Postgame: Home Cooking

CALGARY, CANADA - APRIL 6: Rene Bourque (C) of the Calgary Flames celebrates his goal with teammates Jarome Iginla #12 and Matt Stajan #18 against the San Jose Sharks in the third period of NHL action on April 6, 2010 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)

It’s funny how perception changes…you could look at Calgary’s five game road trip and say they lost four of five games, or you could look more recently and see two wins in three games.  Regardless, the Flames took a 3-0 win Monday night over the Minnesota Wild as Miikka Kiprusoff made 32 saves to post his 37th career shutout.

What Happened

Overall, it was a pretty lackluster opening twenty minutes, as neither team really did much…Kent had scoring chances 7-5 in favor of the Wild and they did generate a few quality ones, but for the most part, not a whole lot happened and things were scoreless after one.

The second period was different, as the Flames really came to play and things went the opposite way for the Wild, as the visitors really dropped off.  Calgary’s opening ten minutes were very strong and they scored twice as a result, starting at 3:08 when Jarome Iginla fed Jay Bouwmeester on a nice backhand pass; JBo potted his third of the season to make it 1-0.  Iginla would be in on it again, this time the recipient of an Alex Tanguay pass at the side of the net; Iginla would score his tenth 16 seconds after the opening tally and the Flames would carry a two goal lead into the third period.  Minnesota would hammer out a few more chances before the second period would end, but were unable to beat Kiprusoff, who was very strong.

It was only the seventh time time this season the Flames would carry a lead into the final period, and they’d close this one out.  Shots would finish 13-10 in favor of the Wild, but impressively, Calgary would only allow seven chances against.  It’s impressive, as Kent points out, because Minnesota was chasing and the Flames did a nice job of protecting.  Niklas Hagman would ice this thing at 18:31 with his seventh on the powerplay to take us to our final score.

One Good Reason…

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 29: Miikka Kiprusoff  of the Calgary Flames keeps a close eye on the puck carrier against the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 29, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

…why the Flames won?  Hey, they converted when they needed to.  Miikka Kiprusoff did a nice job making a few huge saves on some Minnesota ten bell chances, but I don’t believe he stole this game or anything like that.  Overall, the Flames were a bit better, especially after scoring those two goals in 16 seconds; from then on, the Wild didn’t have much sustained, even with a few quality chances.  Calgary scored twice in the second, protected well in the third and ice this game late…kind of a normal win.  They could use a few more of those variety of wins.

Red Warrior

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 27: Jarome Iginla  of the Calgary Flames takes a shot on goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on November 27, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

I really liked the captain tonight.  6-1 was the chance count when he was on the ice at even strength, and the top line overall had some really strong spans.  From the second period on, I felt Iginla was particularly dominant, seemingly creating things on every 5-on-5 shift.  He’s been very good the last eight games or so, and once again was a driving force in this game.

Sum It Up

Was it dominant?  Nope.  Did it do the trick?  It sure did…and hey, that’s all that matters.  The Flames beat a team in front of them in the standings, and a team they’re going to need to beat overall; quite frankly, it’s a team they should beat.  Calgary plays Minnesota three more times in the next ten games.

  • CitizenFlame

    backlund is fine. he’s geting chances he doesn’t seem to show up whenever he wants to. he plays hard. i agree he should stay with the big club. he has been progressing every game. surely iggy wasn’t the godsend his first full season either but he turned out to be wat he is today. everybody wants this team to win now but was detroit built in one day?

  • CitizenFlame

    @Stephan

    …I agree 99.9% with everything you said. It would not be a bad decision to keep Backlund in the lineup. However, with reference to your Detroit comment, the Red Wings are notorious for letting their prospects develop AWAY from the NHL and only then brining them to play when they are 100% ready. Backlund is only 21 years old. These Red Wings didn’t play their first NHL season until later than Backlund: Franzen (26), Datsyuk (23), and Zetterberg (22). I’m not saying give up on Backlund, or that he is not playing well.

  • everton fc

    To add to the Backlund furor! 🙂

    Here’s what I posted earlier:

    “The experiment of Jokinen/Backlund/Hagman may work. But Backlund will never score more than 10-12 goals at this level. He’s not much more than Boyd was, and looks smallish in traffic. Still, Backlund had a decent evening. Agreed. And Joker hustled. Kotalik would be a nice fit with Jokinen and Hagman”

    Note I didn’t say he should be sent down. AHL minutes will not help him. Nor will they help Meyer. Both are ready, in my opinion.

    So many went wild when Dawes was cut. What has he done to make this decision seem insane? Most were uspet when Boyd was dumped. He has 1 goal in 9 games with the Habs. That said, I think Boyd staying here may have produced 10-12 goals a season. On a third line. Maybe.

