Postgame: That’s Better

Calgary Flames' Curtis Glencross (20) scores on Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Well, that’s a whole lot better.  After Calgary’s 4-0 loss on the road in Edmonton, the Flames looked a whole lot better Sunday in their home opener, a 3-1 win over the LA Kings.  Curtis Glencross scored goal #1 on the season, shorthanded to boot, and Calgary rode a strong performance from Miikka Kiprusoff in net en route to the win.

What Happened

After a first period where the Kings dominated possession, Calgary started to get their legs.  LA looked strong in the first period, and played well, but weren’t able to solve Kiprusoff on their eight opening frame shots.  Even though Calgary won the shot contest 12-8, they needed to focus more on puck possession, and they did in the final 40.  The story of the first period were injuries to defenceman Adam Pardy and forward Rene Bourque.  Pardy left with a shoulder injury and didn’t return, followed by Bourque leaving with a suspected head injury; he also didn’t return.  Bourque collided with Kevin Westgarth and seemed to catch an inadvertent elbow or forearm.

It took Calgary 91 minutes and 31 seconds to score their first goal of the season, but it was a nice one that came on a Kings powerplay.  Jack Johnson made a bad pass under pressure that got picked off by Calgary’s Brett Sutter…he found Curtis Glencross behind the LA defence before Glencross finished with a nice right-to-left to put Calgary up 1-0.

Calgary came to play in the third period, outshot the Kings 14-7, and scored twice, including a Craig Conroy marker that seemed to tip off the LA defenceman.  The goal happened very shortly after the Kings hit the post at the other end.  Calgary had a number of quality scoring chances in the third period following that as well, and give credit to Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who was solid in net as well.  Dustin Brown finally got the Kings on the board at 14:06 and had a few chances to tie it up, but a late penalty from Brad Richardson killed any momentum; Niklas Hagman sealed it with his first of the year into an empty net.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  I’ll go with consistency.  They played a fairly solid game start to finish and avoided any of the swings they seemed to suffer on Thursday in Edmonton.  Once they started to get their possession game under wraps, I felt they played a whole lot stronger…I was pretty impressed with their final 40 minutes.  Calgary’s strength is when they work it down low and use their cycle, and they were good doing that on this night.

Red Warrior

Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Jones (L) and Calgary Flames' Stefan Meyer fight during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Edmonton October 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

This one was a no brainer for me.  Stefan Meyer was really good, and fits his role really well.  For the second straight game, he drew a pair of penalties and was strong on the puck.  I was really hoping he might pot one in the third period, because through two games with his new team, he’s been pretty impressive.

Sum It Up

BUFFALO - NOVEMBER 13: Rene Bourque #17 of the Calgary Flames warms up before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on November 13, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Well, the game was impressive for the most part, but the main story will be injuries…once again.  The status of Adam Pardy and Rene Bourque are going to be hot topics over the next few days.  Bourque has a history of concussions, and speculation is that he’s suffered another one, judging from the way he left the ice tonight.  If Pardy can’t go, then Cory Sarich or Steve Staios may draw into the lineup.

Next up is the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

  • Lot’s of days between games for the Flames to start the year. What’s up with that?

    Enjoyed watching the game tonight, thought everyone played good, Jokinen & Bouwmeester stuck out (not for good reasons) some bad giveaways.

    Brodie looks pretty good out there still!

  • Subversive

    Iginla looked dominant against Smyth-Kopitar-Brown-Mitchell-Doughty. That’s four of the best EV players in the league, and a guy that’ll probably get there someday.

    Only one game.

  • I enjoyed the game as well. Good effort. The injuries are really concerning though. For a team that didn’t have the deepest lineup before the injuries that can’t be a good thing. Hopefully the young guys they bring up rise to the challenge and take the opportunity. I’ve been really impressed with Meyers and Sutter so hope they keep it up!

  • Its only game two, but Backlund has failed to impress me to this point. He lost his spot tonight on the third line and logged less then 9-minutes of EV play time (lowest on the team). And that is with Bourque out most the game.

    I thought it may have been his wing mates. Especially Jackman However, that line was dominant under Conroy.

    As I said, its only game two. However, I would hate to see him rotting on the fourth line. Perhaps they need to consider putting him back in the AHL onces Stajan is back.

  • Well thats a bit better, But If we see this in-consistency again this season I think I might go insane.

    Good to see Conroy and Glencross (Even Hagman) getting some goals, these are the people we are going to need to chip in especially with all these injuries.

    Really hope Bourque will not be suffering from concussion like syndrome the whole season. While I wish him a speedy recovery I rather hope that he stays out as long as he needs to.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion that Backlund needs to play wing.

    Didn’t they play Tavares on the wing for some of last year?

    Not trying to compare Tavares & Backlund however, it might be helpful to his development ie: getting used to the speed & strength at the NHL level.

    • Ya your right, but if you need to have him playing wing he might as well get used to it in the AHL and not in the NHL where he could mess something up.

      BEAUTIFUL shorthanded goal by Glencross, its too bad hecan’t do that every game.

      Lucky goal by Conroy but its nice to see him get his first goal unlike last time.

      Didn’t get to see the Hagman goal but he had a couple of good chances before that so good on him.

      Notably good players: Jokinen, Tanguay, Iginla, Kiprusoff, Glencross, Jackman, Hagman, Regehr, Brodie, Giordano.

    • I think I said one of the “benefits” of all these injuries is we’d get to see what Backlund was made of. We’re just 2 games in, but the dude is actually falling down the depth chart, despite the club lacking all sorts of depth. That’s a really bad sign for him and I don’t think simply shifting him to the wing will do much.

      If he’s not ready, he should be demoted. Obviously not now (Flames don’t have a choice), but once bodies start returning.

    • Well sorry to you Florida Panthers fans, although there aren’t too many here. But we should easily be able to finish them off, they’re not quite the same quality of competition as is L.A. Kings.

      Bourque’s injury will take more than 4 days and i’d bet Pardy’s would as well.

  • Wasn’t implying we’d have either of those guys back, meant Moss, Kotalik, etc. I know Stajan’s at least another week.

    Def. don’t want Bourque to rush back, look at what happened to Savard, Mueller, etc.

  • Bustmeester

    Yeah, let’s hope Bourque is as close to 100 percent as possible when he returns. Not worth having him off and on all year, like he was for most of his time in Chi town.