One down, 81 to go . . .
The good: Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano, who hobbled out of the 2008-09 season, were in full stride to start 2009-10. Giordano’s ice-breaking power-play goal was one slick piece of work.
The fourth line turned in some energetic shifts and one profitable one as Brandon Prust scored a goal.
The uniforms looked awesome. With any luck, the Flames will go 5-0 with the blood-blister/ketchup-bottle look and be tempted to switch to these babies full time. Straight and horizontal lines? No diaper effect on the back hem? Bee-yoo-tiful. Added bonus for Flames fans of a certain age — constant flashbacks to Hakan Loob, Joe Mullen, Gary Suter, Jim Peplinski, Carey Wilson, Colin Patterson et al all game long.
The bad: The Flames seemed to trot out the worst ever version of the prevent defence in the third period and it could have — and perhaps should have — cost them.
The penalty-killing, which ranked No. 4 in the league a season ago, got off to a rough start but did come up with a clutch kill in the third period and the lead at one slim goal.
Lastly, and this has nothing to do with the Flames, the NHL needs to do some work on its new scoreboard features. As of 10:30 Friday morning, the boxscore from last night’s game showed two No. 20s, Adam Pardy wearing No. 55, Prust wearing No. 29, Nigel Dawes with 14, etc.
The curious: Funny how all kinds of people — including play-by-play man Mark Lee last night — are now addressing the subject of Dion Phaneuf’s poor season in 2008-09, and not just the dip in points. A year ago, it seemed like all the TV talking heads and guessperts were playing down or ignoring any suggestions that No. 3 had lost his way in his own zone.
What it means: Brent Sutter has a perfect record as Calgary’s skipper and the Flames have delayed for at least a few days any talk of another slow start. Saturday brings Round 1 of the Battle of Alberta and another encounter with their old pal Nikolai Khabibulin.