Postgame: Working Overtime

Calgary Flames' goalie Miikka Kiprusoff reacts to the third goal scored on him by Florida Panthers' Shawn Matthias during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Not like it was an offensive showcase at the Bridgestone Arena (how many times has that place changed names?), but it’s two points and consecutive points for the Calgary Flames.  Rene Bourque scored 2:10 into overtime to supply the only offence in a 1-0 Calgary win as the Flames move above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

What Happened

It was basically the same game from start to finish, with both teams going back and forth.  Nashville’s powerplay in the first period gave them a slight chance advantage, but shots were even at 12 following twenty minutes.  The second period was much the same, with a few more chances on the man advantage…Calgary went 0/2 on the man advantage while the Preds were unable to score on three second period powerplays.  The save of the game came in the second period coming from Miikka Kiprusoff when he slid across to close the door on a wide open chance from Martin Erat.  Shots finished 12-6 in favour of Nashville.

I liked the Flames start to the third period, as they were skating and getting pucks towards the net, generating some of their better chances of the game.  Things shifted back towards even for most of that third period, and shots finished 14-10 on the Flames side.  Calgary had a nice push late in the final frame, and carried that into the extra frame…the Flames fired three shots on net including Bourque’s winner set up after a Morrison opportunity.

It was an even game, and the most competitive game these teams have played in Tennessee in quite some time.  Scoring chances finished 17-12 in favour of the Preds, however even strength number slanted 11-8 for the Flames.  As Kent pointed out, the Preds did a nice job limiting damage 5-on-5 and tried to gain some traction on the powerplay.  Unforunately, the loss of defenceman Ryan Suter early in the first period paid it’s dividends, as the Nashville man advantage finished 0 for 5.  That being said, don’t discount the job Calgary did on the PK.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Well…this is a tough one.  There are a number of little things the Flames did well in this game, but really it was fairly even.  So I’ll go back to my point above…I’ll go with the PK.  Calgary’s job with a man down was very strong, and even though Nashville had their chances, I felt Calgary got stronger as the game went along.  In fact, the PK has been Calgary’s strongest suit since their opening loss to Edmonton.  Since that time, the Flames have killed off 15 consecutive penalties, including all 5 on this night.

Red Warrior

Hey, it’s his 32nd career shutout with the Flames, and 35th in his career…this one’s easy, it’s Miikka.  #34 stopped all 34 shots fired on him, including the aforementioned save on Martin Erat.  Talking on the postgame tonight, it’s true: no matter how much we appreciate what Kiprusoff does for this team, we won’t really understand it until he’s gone.  Another great night, and a great start to the season.

Sum It Up

Give Calgary credit.  They outwaited the Nashville Predators, who played a very solid game themselves.  They had plenty of posession, and it never seemed they got discouraged, they just kept doing the little things.  And eventually they were rewarded.  They didn’t take a step back after their win over Edmonton, so now it’s time to keep it going.  Calgary’s up against Detroit on Thursday night.

  • Don’t know how to feel about this game… I mean on the one hand for a team whose biggest question mark has been it’s ability to score you can’t be happy seeing them blanked over 60Min, on the other hand a win is a win is a win.

    I’ll settle for being happy about the win but still cautiously pessimistic about the offense.

    g’night all.

  • everton fc


    Bourque played 16 minutes. Scored the game-winner.

    Sarich has confirmed a regular spot on the backline. At least I think he has…

    A road win. Shutout.

    Regehr continues to be a brute. Playing well.

    All the negative talk about Morrison. He now has 4 assists/5 points. Not bad for $750K.

    All good news….

  • everton fc

    Calgary was a bounce away from being shutout for the third time this season. So I can’t say I am ecstatic.

    Both teams failed to generate opportunities 5 on 5. However, Calgary needs to start generating chances on the man advantage or they are not going to consistently win these types of games. This one could have went either way, and if not for Kipper probably would have went to Nashville.

    That said, win-lose-draw, the Flames put forth a consistent and solid effort all night. To me a lack of effort was the achilles heal of this team last season (and in two loses this season). I will take this as a solid road win and hopefully something they can build on.

