay the Flames had some good possession for the first minute but after losing the zone once, they were largely unable to mount sustained pressure again. At the end of the power play, Byron took an interference penalty which the Flames were able to kill off.   

As far as the decision to move Colborne to the wing, I don't mind it at all. As Kent mentioned in the comments of the FGD post, I like the idea of sheltering him with Monahan rather than allowing him to continue to get drowned playing against top-six or languishing with the goon squad. This decision is contradictory to Burke's statements regarding Colborne's "religious conversion" to a tough minutes centre, but perhaps it is better to give him a break from those hard minutes as they are not going so great so far.  As far as his play in this game, I thought he was okay though he seems to try and make too many skilled plays in tight spaces, some of which led to turnovers

The Flames had a very good first period, largely dominating the Hurricanes. T.J Brodie, Monahan, Byron and Hudler had great opening frames though the Flames were unable to convert on any of their chances. The Flames outshot the Hurricanes 14-5 (yes, that is correct, do not adjust your computer machines) in the first period. Chances were curiously 4-4 after one, with the majority of Flames shots coming from the point or outside prime scoring areas.   

The Flames started the second with a couple good chances including a golden chance for Brodie who couldn't hit the net to save his soul in the first two periods. Brodie had three scoring chances in the first 30 minutes of the game which is awesome. Because he is awesome.

Ramo, who was solid through the first 30 minutes, was tested five minutes into the period on a two-on-one chance from Nathan "Theo" Gerbe. The Hurricanes had a glorious chance to take the lead with Rutuu missing a wide-open net off of a shift from the thug-line. It is remarkable how bad those two (Brevin McGarth) are with the puck and how much of a black-hole they are possession-wise. I feel badly for Street who skated well tonight but ultimately didn't have much of a chance centring those two.  

With about five minutes left in the second, the Hurricanes took a lazy penalty and sent the Flames to the power play. Of late, that would have simply meant that you would be treated to two minutes of missed passes and shots into shin pads but on this most special of power plays, Backlund banged home a flukey goal off a failed cross crease pass from Hudler. Perhaps the hockey gods showed a little pity for this hapless team for a change. 

The goal seemed to spark the 'Canes into action as for the remainder of the second they took the play to the Flames hard. The Flames were able to make it to the room up 1-0 after two but with the shot margin being a lot closer than after the first. The Flames were outshooting Carolina 20-17 after two and outchanced the Hurricanes 11-9 through 40 minutes.

The Hurricanes started the third by taking the play to the Flames early on. The Flames didn't have a shot for the first six minutes of play and iced the puck a number of times. Ramo had to be very sharp in the first half of the third stanza, especially on a two-shot sequence from Jordan Staal mid-way through the third. Then, at the 10:24 mark of the third, T.J Galiardi made a very nice play to Paul Byron who froze Khudobin and fed the puck to Monahan who had an empty net to make it 2-0 Flames. An excellent play by Byron who continues to impress playing in the top-six. 

After the Monahan goal, the Flames were able to do a reasonably good job defending the lead and forcing the Hurricanes to the outside. Even when the Hurricanes were making their final push in the final three minutes, the Flames denied Carolina any clean entries and played very strong throughout the third. The game ended 2-0 with the Flames outshooting the canes 29-22. 

Overall, it was a very strong 60 minute effort from the Flames, one of their best of the season to be sure and with a depleted roster.

Also, Lee Stempniak needs to consider voodoo counsel. 

