Postgame: 2 Points is 2 Points

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Matt Stajan , Jay Bouwmeester , Alex Tanguay  and Jarome Iginla  of the Calgary Flames celebrate a second period goal against the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 29, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

Yes, the Calgary Flames let a two goal slip on Monday night, but they were able to pull out two points at home.  Thanks to a Jarome Iginla overtime winner, the Flames were 3-2 winners over the Columbus Blue Jackets to give them points in back to back games.  The Flames have moved out of the Western Conference basement and get two days off before their next game on Thursday.

What Happened

The Flames got on the board nice and early, as Jarome Iginla wired one past Jackets goalie Steve Mason at 2:20 for his 13th of the season; Iginla took a nice pass from Mikael Backlund on the right wing and fired a nice rising shot from the circle to open the scoring.  It was a borderline bad goal from Mason, but it was also a really nice shot from the captain…however, the second Flames goal was not borderline.  Mason would lose his net and Brendan Morrison would score from the left circle; Morrison’s fifth came at 4:25 and gave the Flames a 2-0 lead after 20.  Kent had scoring chances 7-5 for the Flames, which was about right…a marginal advantage play wise after one.

The second period started well for Calgary, as they continues frustrating the Columbus attack early on.  In fact, for the first 25 minutes of this hockey game, it seemed like the Jackets had trouble getting anything through thanks to really good sticks and strong positioning.  But the Jackets started to tilt things as that middle frame continued, and were able to pot their first shorthanded at 18:45.  A soft play from Alex Tanguay lead to a turnover and the Jackets made good on it; Andrew Murray fed Antoine Vermette who rifled it past Miikka Kiprusoff to get Columbus within one after 40.

The Jackets were in full chase mode in the third, and the Flames countered by going into a full shell.  Columbus generated a number of high quality chances but were unable to convert; that was until the 15:41 mark.  With the Jackets on their first and only powerplay of the night, Rick Nash absolutely ripped one top corner to tie finally tie things up.  In a lot of ways, Calgary was lucky to get this thing to extra time, because they weren’t in it at all in the third.  But they did, and it paid off.

Overtime was very entertaining, and the Flames were able to generate a ton of opportunities.  Iginla scored his 14th at 3:49 of the extra frame after a very nice sequence in the Columbus end; after a Cory Sarich shot missed, Tanguay was able to find the captain who fired it into an empty net for his second of the night, and an important two points.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because they got things together and took over in the extra minute.  Yeah, the Flames were on their heels in the third period, and they didn’t do a great job of playing with the lead.  But they were able to keep things from getting away from them and were still in a position to win at the end of regulation.  Calgary took the ball and ran with it and outchanced the Jackets 4-1 in OT, and they deserved to win the game because of it.

Red Warrior

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 29: Mikael Backlund  of the Calgary Flames concentrates on the puck against the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 29, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Flames beat the Wild 3-0. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

I was very impressed with Mikael Backlund, the scoring chance count enforced that.  I thought Backlund really drove things playing with Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross for the majority of the hockey game…he was driving the puck to scoring areas, he was using his speed, and he fed Iginla on the opening goal of the game.  I thought it was a mistake to sit him for the one game, because it didn’t make sense…however, since then, he’s been very good.

Sum It Up

Hey, there were some things that didn’t go right for the Flames…in fact, had they lost in regulation, this would have been very, very tough to take.  But the message from Head Coach Brent Sutter was don’t critique the win.  The team earned two points and that’s all that matters; on top of that, they have three points over two games.  Hey, it might be grasping at straws, but it’s the truth.

  • D_mac15

    Well said pat no need to complain about two points, as inconsistent as the flames were in this one it seems like they’ve put together two decent games in a row. Let’s just hope they can string these next bunch together

  • SmellOfVictory

    Agreed on Backlund. I think his play warranted more icetime than he got (POWER PLAY, FOR EXAMPLE).

    Also I’ve decided to take on the role of ‘guy who points out times that Jokinen does good stuff’ and note that the Joker likely saved the game for Calgary when he took away a shooting chance from a CBJ player who basically had an open net.

  • CitizenFlame

    gotta take the 2 points, exhale. and move on. the focus must now shift to the leafs. the importance of the flames leafs game has huge implications on the flames season. a loss may be the knockout punch. the flames have to get points in every game this week or it is lights out.

