That was straight four letter word Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome as the Calgary Flames had their five game point streak snapped in rather ugh fashion, taking a 6-0 thumping at the hands of the offensive juggernaut Pittsburgh Penguins. Detroit Red Wings? Colorado Avalanche! Nope…the Minnesota Wild…
This game didn’t start well for the home side, and a Martin Havlat goal 3:25 into the first period started the onslaught. Kyle Brodziak made a nice chip off the right boards and fed Havlat to the left of the slot who put it past Miikka Kiprusoff to open the scoring. An Anton Babchuk elbowing call shortly thereafter let the Wild go on the powerplay, and they’d score again, this time with Mikko Koivu ripping a low, well placed shot from the right circle. The two big guns counted for the Wild counted for their first period offence, and they carried a 2-0 lead into the second period.
Nothing much happened in that middle frame, with Calgary firing 12 fairly average outside shots on net. The two interesting notes in the second period were a penalty and a late goal. Curtis Glencross took a five minute major for boarding 79 seconds in when he took Clayton Stoner into the end boards from behind; it sounds as if the league will take a look, but it wasn’t intentional, so I’m guess no suspension. Late in the frame, a complete Flames breakdown lead to a third Wild goal. With Cory Sarich and Miikka Kiprusoff left out to dry, John Madden finally banged home his seventh of the season at 18:23. Minnesota would carry a 3-0 lead into the final frame.
The third period was a formality in a lot of ways, and that was sealed at 2:48 with Cal Clutterbuck’s wrist shot from the left blueline. It eluded a screened Kiprusoff and put this hockey game away. Chuck Kobasew’s eighth of the season would make it 5-0, with Kiprusoff hung out to dry again. Havlat would score the sixth of the season at 17:08, and bam, we’ve got a 6-0 final for the visitors. No good.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames lost? Because the Flames were absolutely horrid on this night. This was as bad a performance from Calgary as we’ve seen on the season. Minnesota scored six goals on 24 shots, and I know many will point the finger at the goaltender, but I’m sorry, the Flames were straight awful in front of him. The only one that could be on the goalies shoulder came in the third period and made it 4-0. Unless Kiprusoff is scoring goals, this game ain’t on his shoulders. I’m not saying the goalie was great, but, he got zero help tonight. 37 shots on goal mean nothing to me, as they didn’t do enough to test Backstrom, and they gave up far too many quality scoring opportunities.
Sum It Up
The Flames had a huge divisional game against the Wild, and coming off an emotional game on Monday, it was a little surprising to see Calgary play as poorly as they did tonight. It was a stinker. However, sometimes a bad game is a bad game, so I fully expect to see them bounce back against the Stars on Friday. It may not be enough, but it can’t be this. Yeesh.