SCORING CHANCES

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 18:31 Byron 7 15 16 22 26 31 3 8 23 31 32 44 5v5
Away 1 12:32 Brodie 4 12 27 28 31 53 3 7 8 23 31 32 5v5
Home 1 9:15 Gerbe 4 11 14 19 27 31 3 7 11 22 31   5v4
Away 1 7:57 Monahan 4 15 16 22 31 65 6 8 23 31 32 55 5v5
Home 1 7:24 Nash 18 19 20 31 65 73 3 15 16 18 31 44 5v5
Home 1 6:19 Murphy 7 12 26 28 31 53 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Home 1 1:12 E.Staal 4 15 16 22 27 31 3 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Away 1 0:50 Brodie 4 15 16 22 27 31 3 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Away 2 19:47 Hudler 11 14 31 39 65 73 3 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Away 2 19:14 Stajan 4 15 18 22 27 31 3 17 18 31 39 44 5v5
Away 2 18:45 Brodie 12 28 31 53 65 73 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Away 2 17:42 Giordano 7 11 14 26 31   5 7 18 24 31   4v4
Home 2 15:32 Gerbe 11 14 31 39 65 73 6 8 23 31 32 55 5v5
Home 2 15:31 Gerbe 7 12 14 31 39 65 6 8 23 31 32 55 5v5
Away 2 12:44 Stempniak 12 28 31 53 65 73 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Home 2 9:53 Lindholm 4 15 18 22 27 31 5 7 15 16 31 38 5v5
Home 2 9:16 E.Staal 4 12 15 18 27 31 5 7 15 16 31 38 5v5
Away 2 4:36 Backlund goal 4 18 22 27 31   5 6 11 22 24 31 4v5
Home 2 3:59 Murphy 7 12 19 26 28 31 5 7 17 18 31 39 5v5
Home 2 3:03 Liles 16 20 31 53 65 73 5 7 8 18 31 32 5v5
Home 3 17:06 Dwyer 4 7 11 14 31 39 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Home 3 11:31 E.Staal 7 11 14 26 31 39 6 17 18 31 39 55 5v5
Home 3 11:31 E.Staal 7 11 14 26 31 39 6 17 18 31 39 55 5v5
Away 3 10:25 Monahan goal 15 16 31 53 65 73 3 23 31 32 39 44 5v5
Home 3 9:21 E.Staal 4 12 19 27 28 31 5 7 11 17 22 31 5v5
Home 3 9:13 Semin 4 12 19 27 28 31 5 7 11 17 22 31 5v5
Away 3 4:35 Stempniak 7 16 19 22 26 31 5 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Away 3 1:30 Colborne 4 7 12 14 28 31 3 8 23 31 32 44 5v5
Away 3 1:15 Monahan 4 7 12 14 28 31 3 8 23 31 32 44 5v5
Away 3 1:13 Smid 4 7 12 14 28 31 3 8 23 31 32 44 5v5
Away 3 0:34 Stempniak 11 12 27 53 65   5 7 11 22 24 31 4v5
# Player EV     PP     SH    
3 SMID, LADISLAV 22:06 9 2 00:00 0 0 01:05 0 1
5 GIORDANO, MARK 20:23 4 8 03:09 2 0 00:55 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 12:05 1 4 02:00 1 0 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 21:15 4 8 01:35 1 0 01:05 0 1
8 COLBORNE, JOE 13:42 6 3 00:41 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 17:27 5 5 02:54 2 0 01:05 0 1
15 WESTGARTH, KEVIN 06:40 0 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 06:03 0 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 14:37 1 5 00:00 0 0 00:55 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 18:33 2 5 00:15 0 0 00:55 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 17:47 5 5 03:09 2 0 01:05 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 13:04 7 2 00:41 0 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 17:00 6 3 03:09 2 0 00:00 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   14 14   2 0   0 1
32 BYRON, PAUL 14:54 7 3 00:41 0 0 00:00 0 0
38 STREET, BEN 05:06 0 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
39 GALIARDI, TJ 15:30 2 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 22:16 9 2 00:56 0 0 00:55 0 0
55 O'BRIEN, SHANE 10:25 1 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 4 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 6 6 5 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 5 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

THE RED WARRIOR

Though Backlund had a great game again, scoring the first and eventual winning goal and playing very well throughout and Paul Byron played another strong game, setting up the insurance marker in the third, the illustrious Red Warrior distinction has to be given to Karri Ramo.

With tonight's win, Ramo earned his first career shutout in his 68th career game with this 22 save effort. As Thomas Drance pointed out, Ramo narrowly avoided a rather dubious list of goalies with 70 career starts and no shutouts. Ramo, and Berra as well to some extent, has played well over the past few games and was given no help from his team so this one has to feel extra nice for him. In his last outing against St. Louis, Ramo was shelled for five goals on 29 shots and had a shot at exactly one of them so the Flames owed him a good night. 

SUM IT UP

Though the win does little for the Flames in terms of the standings, it was good to see some of their forwards have good games including Backlund and Monahan who both scored in this one. Clearly, it was Backlund's fearless leadership, sparked by his new letter that caused him to climb on a table in the dressing room and invite his teamates to climb on his back to victory. Or perhaps Backlund has been pretty good all season and he is finally starting to score which means it is a lot easier to say he has transformed his game.

The Flames, who improve their record to 16-24-6 (27th overall in the NHL, three points ahead of Edmonton) are back in action again tomorrow against Nashville, the puck drops at 6pm MT.  