  • D_mac15

    Hal i think thats perfect. This game coming up is everything, with all thats happened and i know we’ve all heard the rumors surrounding Dion, Jarome and Conroy, this game means everything, if they can win this one and string together the 2 in a row i think a nice little stretch could get started. If they lose trouble may be on the horizon for our boys

    • CitizenFlame

      i don’t really think that those events actually occurred. i think the truth is a little bit closer to dion versus darryll. the dion trade has hung over this franchise like a black cloud. if the leafs win, the knoose geta alot tighter for the sutters. dion was the apple of their eye, and it was brents sway that impacted darryll’s draft day decision.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Don’t worry about the Leafs boys. I’ve watched a lot of their games, and, boy, if the flames suck, they suckX100.

    Their ES chance ratio is horrible; they give up big goals against during key moments; and if our system leaves something to be desired, well, it’s better than having absolutely no direction at all.

    If the Flames lose to the second worst team (I actually think Jersey is better) then, let’s start the rebuild right after the game. I’m not kidding.
    This is not only the 30th must-win game of the year, but one the boys have to win for the sanity of the entire flames organization and fans.

  • GermanFlame

    Could have done without giving the bluejackets a point.. But don’t want to be over negative here, well done to the boys for pulling it out in overtime.

    Only real comment is man, When do we start seeing Backlund with Jokinen(Oops)… I have wanted to see that for a bit now, and not just for one game, for a couple to see how it works out. Come on Brent, Give it a try!

    EDIT- Well thats a silly blunder…Doesnt make me look the smartest either, I meant Backlund with Iginla and Tanguay as a line

    • SmellOfVictory

      If there is one player I don’t want mentoring Backlund, it’s Jokinen. That clown is the polar opposite of Backlund in terms of puck handling and playmaking on this team.

      I personally think Backs should be with Tanguay/Iggy all the time. He’s shown that he can play against the big boys reasonably well, and it’d mean he’s being put in one of the better positions to succeed offensively.

      Toronto prediction: Phaneuf gets a hat trick.

  • D_mac15

    Ya i agree, but in terms of the players there is very good reason to believe dion was a cancer in the room because obviously something happened in that room to prompt a trade mid season, Calgary got ripped hard on the trade i agree but i think it was almost forced, things werent as severe as some of the rumours out there, but that trade didnt happen for no reason.

  • CitizenFlame

    Resiliency. This team is finally showing some in the last two games. They did lose the last game but they came back in the third after going down by two. This game they probably would have folded after giving up the tying goal in the third but they didn’t and they came out and dominated the OT. Good for them.

    If they keep giving away loser points they aren’t going to get anywhere though. They don’t do themselves any favors when they give away one point for every two they earn.

    • icedawg_42

      “If they keep giving away loser points they aren’t going to get anywhere though. They don’t do themselves any favors when they give away one point for every two they earn.”

      Which is why 2 points isn’t two points. We need to catch every team, but especially the tweeners like Columbus. That can’t happen one point at a time. Let us hope the killer instinct shows up against the Leafs.

      • Gange

        my math says that he flames only gained one point on the horrid blue blazers, they may have gained 2 points on an idle team such as st louis but burned another game off the schedule. gaining 2 to idle teams with games in hand is a false be five back to a team that has 3 games in hand only buys the regime time. 31 of 82 down and you lead the oilers sounds better than last in the conference.

        • CitizenFlame

          Obviously the Flames got the most points they could get out of the game against all the teams they were not playing against. And it is much better to be not last than last, regardless of games in hand. I still think that there is a material difference between winning in overtime and winning in regulation, even this early in the season.

          Except for maybe Detroit, Vancouver, LA and Edmonton any Western conference team Calgary plays from now until the end of the season could be the one they are battling for a playoff spot. Looking back over the past few seasons, those 8th place battles have been deadly.

          -2010 – Philly v. Rangers, enough said.
          -2009 – Montreal and Florida tied in points – 6 to 10 in the West separated by 4 points.
          -2008 – Ok, at least two points in every race that year.
          -2007 – Calgary edges Colorado by a single point.

          Calgary is not in the same position of the teams in 7-10 where they can mostly rely on just keeping pace to get in, they need to leapfrog teams. That will be difficult to do if they tend to give up loser points, especially in games where they have the lead late.

  • D_mac15

    …what an entertaining overtime period 🙂

    …Backlund showed some flashes of offensive confidence tonight. He was holding onto the puck longer and finishing with good decision making.

    • CitizenFlame

      I agree, I am very impressed with how much he has come along this year in terms of his overall play. He has gone from being a passenger to starting to drive the play. Hopefully he starts to get rewarded with some offensive output. Some PP time from the head coach would help him out.

