Postgame: Sunday Fun-Day

Calgary Flames Rene Bourque celebrates his second goal of the night during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks in Calgary, Alberta, October 24, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)


Is there a better way to start a five game home stand than with an absolutely dominant performance over one of the NHL’s elite regular season teams?  That’s exactly what happened Sunday night as the Flames blew away the San Jose Sharks by a 4-0 score, a game that was over after twenty minutes, and a game that gives Calgary a 5-3 record on the season.

What Happened

Pure and simple, the Flames came to play and the Sharks didn’t.  The Flames had their legs and were using them right from the get-go, and it lead to four first period goals, starting with a Rene Bourque powerplay marker at 4:12.  Calgary had forced Joe Pavelski to take a tripping penalty and they capitalized on it in short order.  Bourque took a gorgeous Niklas Hagman cross-ice feed and bam, it’s 1-0.  A break down lead to a Flames fast break and a gorgeous Alex Tanguay drop pass set Jarome Iginla up for his second of the season at 6:01 before Craig Conroy would convert a Stefan Meyer pass at 8:36 to put the Flames up 3-0.  At 11:47, Rene Bourque scored his second of the night (and fifth in two games) again on a nice feed from Tanguay, and this game was over for all intents and purposes.  Calgary outshot the Sharks 14-6 in the first period, and dominated in scoring chances as well.

No goals in the final 40 minutes, but I thought they were equally impressive from a Calgary standpoint, because there was never a sniff of a San Jose comeback at any point.  The ONLY time the Sharks had any push came in the latter half of the second period, and that’s the only time Miikka Kiprusoff was remotely tested…he made a couple nice saves to ensure the Sharks would have no chance at getting any life.

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff makes a save against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Detroit, Michigan October 21, 2010.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Miikka Kiprusoff earned his 36th career shutout, and I don’t know if he’s ever had an easier one.  Quite honestly, of the 11 scoring chances San Jose, none were really "oh my goodness" chances.  He played well and was there when the team needed him.  The Flames powerplay went 1-6, but once again it looked really good and really did generate some chances.  It’s too bad, because the numbers won’t bear it out, but Calgary’s PP has been much better the last 120 minutes.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because they were better, start to finish, and in an emphatic way.  What I really liked was mentioned above…the Flames didn’t let the Sharks get a sniff, not even one, and that was very important.  It’s a good San Jose team, and if you give them a little traction, who knows what happens.  But I know a lot of people compared this game to the early season game in Chicago last season, and the Flames made sure there wasn’t anything like that transpiring.  Very impressed with Calgary’s final 40 minutes.

Red Warrior

Rene Bourque.  I didn’t give it to him on Friday, and clearly he was mad about that…that’s obviously what it was.  Without question, he was the best player on the ice, and it just seems everything he does goes in the net.  Make it five goals in two games, and even more impressive…three game winning goals in four games.  That’s the most ridiculous stat I’ve ever heard.

Sum It Up

To me, one of the most dominating games we’ve seen under Brent Sutter.  The only other one that comes to mind is their 5-0 win in Nashville last season, which was also a thrashing.  Ten goals in two games isn’t too bad, especially after the offensive woes they suffered earlier this season.  It’s easy, again, to write off the opposition, because they were horsesh…garbage.  But, Calgary made them look bad too, and they deserved to win this hockey game.

      • BobB

        They’ve played way better games than Nashville. Vs. VAN in late Dec or early Jan (3-2 shootout win) and then vs. PIT (it was the first or second in that 9 game losing streak, but Iggy dominated Crosby with Jokinen at centre… that just shouldn’t happen).

        But tonight eclipsed all that.

    • Yeah…that’s a good point. The two least dominant games the Flames played against the Avs were probably the two games they won. Yeah, that was last season.

      As for Jokinen…I didn’t quite know what to say. I mean, he’s been better…than he was in Detroit. He still was tough to watch at times in a dominant game last night, though.

  • CitizenFlame

    Pat way to wrap up Overtime with that last caller Derrick(?). Wow, 2 wins in a row doesn’t suddenly erase all the teams problems but please, can we just take a break from the negativity for a couple of hours and bask in the glow of a dominant win over an elite team (whether they played 2 nights in a row or not).