    Perhaps I am a bit too harsh on Backlund here in print. I do like him, and hope he does better than 10-12 goals a season. He’s seems a fun kid, a decent fellow, and has a lot of upside. I’ll bet he’s good in the dressing room which is important. But I think he’s a third line NHLer. That’s what I was getting at.

    What they do with him, or anyone else, come Kotalik’s return, is uncertain. What happens to Conroy? Meyer?? Ivanans, for that matter??? Someone’s has to be moved.

    @Lawrence – I agree with the roots of your fury and passion. I might not be as high on Baklund and some… But I like him, and think he needs to get a shot here.

  • PrairieStew

    Backlund is fine. He has played well enough to stay even though most of us were suggesting he start the year in Abbotsford. As to expectation, the last 10 centres drafted in the 20-25 slot averaged less than 10 goals and 16 assists in their 21 year old year.

    http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2010/9/24/1708091/useless-points-based-analysis-backlund

    Some of those guys have developed in to pretty good players : Zajac, Kesler, M Richards etc, but certainly weren’t world beaters at 21.

  • I wouldn’t personally cut Backlund…but some are raising good points here: he might get squeezed out via the numbers game. Im pretty sure he can still ale to bounce up and down between the NHL and WHL without passing through waivers. That might be the only option left for the club if they can’t make a trade.

  • Yeah meyer has been sent down.

    As soon as Pardy is back I think Unsteady Steve goes down to the A to face fellow overpaid veterans Souray & Redden, etc. Seems to be the trend this year.

    Conroy & Morrisson in the presser make for two decent fill ins if/when injuries arise.

    Iginla-Stajan-Tanguay – Seem to be producing well now.

    Hagman-Backlund-Bourque – I think a solid second line.

    GlenX-Jokinen-Kotalik – Sorry Scoreface.

    Kosto-Moss-Jackman – I would think Kostoplous & Jackman are in & out with Morrisson/Conroy.

  • everton fc

    Missed that about Meyer. Hope he clears waivers.

    Ivanans should be bought out. At least this team proves you don’t need a goon. Jackman’s not a goon.

    As for Conroy… It may be the end of the line, hey? But I don’t think Moss is a 4th line centre. He’s more valuable to us than that role.

    We may see some unexpected movement here. Stay tuned.

  • Yeah, Meyer cleared waivers.

    On a side note, Avs traded Scott Hannan to the Caps for Tomas Fleischmann. Seems like we have a few aging defenders making about that money that we could have offloaded… derp derp Sutter.

      • The Oil might take him back . . .

        Actually he would be sitting in about the 5-6 on the depth chart on the Oilers (how scary is that). Given that the Oilers have cap room they could bring him back for the proverbial bag of pucks and offensive zone draw.

        They wouldn’t really give something up for him but I’m sure Flames ownership would prefer to have the money associated with an expensive healthy scratch.

  • …I’d hate to part with Glencross (great 3rd line PK specialist), but he is an upcoming UFA, and we might be able to unload someone like Sarich in a package with him (and his big cap hit of 3.6 million in the last year of his contract upcoming next year).

  • perhaps the greek nation hockey team will take staios as player/coach. the oil are only a few points back and seem to be responding to rennies blast.lots of cap space left to acquire some key personnel. besides they are sitting pretty in the draft for yet another great pick.the difference between the oilers and the flames is that the oilers have vision.

    • The difference between you and a normal hockey fan is that you have had too much of that “hope for the future” kool aid.

      They may have “lots of cap space to acquire key personnel” but remember that noone classified as key personnel would want to play in Edmonton.

      Pretty sure Re-Khab would rather be in jail right now.

      • lmao too much kool aid? hope and optimism versus the current sutter philosphy of old and slow and nothing in the cupboards as true prospects go. i am okay with that. how many picks do the flames have in the first 100? one. look at the dale tallon plan buddy,chicago loaded up on picks and were then able to address strengths and weaknesses, reward a stanley cup and a young core. florida is going in that direction under tallon. so go ahead and ridicule.what is so different between edmonton and calgary?

  • You’re forgetting Tambellini isn’t Dave Tallon.

    Sucking for years & being able to draft high every year has paid off for Chicago, Pittsburgh, & Washington.

    Keep in mind the same strategy hasn’t gone so well for the Islanders, Thrashers, or Blue Jackets.

    The jury is still out on the Oilers. Eberle is a great prospect, I’d say the most complete player of the three rookies, Taylor Hall still has a long way to go.

    The Eberle/Hall duo doesn’t compare to Crosby/Malkin, Toews/Kane, Ovechkin/Backstrom.