112039ec99211abeba03b81d364735ec
Taylor splits time between UVIC and Calgary studying history. Taylor likes the Flames, the Cannons, Buckshot, and the Oxford comma. Taylor scored on his own net on dome ice when he was 8. Twitter: @TaylorMcKee_
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#1 SeanCharles
January 13 2014, 09:41PM
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@exsanguinator

Hartley benched Backlund and Sven because he wants them to earn what they get.

They both struggled to start the season and sat because of it.

How they respond to it is what is important. Backlund has responded well and is being rewarded.

What's best for Sven is to stay down until after he gains some swagger back and after the sell off at the deadline.

These players aren't/weren't being punished for any character flaws. This is how you properly develop players by challenging them to be better. It builds consistency.

Playing them through struggling times is expected because they are young and it happens but Sven needed minutes to develop his offensive confidence so sending him down was the right thing for him.

Backlund is further along in his development so playing him on the fourth line while he worked out his struggles was optimal.

I dunno why everyone throws Baertschi under the bus due to struggles..it happens to youngsters..

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#2 RonR
January 13 2014, 09:24PM
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Man, I continue to be a big fan of how Paul Byron is playing. Not only on that early chance, and then setting up Monahan for the 2nd goal. Then with about 1:40 left in the game, his deceptive speed got to a puck in the Carolina zone, led to 2 scoring chances by the Flames, and then he drew that last penalty against Semin which essentially ended the game.

I think him and Monahan work well together, be interesting to see if Colborne could work with them. From Colborne's view, this is an opportunity. RonR

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#3 JumpJet
January 13 2014, 10:27PM
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Is Paul Byron the real thing? Can we add him to the list of players to build around? If not, what sort of time frame is necessary to decide that? One full season? Two or more? Maybe the Regehr trade doesn't look so bad after all.

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#4 Carlizzle
January 13 2014, 08:39PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

an actual shutout. pleasantly surprised. what isnt to love about ouryoung guys... Brodie, Monahan, Backlund. Did I miss anyone? still havent decided how I feal about Colborne...

how bou Streat? any comments on his play? didn't notice him much.

You can add Byron to the list.

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#5 Sean Bennett
January 13 2014, 10:35PM
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Another really good game by Monahan. He`s steadily getting better now that he has recovered from his fracture.

According to extra skater, he had a Corsi percentage of 57.9%, despite a O/D zone percentage of 20%. In fact, he only took one offensive zone draw in 13:45 of ice time.

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#6 redricardo
January 13 2014, 09:35PM
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I got to listen to portions of this game online as I was sitting in a taqueria in Guadalajara, eating tacos el pastor and drinking cerveza, with the odd tequila shot mixed in.

So yeah... This was my favorite game of the year so far.

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#7 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 13 2014, 09:20PM
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@Carlizzle

Byron - I like the way he can dangle.

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#8 crapshoot
January 13 2014, 11:34PM
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Hate to rain on the parade here, but it is a terrible thing to promote the leading scorer from the Heat and slapping him on the goon squad for 5 minutes a game. What is the deal Hartley? I just don't get it. What did Ben Street do to deserve that crap?

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#9 Burnward
January 14 2014, 07:01AM
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@crapshoot

If you asked Street where he'd rather be...what do you think he would say?

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#10 crapshoot
January 14 2014, 12:37AM
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loudogYYC wrote:

First, there's a huge gap between AHL competition and NHL competition, and secondly, he's a 2-way player not a sniper.

By putting him on the 4th with goons he has a chance, albeit not a great chance, to prove that he can carry a 4th line at the NHL level and earn some minutes on more skilled lines. It's exactly what Hartley or any coach should do with that type of player.

Carrying a line with McGrattan and Westgarth is some kind of challenge alright.

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#11 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 13 2014, 08:14PM
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an actual shutout. pleasantly surprised. what isnt to love about ouryoung guys... Brodie, Monahan, Backlund. Did I miss anyone? still havent decided how I feal about Colborne...

how bou Streat? any comments on his play? didn't notice him much.

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#12 Carlizzle
January 13 2014, 08:19PM
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I agree that Stemp does need some voodoo counsel. He missed an empty net from about 5 feet away, he has enough difficulty with a goalie in the net!

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#13 Peppy
January 13 2014, 09:17PM
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Good win but let's get back to tanking this season. And for that matter next season. Suck bad for Ekblad!

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#14 exsanguinator
January 13 2014, 09:23PM
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Well it seems that Backlund has bought in to Hartley's systems and is being rewarded for it. When he and Sven were sitting in the press box for half of the games I would have believed anyone if they told me that Backlund would end up with a letter on his chest regardless of the circumstances.