  • CitizenFlame

    I thought that this was a great game from the Flames. The first line capitalized early on its chances, the second and third line were dominant again, and the fourth contributed nicely. I was really hoping the third line was going to score because I thought they looked awesome especially on the cycle where they looked they were cycling against a junior team. Bourque is in his own world right now! Backlund looks like he has taken a few steps forward. Morrison seemed to be everywhere. Tanguay and Iggy seem to be developing the chemistry again, and I thought I needed to get my eyes checked but does Olli seem to have chemistry with Hagman and Bourque? That line had some nice plays that weren’t all Bourque. Conroy looks great in a 4th line role, good in the face off circle and able to contribute offensively against the weaker comp. He’s already matched last seasons goal total? Nice pass from Meyer tonight too, on Connie’s goal. Kipper was solid tonight, and it was nice to see a game when he didn’t have to be spectacular. The D looked really strong tonight. I liked the pairings, maybe JBo would do well to be paired with a guy like Reggie more often to free him up to be a little more offensive. Reggie looks tough again, not to many guys want to go in a corner with him right now. Overall, the Flames looked good and I pray they don’t fall off a cliff going against the Oilers on Tuesday. How often have we seen that the past couple of seasons?

  • Sure is funny how Staios not in and we don’t have any OMG breakdowns in our end. I know that the Flames early problems aren’t all on him but I hope we never see him lace up again in a Flames jersey (anywhere else is fine). The new guy, Mikklson (spelled wrong), has looked okay through two games and he seems to have the right attitude about learning and playing within his abilities. Anyways, great game and hopefully they get even better.

    • The new guy, Mikklson (spelled wrong), has looked okay through two games and he seems to have the right attitude about learning and playing within his abilities

      So what happens when Pardy gets back? Moreso…what happens when everyone else gets back? Because he’s on a two-way, I think he’d be one of the first guys out, strictly for budget reasons.

      • I was actually wondering this myself. When Moss, Kotalik and (maybe?) Langkow return how will they deal with the crowded roster and salary cap?

        Sarich has earned his playing time thus far, staios will go down. Pardy gives a pretty solid top 7 but to get rid of mikkelson he will be on waivers again. Maybe Pardy will get traded for a draft pick and they will use Brodie as the #7?

        It would be sad to see but when the forwards return Conroy is likely done. I wonder who else is going to go? I do still believe trading away a forward is not out of place for this club… Maybe Iggy really will get traded?

        • Maybe Pardy will get traded for a draft pick and they will use Brodie as the #7?

          I’d highly doubt that would be the strategy, just because the team has stated they don’t want Brodie playing #7 or even #6 or 5 minutes. He needs to play and play lots right now, so if it’s in the AHL, so be it.

          Mikkelson would have to clear waivers, but they may have no choice. It’s also why I wonder if Backlund doesn’t end up in the AHL at some point as well.

          • He might but given his recent play I dont know if they could do it in their right minds. I read over at Matchsticks and Gasoline he has been the best Center on the team in many regards. I guess looking at this line-up it shouldnt be too difficult to determine.

            Jokinen isnt going anywhere with his NMC and niether is Stajan. Langkow realistically probably isn’t going to play for a long long time so maybe the centers will remain as is. Stajan, Jokinen, Backlund, and Conroy.

            Wingers are a bit of a mess. They would be better with Kotalik (maybe) and Moss (definitely). Where to they slot in? Both would be below Glencross for sure I would hope so does that make them 4th liners? I like the idea of having a 4th line of Kotalik Moss and Conroy? I’m sure they would be good but is that really a 4th line?

            In addition to the games I am actually almost more intrigued how this will all unfold when players are becoming healthy. Maybe Kotalik will never make the roster? (I highly doubt that). I would think knowing these players are coming back the current roster of lower tier guys should be working really hard to try and earn a spot for the year.

  • BobB

    That’s funny, Re: Kipper and Karlsson. I thought to myself when I saw it…Is the kid rubbing off on the old guy? Either way, the two goalies seem to have a good repertoire, and that’s important.

    I personally prefer a calm and cool goalie, but hey, it’s good to see Kipper having fun out there. He was solid.

    Bourque, do I need to pile on all the gushing? He was great. Say no more.

    Jokinen was very, very good last night. Say what you will about him, he’s put together two back-to-back games where he was solid and moving the puck really well. I don’t expect the world from him, and he screws up sometimes, but if he plays the rest of the season like he has the last two games, I’d be happy.

    Gio was good again.

    I’m still hoping we’re not seeing the best of White.

    I’m still hoping we’re not seeing the best of Iggy. A good shot does not make a complete player.

    I prefer this Mikkelsson kid to Staios even taking $ out of it. Sink Steve? We’ve got Brodie as back-up.

    That was actually a game from the Flames I enjoyed watching and against an elite team no less.

  • BobB

    Speaking of goalies, which I like to do so much.

    The media is already all over Turco in Chicago, comparing him to Huet, and wishing for Niemi. Idiots.

    hmm let’s see.