  • jgl

    I think it was a solid all around effort. I liked how Iginla tried to take it to the front of the net from behind the goal line (only to get bowled over by O’brian)as well as Jackman making a power move toward the goal…could it have something to do with Sutter saying they have to go to the dirty, physical areas to score goals. They need to do more of that- i think. Hagman had started doing it in the first and then it ended.

    At least our middle weights didn’t have to take on the opposition fans (i.e. our ‘friends’to the west) and we got the win.

    Go Flames Go!

    • icedawg_42

      It does seem as though they are making a conscious effort to get in the dirty areas – even Iggy, and that’s a good sign. Kotalik was doing that very well in the preseason, but he paid th brutal price for it.

      I’ll take the win.

      Pat, It’s not that fans don’t truly understand what Kipper does for that team every game, it’s just complete and utter denial that a day will ever come that he’s not there.

      • CJT

        “Pat, It’s not that fans don’t truly understand what Kipper does for that team every game, it’s just complete and utter denial that a day will ever come that he’s not there.”

        I agree with Pat. I don’t live in Calgary, so my gauge is primarily the net. Been a Flames fan all my life. But sometimes I feel like the avg. Calgary fan doesn’t value their goalie. Maybe he set the bar so high at first…

        I think everyone here knows how quickly I jump to a goalies defense. I sometimes wonder how many years a guy needs to be top five in evsv% to silence the critics. How many more times than Brodeur and Luongo.

        My impression is quick to blame, slow to thank. Frequently devalued.

        Well, a more-important-than-it-should-be road trip, begins with a shutout. Where I live, a more-important-than-it-should-be road trip begins with a 6 goal on 18 shot drubbing.

        I know it’s one game, I heard the flood of reality checks, I don’t agree goalies are better chosen by their contract dollars (which is logic Luo somehow escapes)

        But we’re having trouble scoring again…good thing we don’t allow a lot of goals.

        “Hat’s” off…for Kiprusoff.

  • Cut it out Lawrence. The only reason you think there’s some sort of chorus of denunciation around Kipper is because you read me. You and I can argue this issue as much as you want, but let’s not paint everyone else with that brush. I’m happy to be the outlier, but I’m also aware I don’t speak for everyone.

    Otherwise, Kipper is more or less a mythical figure in Calgary. Hell, during the 08-09 season, when he flat out worse than mediocre (ES SV% = .907), most of the media and fans considered him a Vezina candidate “because he had 45 wins”. He almost always gets the benefit of the doubt from the fans at large in town.

    I’m still skeptical. Last year was quite the rebound and I’ll be much more open to a “Keenan effect” theory should Kiprusoff sustain those gains this season. But that’s me. The rest of the fanship would readily sacrifice their first born sons for him.

    • BobB

      I explained myself above. I read what’s on the net. I listen to the fan 960. That’s all I’ve got access to. Pat seemed to put out the idea that “we won’t appreciate him till he’s gone.”

  • BobB

    I seem to remember being universally lambasted writing an article over at M&G about Kipper’s off season.

    With Kipper, it always comes back to one season, or worse one game, or even worse one goal.

    It always comes back to “That was on him”

    What needs to be cut out is the silly linear notion that had Kipper alone been better in 08-09, that everything else would have stayed the same and the Flames would have somehow been an elite team.

    • BobB

      Y’know (IMO) the 08-09 Flames were an elite team… when healthy. I personally believe that had the late season injury bug not been as severe as it was the Flames would have taken the devision title and gone deep into the playoffs that year.

  • BobB

    Dear Jarome,

    Watched overtime last night. Just wanted to remind you that you have 442 career goals. You get paid about $7 million a year, mostly to score goals.

    I know you like Jay Bouwmeester, and you would probably like him to score a few goals too. I like Jay too, he seems like a nice enough fellow. But he only has 56 career goals. In 558 career games. And only 3 goals in 87 games with the Flames. And no goals this season. I would humbly suggest that in any particular situation, you are infinitely more likely to score than your buddy Jay.