  • icedawg_42

    Yeah – Backs has been great, hopefully he keeps improving, and I agree about who the “best mentors” might be for him – Iggy the consumate all-star, and Tanguay who probably has the most individual talent on the team. Last night in OT was the first time I’ve actually been excited watching the Flames in a while, I actually gave a loud “YEAH” when Iggy scored in OT. I hate to be “that guy” but I suppose it bears noting that though they got 2 points, they still gave a point to a team they’re chasing in the conference..but like has been said, take the good. All I want for Christmas is an extended Flames winning streak.

  • Gange

    Yup it’s two points (Thank you Steve Mason). I’m not going to say it was well earned because without two softies this is a very different game. However you can put it in the win column.

    In spite of the tilted ice through much of the game I have to say that again I am impressed with Backlund. At least we have one prospect that really looks like he might round into form.

    It’s also nice to see Jarome be Jarome.

    All that being said, Darryl needs to go. I still vomit a little in my mouth when I watch Babchuk.

      • CitizenFlame

        I think Kotalik stays, it’s still too soon after the injury. The guy has only played 4 games? But the leash shouldn’t be too long. Maybe Glencross, he hasn’t done a whole lot lately. Olli came back to earth too, although he wasn’t horrible last night he didn’t add a bunch either. Bottom line is the centre group haven’t been getting it done. They have about a dozen goals combined.

        Is Conroy injured or is Sutter paying him half a mil so that he play 9 games to reach a 1000?

        • CitizenFlame

          people have been waiting kotalik’s entire career. jackman has better numbers and is making a bigger contribution at a fraction of the price. as for connie, probably both. glenx isn’t exactly on the sutter’s christmas list is he.

  • Our Centers have accounted for 15 goals this year.

    And then there’s Darryl’s added offense:
    Stajan has 4 goals in 52 games as a Flame.
    Hagman has 12 goals in 58 games.
    Kotalik has 3 goals in 36 games.
    Jokenin has 21 goals in 112 games.

    Epic failure.

    On the positive side Hagman is half decent, Jokenin has been playing well as of late, Tanguay has been great most games this year, and Morrison has been a value contract.

  • …lots of you are writing about Jokinen, so I thought I’d join in on the fun 🙂

    …I think it was the 3rd period (maybe overtime) last game. Hagman basically deked his way around the entire team, passed it to Jokinen, and Jokinen hung onto the puck only to skate past the shooting area and eat the puck in the corner. The guy still is fast, still has a shot, but he has ZERO confidence for whatever reason. Maybe he just can’t handle the pressure of playing in a Calgary or a New York? Maybe he is better suited to a stadium of 10,000 hockey-half wits than 20,000 die hards?

    • CitizenFlame

      I remember that play. Why can’t Hagman do that more often. It seems that one shift every game or two Hagman does something like that. It doesn’t often result in anything though. On that play, if I remember correctly, Jokinen had a guy on him right away. He had it on his back hand and the defender had a stick in there and I think he was trying to create seperation but couldn’t. I don’t really blame Jokinen for that, other than maybe he should have one-timed it when the pass first came out.

      • …if Hagman could somehow centre Tanguay and Iggy that might be interesting?

        …I’m not “blaming” Jokinen. However ;), ask any goalie, the quickness of the release is more important than how hard or accurate the shot is. In Florida Jokinen would probably have released that puck as soon as it hit his stick for that range.

        …maybe I’m a victim of watching too many Jokinen highlight reels on youtube from his Florida days 🙁

  • CitizenFlame

    A side note: If the Flames were to draft Landeskog this year, Calgary could be renamed Little Scandinavia, with Kiprusoff, Jokinen, Hagman, Backlund, Erixon, Landeskog. They could ice the Viking line on the PP.Why is it that Sutter only likes Europeans from those two countries?

  • CitizenFlame

    Take ‘boomer’ the yapping mutt off the air. Please. He’s not a journalist. Get off the air fanboy you’re losing AD dollars.

    Does our listening audience really interpret your sarcasm as a joke or are you really the voice of the people in that we are all whiny hypocrytes.

    Apparently the majority of the listening audience are rednecks as per your words. Are we all repeatedly sour grapes with no redeeming qualities too?

    Is rogers media playing a joke on us western folk?

    Thank god we have Pat leading the new generation. Move over you whiney mutt. Make way for a journalist that is deemed to be a collegue to Marr, Kerr, Rogers, and Richards.

    You call out the Sutters for failing their fans, you’re probably lucky most don’t get as annoyed with you as I do and choose to tune out.

    • CitizenFlame

      Funny thing is he uses the word redneck in a derrogatory context while he some how forgets that he is one. Hypocryte.

      Comes across as a social misfit. Almost as painful as watching the Flames of November.