Meanwhile Sven is in Abbotsford... I get the feeling that there is huge difference in the attitudes of both of those guys.

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#15 Skuehler
January 13 2014, 11:32PM
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redricardo wrote:

I got to listen to portions of this game online as I was sitting in a taqueria in Guadalajara, eating tacos el pastor and drinking cerveza, with the odd tequila shot mixed in.

So yeah... This was my favorite game of the year so far.

Sorry Bud, trashin you out of jealousy ;)

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#16 loudogYYC
January 14 2014, 12:26AM
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@crapshoot

First, there's a huge gap between AHL competition and NHL competition, and secondly, he's a 2-way player not a sniper.

By putting him on the 4th with goons he has a chance, albeit not a great chance, to prove that he can carry a 4th line at the NHL level and earn some minutes on more skilled lines. It's exactly what Hartley or any coach should do with that type of player.

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#17 Kent Wilson
January 14 2014, 08:41AM
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@Sean Bennett

Monahan seems to be coming out of his funk. Maybe his foot is finally 100%?

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#18 Walter White
January 14 2014, 10:12AM
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I love seeing Ekblad dropping in the "experts" draft rankings; gives us a better shot at picking him up!

The other bottom dweller teams are less likely to pick a D man in the prime draft spots anyway, except those douche bag Oilers.....go Oilers go; win some games..........I think???

WW

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#19 crapshoot
January 14 2014, 07:50AM
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Burnward wrote:

If you asked Street where he'd rather be...what do you think he would say?

Yeah, because my point was obviously that I was worried about Ben Streets feelings...

I'm just saying that there may be a tiny bit of a chance that a hockey team that hasn't scored a goal in forever, could benefit in some small way by putting a player with some offensive talent (and a little bit of confidence from scoring a bunch in the minors) on a line with wingers that can actually play hockey.

I'm not necessarily against putting Street on a fourth line according to loudogYYC's logic. I'm against putting him (or any other decent player for that matter) on THAT fourth line. That horrible abomination of a fourth line.

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#20 SmellOfVictory
January 13 2014, 11:04PM
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JumpJet wrote:

Is Paul Byron the real thing? Can we add him to the list of players to build around? If not, what sort of time frame is necessary to decide that? One full season? Two or more? Maybe the Regehr trade doesn't look so bad after all.

Build around? Depends what you mean. He looks like he might end up a decent bottom six winger if this continues, but I wouldn't hope for much more.

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#21 Peter
January 14 2014, 09:40AM
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Isotopes win a game! Isotopes win a game!

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#22 crapshoot
January 14 2014, 09:57AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Street had a good run on the Flames' "top" line at the start of the season. The result was one assist (which he actually got playing on the fourth line in his first game). He isn't an NHL level scoring talent.

You are probably right. Neither is Paul Byron. Or is he? Things have happened since October. If Street is just gonna babysit the twins he might as well be down in Abbotsford and keep that team going.

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#23 Primo
January 14 2014, 10:52AM
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Walter White wrote:

I love seeing Ekblad dropping in the "experts" draft rankings; gives us a better shot at picking him up!

The other bottom dweller teams are less likely to pick a D man in the prime draft spots anyway, except those douche bag Oilers.....go Oilers go; win some games..........I think???

WW

Yah..if the loser Oilers draft ahead of the Flames they will take Ekblad. I read a quote from McTavish saying he dreams of having Ekblad and Nurse as a D-pairing in the future. Best that the loser Oilers get on a long win streak but that is unlikely given there sad state of affairs.

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#24 Baalzamon
January 14 2014, 08:47AM
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@crapshoot

Street had a good run on the Flames' "top" line at the start of the season. The result was one assist (which he actually got playing on the fourth line in his first game). He isn't an NHL level scoring talent.

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#25 Baalzamon
January 14 2014, 08:51AM
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if bodies start coming back before trades happen, I'd like to see something like:

Hudler - Backlund - Stempniak

Glencross - Stajan - Cammalleri

Colborne - Monahan - Byron

Galiardi - Bouma - Jones

I know we won't, but it would be nice.

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#26 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 14 2014, 10:11AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Monahan seems to be coming out of his funk. Maybe his foot is finally 100%?

I think his foot had a lot to do with it. He looks more comfortable now, skating hard and competing.

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#27 seve927
January 14 2014, 10:00AM
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Peter wrote:

Isotopes win a game! Isotopes win a game!

But instead of Dancin' Homer, it's Dancin' Bears we can credit.

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