    I just bring this up in case you find yourself on a 2 on 1 again in overtime with Jay. You might just consider taking that shot for yourself. I can think of at least 442 reasons that would be a good idea.

    A Flames Fan with a few more grey hairs this morning.

  • BobB

    Sorry, now you got me going. For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would be skeptical Kiprusoff based on his numbers. Add to that, why there wouldn’t be some defense of him for one off year.

    How long a leash do Jbo, Langkow and Iggy get? Based on minutes, corsi and previous performance.

    Yet Miikka gets the opposite treatment. Where’s his defense? Especially when in 08/09 you could have much more poignantly asked that very question with the style of river hockey Keenan had us playing.

  • BobB

    Some of Kipper’s fundamentals give me heart attacks. And I still think Hemsky’s goal was on him.

    But when you step back, Lawrence’s argument is pretty compelling (minus the Keenan factor… if it was anything, it was just bad luck)

    • BobB

      Keenan, Bad Luck, or 8 games.

      I once tried and admittedly failed to illustrate why it’s so unintuitive to assess goalies. Counting up vs counting down.

      Players don’t see the effects of losing 6-0, like a goalie does.

      In 08/09, we had all those blow-out games, where to a man, everyone would say we had no business even being in those games. SJx2, CHI x2 NSH, TOR. And Keenan left Kipper in to rot for 9 GA one game.

      Honestly, I don’t remember all the specifics, but with players you count UP, goals, assists etc. 6 bust games is a blip. So what if they only get 2 pts.

      With Goalies, you count DOWN from perfection (100%) Those six games cost Kipper some 36-39 goals. I don’t remember exactly.

      Everything with goalies is in 10’s. 9.2 saves out of 10, 92/100, 920/1000. 9 good games out of ten. 6 bust games needs 54 great ones. Kipper played 76. And Keenan had the gaul to say “If Miikka had been better, I’d still have a job.” F@ck you Keenan. Maybe if you weren’t a shitty coach you’d still have a job.

      That’s the difference between a season at about average, and a horrible one for Miika.

      Now, it will always come back to haunt him.

      But he’s still got a evsv% in Calgary that puts him top three in the league of going goalies with over 9000min. 1.Vokoun, 2. Luongo, 3. Kipper.

      He’s a pretty damn good goalie.

      As Boomer? would say. If he’s a stock I’m buying.

  • BobB

    A win is a win. It was a great defensive game. I think if the flames woulda pushed to open things up or vis versa you would have seen the goals go both ways. On the other hand tape to tape passes might have worked just as well. The flames have the talent to make the playoffs. Its getting out of the first round that I’m still waiting for. When does henrick get his first start? I’m hoping for tomorrow!

    • BobB

      When does henrick get his first start? I’m hoping for tomorrow!

      Columbus. 21st.

      Kipper should be feeling good going into Detroit. Rest him and play the Tower against Columbus.

      • Kipper should be feeling good going into Detroit. Rest him and play the Tower against Columbus.

        It’ll be interesting to see what Sutter chooses when it comes to Karlsson. I think there are compelling arguments for playing him in either Detroit or Columbus.

  • So John Negrin is out 3 months. And Abby already lost Kronwall. Down their top 2 d-men, and its THAT hard to figure out why Flames added another D to the mix?

    Via Vicki Hall…

    As per @dankinvigsports, John Negrin out another three months after yet another knee surgery. (Another) tough break for #Flames prospect.

  • Not necessarily saying that I think Henrik should start in Detroit, but I hate when teams play backups in “gimme” games – that is to say, I’d prefer to play Kipper in ALL the games that they should win… like, say Columbus.

  • icedawg_42

    Not to revive a dead conversation, but I must admit I did not start out as a huge Kipper fan – during the playoff run of 04 I thought maybe it was a fluke or a hot run…but the last season and a half or so, he’s REALLY grown on me – to the point where I feel he’s the best goalie in the NHL hands down.
    Most Flames fans around here definitely put him way up on a big marble pedestal!
    Anyway, I too cant wait to see Karlsson in NHL action – but I figure it will be Columbus..I’ll be a little surprised (but not blown away) if I see him in Detroit.