    Turco .927 ev sv%
    Niemi .871 ev sv%

    Sure it’s early, but last season:

    Turco .926ev on Dallas!
    Niemi .914ev on Chicago

    We saw Niemi last night, and what we saw he is. Niemi is not a number 1 goalie, well he is…and was, but he shouldn’t be.

    San Jose is really going to miss Nabakov. He was no hell, but he sure as hell is better than Niemi.

    And, yeah, Marty’s had a few rough years, but so has Dallas. He’s a very good top end goalie. Maybe not elite 5, but he’s in good company.

  • Upkeeper

    I love the picture contrasts. The Oilers vs. Sharks pic with the kid flipping the bird and the Flames vs. Sharks background with an ecstatic fan. Great photo choices. I guess that is how the games went.

    I love how we have 4 lines rolling.

  • Section 216

    After the first twelve minutes I was like “Why does this scream Thanksgiving 2009 to me”

    But I loved the way they played in the latter part of the game, Kipper very solid, They still got puck to the net and dominated the physical game once again from start to finish.

    RBQ better warrant one of the NHL’s Three Stars this week.

  • Just an all around great game by the Sharks…….oops I mean the Flames!! 🙂

    The Flames came to play from start to finish and did not even give the Sharks a sniff of a comeback and were strong on both sides of puck. Though the Flames did not score again they were so good on defence that there was no pressing need to score 5 or 6 goals last night. Getting Kipper the shutout was great to see. I am still a little concerned that the power play is not more efficient but they are looking good with the puck movement and pressure, they are just not scoring more. I still feel we are missing another goal scorer in the line-up but maybe over time this will sort itself out or they will need to try to make a trade at some point.

    Olli was solid last night and when he moves his feet and uses his speed he is pretty effective. I think Brent has found a spot for him and I like many others just do not see him as a first line centre. Second or third line is a good spot for Olli.

    Staios in exchange for a goal scorer….NOT! The 2 mil that Staios is sucking from the payroll would go a long ways to affording another goal scorer at some point.

    If the Flames continue to improve and play like this most nights they will be very competitive and will be an elite team in the 2010/2011 season. They will also be a playoff team. Consistency is what Brent Sutter wants game in and game out.

    Have a great day everyone!

  • Maybe someone like Hagman gets traded. Hes been good but they likely could get a good return for him and it frees up cap space and a roster spot. Even though he has been good I do think he is expendible on a healthy team.

    • BobB

      Yeah, It’s something I’ve been thinking about as well.






      If that works out well, then perfect, if not…uhhh

      I still can’t see Backlund hanging around all year even with the two goal game and I’ve really liked his game over the last four games. Maybe he stays around and plays 3rd line and it’s Conroy out, but I just don’t see Morrison being fit for a 4th line role.

      When things are going well, it sure looks like we’ve got too much depth, but when they start going bad…we’ll be calling on trading a whole line.

      Plus, there will inevitably be injuries.

      On the D. We just have to flush Staois. Pardy/Mikkelson as a 7th.

      Brody doesn’t come back.

      If Langkow ever comes back….who the hell knows? Trade Morrison? He’s really good value right now, that would be a shame.

  • Flames may have to make a quantity for quality trade once everyone is healthy again. There are teams like NJD and CHI who are dying for some NHL caliber depth to make up their bottom end. If they could swap one guy for two and get the prices right, it could work for both parties.

    Bolland and Zubrus may be targets.

  • everton fc

    I see Backlund going down. So is Sutter’s son. Conroy won’t be waived. He (and Sarich) have earned their minutes. So has Meyer. He’ll also stay put.

    Pardy/Mikkelson. We know Pardy. We don’t know Mikkelson. I think the latter is waived. Unless he plays well here. Then, perhaps, he gets packaged in a deal (or Pardy does…) With whom, for whom, for what – I’m not certain.

    Perhaps Staois will retire, if sent to the farm? Perhaps he can coach down there… on the bench.

  • BobB

    Problem is, I can only imagine any GM in the NHL would say this:

    “Darryl, you know I respect you, but if you even mention the name Staois, I’m hanging up the phone.”

    That’s what I would say. It’d be conversations about Pardy or no one, as far as trade-able Flames defenders go.

    And where we are… trading Pardy wouldn’t help us much, IMO, not at all.

    Having two serviceable defenders who can swap in and out of the 5-6 position and the press box, while only making 650-700k, is a very very nice luxury.

    • Staios is a guy who steadily becomes more tradable as the season goes along. That and both teams in question have really questionable bluelines. John Scott is playing every night in CHI (about 7 minutes a night) for instance.

      Now, Staios is certainly poor value, but he’s likely a step up from a goon. If the Blackhawks get sufficiently desperate, maybe Bolland can be had for Staios+a forward.