Semi-live from Columbus

Stop No. 2 of the Flames’ six-game roadie takes place Saturday from Columbus, Ohio. Join us during the contest (it’s on a Leafs-free CBC at 5 p.m. MST) for impertinent thoughts and off-the-cuff comments about the action at the Nationwide Arena.

Be sure to check out TLP’s pre-game observations as FlamesNation’s intrepid game-day expert pines for the glorious days of the Anton Stralman Era in Calgary.

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  •  The Blue Jackets have made the playoffs only once during their existence but they’ve behaved like 1971-72 Bruins when it comes to entertaining the Flames. Does the name Espen Knutsen ring a bell? How about Geoff Sanderson? Calgary has won just four times in 17 all-time visits to the Ohio capital and scored just 31 goals. Calgary has actually been blanked as many times in Columbus as they’ve won.
  • Jarome Iginla has seven goals and 12 points in 17 career visits to Columbus.
  • Brent Sutter semi-promised that Curtis McElhinney would get the start tonight. If that’s so, it would be the backup’s third career appearance in Columbus, more than any other NHL building besides the Saddledome. He has an 0-1 record, 3.10 GAA and .894 save percentage in the two previous contests.
  • Calgary has done a reasonable job against Rick Nash over the years — the big winger has 19 points in 24 career games vs. Calgary but just five goals. He did get that shortie with the Jackets two men down against Calgary earlier this season.
  • Totally random comment No. 1 — covering hockey games in Columbus was always a unique experience because the building doesn’t have a true press box. Instead, reporters were placed in suites (minus the buffet and complimentary bar service).
  • Here’s the reason Jared Boll quakes in his skates every time the Flames come to town.

First period

  • Oh goody, a white-out night. Jackets taking a page out of the Winnipeg Jets-Phoenix Coyotes (haven’t won a playoff series since 1987) book.
  • There’s Steve Mason trying his damndest to avoid Andrew Raycroft’s career arc.
  • Wow, Jackets looking very sloppy early. Is this really a Ken Hitchcock team?
  • Drink up, everyone. Mark Lee comes through with a cross-over sport reference — "slaloming."
  • Almost eight minutes in and the Blue Jackets are still looking for their first shot of the night. So much for a seldom-used backup "getting a feel for the puck" in the early going.
  • So how many games will it take to form an opinion, good or bad, on Aaron Johnson? The man sure plays a fuss-free, muss-free game.
  • So what was BoA’s Matt Fenwick saying the other day about Olli Jokinen constantly flubbing the puck from good scoring areas? There he goes again.
  • Be nice to Olli moment: Jokinen has won three of four faceoffs so far, beating Antoine (Maybe I Should Move Back to the Wing) Vermette each time.
  • So does that qualify as a good period for the Flames or not?
  • Nice work by Grapes — only two Coach’s Corner mentions of the Leafs on a night Toronto isn’t playing (and none of the Flames or Habs, who are playing the feature early games).

Second period

  • Mark Giordano gets the penalty, but David Moss deserves the blame.
  • Ceasefire over: Jokinen has lost three of four faceoffs since winning three of four draws to start the night.
  • Ah, Beetlejuice. Hitch is going to just love you after that lazy offensive-zone penalty.
  • Jokinen on fire! Goals in back-to-back games.
  • Up-to-the-minute update: Jokinen now has more 2009-10 goals (five) than Matthew Lombardi (four).
  • The Flames have now played 100 minutes since allowing their most recent goal.
  • Rick Nash now has three goals and four points in two games plus two periods against Calgary this season.
  • As the old saying goes, you can’t stop Marc Methot, you can only try to contain him.
  •  It’s nights like these you miss the close-up TV shots of Darryl Sutter being startled in press box when they set off the post-goal cannon in Columbus.
  • Three of the four Jackets assists tonight by ex-Flames: Huselius (2), Commodore (1).
  • McElhinney really fighting the puck now.
  • Kevin Weekes didn’t really just say "Jared Boll-ed McElhinney over" did he?
  • As the old saying goes, you can’t stop Jared Boll . . .
  • More bad news out of town for Flames supporters — Abbotsford down 2-0 after one period in Rockford, Ill.
  • Jokinen’s stats through 40 minutes: 14:06 ice time, one goal, one shot, minus-2, and 4-of-14 on faceoffs (including one win in the 10 last draws)

Third period

  •  Nothing like an early icing infraction to jump-start a third-period comeback bid.
  • Daymond Langkow centring Iginla’s line now.
  • Totally random thought — won’t it be much easier to sleep at night now that we know TMZ is on the job tracking down the whos, whys and wherefors of the Tiger Woods SUV crack-up?
  • Nine minutes into the third period, the Flames have one shot on goal.
  • Channel-surfing during commercial breaks: Sounds odd to hear Bob (Freedom 85) Cole working the Habs-Caps game.
  • Nigel Dawes, Curtis Glencross and Dustin Boyd still haven’t recorded a shot on goal.
  • It’s the back end of back-to-back games, but one doesn’t really get the sense that fatigue is a factor in a flat finish to the game for the Flames, does one?
  • For those of you scoring at home, that’s four points in two nights for Jokinen.
  • So a few minutes after mentioning they didn’t have any shots, Boyd and Dawes score goals. That’s your cue, Curtis Glencross.
  • Goals by the Flames tonight: 3; Combined goals by the Flames in the four previous visits to Columbus: 2.


  • Overtime hero picks: Glencross for Calgary; Umberger for Columbus.
  • Flames, by the way, have now picked up at last one point in nine straight road games.
  • Weird fact — all three HNIC early games tonight went 3-3 into a shootout.
  • Video review on the Huselius shootout goal? Nope, apparently not.
  • Hmm, shooters making it look easy. First stop wins?
  • Here’s TLP’s dream scenario — Anton Stralman on the shootout try. Nothing doing.
  • That’s two-for-two in the win column so far on the road trip for Calgary.