Postgame: A Deserving Win

EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 29: Jarome Iginla  of the Calgary Flames celebrates his second period goal against the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 29, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

It’s kind of refreshing to see the Calgary Flames win a hockey game where they were the better team and deserved to win it.  That was exactly the case on Monday night when the Flames took a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, good for Calgary’s second straight win after a three game losing skid.

What Happened

The start didn’t really look good for the Flames, as they looked sluggish to start things off and surrendered the games first goal at 8:11.  Drew Stafford scored his 10th after a cough up in the Calgary zone and the Sabres would carry a 1-0 lead into the second period.  The first period saw scoring chances favor Buffalo 7-4 and you knew the Flames needed a much better effort the rest of the way.

They’d get that in the second period, where the team really started to take it to a beat up and depleted Sabres team.  Buffalo was playing without Tyler Myers thanks to the flu, which compounded injuries to Tim Connolly and Derek Roy and there were times when they looked it.  Calgary tied the game at 2:26 after Olli Jokinen buried the puck off a Ryan Miller rebound; and Jarome Iginla would put the Flames up 2-1 late in the period on a bad pinch from Jordan Leopold.  As the play went the other way, Alex Tanguay beat a chasing Jochen Hecht to feed Iginla who would make no mistake, and Calgary would carry a one goal lead into the third period.

Well, you’d expect the Sabres to really push to start the final frame off, but that wasn’t the case, because Calgary wouldn’t let them.  The Flames outchanced Buffalo 8-1 which is significant when playing against a chasing team, and they’d score three times.  Ales Kotalik would FINALLY get his first of the season at 2:20, ripping a wrister past Miller; David Moss and Tom Kostopoulos would also score for Calgary, while Patrick Kaleta had the only goal for Buffalo.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because, after a listless first, they outplayed the Sabres.  Buffalo isn’t a great team to begin with, and with the rash of injuries they’ve suffered, they’re even less effective, and the Flames really did a nice job of forcing the issue.  Head Coach Brent Sutter called it "getting your thinking cap on" in the second period, and the scoring chance count would speak to that.  Calgary didn’t give Buffalo much in the final 40, and on the PK, the Flames gave the Sabres nothing…they deserved to win this game.

Red Warrior

DENVER - NOVEMBER 09: Cory Sarich  of the Calgary Flames delivers a hit to Jonas Holos  of the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on November 9, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
 

Cory Sarich actually had a pretty strong game, at least in the "saw him good" category.  For what he’s being asked to do, I thought it was a better game for him, especially with the heavy workload he was asked to carry.  Sarich finished with 22:30 of ice time, which was second on the Flames behind Jay Bouwmeester.  Sarich played physical and did a pretty good job.

Sum It Up

The Flames were better and they won a game convincingly.  That’s important for a team that has pissed away a few games where they were better, and had to use a late goal to do so against the Stars on Thursday.  Also, Ales Kotalik scored and they played the above song at the ‘Dome; therefore, my night was made.  Calgary isn’t getting any help from the teams in front of them, so they have to force their own issues…two wins in a row is big, and you’ve got a struggling Avalanche team on Friday night.

  • Robert Cleave

    If it wasn’t for the opposition, I’d be pretty ecstatic about this win. However, the flames beat a beat a bad team with injuries to star player. Not exactly a tough thing to do. I know I sound like a downer, but the flames really aren’t that different than their opponent tonight: great goalie, few star forwards, bunch of underachievers. This flames team can play well at times, but their gonna be on the outside looking in at playoff time, just like the sabres.

  • Chances finished 17-11? I think if you take away the chances for Calgary with Buffalo’s goalie out at the end, it’d be a far closer tale. Not an inspiring win, given the absentees at the other end tonight. Still, a win’s a win. I just wish we had a few more of these earlier on, so W’s like these would actually mean something later.

    Guess which NHL team will string together a couple of winning streaks and still be on the outside looking in come April?

    Hint 1: It’ll be the one clinging to a middling first round pick in June , with a slim to none chance of acquiring a high impact player (and no 2nd or 3rd round picks).

    Hint 2: It’ll be the one which even though it may draft an effective player (which is an unlikely event in itself) will progressively erode his abilities so that he becomes nothing more than a 3rd or 4th line checker.

    Hint 3: It’ll be the one that will perceive a late but futile push towards the post=season as a positive sign and thus retain its “core” and upper management for next season.

    Hint 4: No, it’s not the Maple Leafs, silly.

  • Chances finished 17-11? I think if you take away the chances for Calgary with Buffalo’s goalie out at the end, it’d be a far closer tale. Not an inspiring win, given the absentees at the other end tonight. Still, a win’s a win. I just wish we had a few more of these earlier on, so W’s like these would actually mean something later.

    Guess which NHL team will string together a couple of winning streaks and still be on the outside looking in come April?

    Hint 1: It’ll be the one clinging to a middling first round pick in June , with a slim to none chance of acquiring a high impact player (and no 2nd or 3rd round picks).

    Hint 2: It’ll be the one which even though it may draft an effective player (which is an unlikely event in itself) will progressively erode his abilities so that he becomes nothing more than a 3rd or 4th line checker.

    Hint 3: It’ll be the one that will perceive a late but futile push towards the post=season as a positive sign and thus retain its “core” and upper management for next season.

    Hint 4: No, it’s not the Maple Leafs, silly.

  • Hi,

    I did not get to watch this game, unfortunately.

    But as a fan of this team, it is great to see Kotalik score–a beautiful one no less. Hopefully, he can gain some touch (or confidence or whatever) and give this team some much needed offense in the future. And I love that Eric Prydz song.

    Go Flames,

    -57

  • All the Dome staff needs to do is play that video along with the song and you’ll have a few less people distracted by the on-ice produ–

    What? The Flames have won two in a row? I must have missed that coverage in Las Vegas.

  • Great video, but what is lost in the Kotalik lovefest is his defensive gaffs. His poor defensive effort allowed the Sabres first goal, and his poor play on the wall allowed the Kaletta goal. Against an NHL team not the roadkill Sabres those breakdowns could be a goathorns. Kotalik’s goal does however demostrate the genius of Dutter.Bourque mediocre again, does his play of the last month, aside from the Tampa points qualify as slumping? 2 goals for the month, and wasn’t one against the Leafs?