Postgame: Efficiency

It was one of those nights where seemingly everything was going in, as the Calgary Flames pumped home seven goals on 19 shots to take a 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars.  It was a rather sloppy hockey game with some good fortune (for once) shining on the Flames.  They move on to Vancouver to take on a Canucks team they’ll probably need to play a little better against to earn two points.

What Happened

The Flames opened the scoring early on with Alex Tanguay finishing off a nice passing play in the offensive zone for his 12th of the season at 3:40.  The Stars were able to draw even about five minutes later as Brenden Morrow drove home his 19th of the season on a nice Mike Ribeiro pass from behind the net.  At 12:12 of the period, the Stars took their first lead, as Brad Richards came down the right side on a 2-on-1…he’d roof it on Henrik Karlsson and Dallas seemed to be rolling.  But an odd man rush at 15:10 got the Flames even, and just like Richards, it was Olli Jokinen shooting on an odd man rush.  His ninth tied the game at two and we had an even game after 20.

The second saw Dallas start to tilt things, and they’d get some pretty quality scoring opportunties in the first half of the middle frame.  A couple of missed opportunities, along with a post, and then a Mikael Backlund goal at the other end turned things around pretty quickly.  Backlund took a pass from the right side boards from Tim Jackman and tipped it past Stars goalie Andrew Raycroft…and that opened the floodgates.  At 17:10, David Moss put home number nine on the season and then 54 seconds later, Brendan Morrison fired home his sixth to give Calgary a 5-2 lead.  Late in the frame, a Nicklas Grossman put home a point shot, and so after 40 Calgary was up by two.

We mentioned a sloppy game, and sloppy lead to the fourth Dallas goal 31 seconds into the third.  After a bad sequence in their own zone, James Neal score on a rebound after a Jamie Langenbrunner shot hit the crossbar and all of a sudden we’ve got a one goal game.  And then sloppy reared it’s head again…hard on the forecheck, Jarome Iginla would hound Stars defenceman Karlis Skrastins behind his own net, and it would pay off with a turnover.  Iginla took the puck hard to the net, and after a poor attempt at a save, it’s a 6-4 Calgary lead.  Moss’s second of the game at 12:12 on the powerplay got us to our final score.

Certainly a low scoring chance count, and that’s really how the game went.  Neither team was overly good, and with all those pucks going in…an odd night.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Well, on a night like this, because they scored more goals.  It was just a weird game, where both teams were very sloppy, and giveaways seemed to be the most prevalent thing.  Overall, Calgary was a little better, and they won the hockey game.

Red Warrior

I’ll go Cory Sarich.  I really liked his game tonight, as I thought he was strong at even strength and was pretty darn good on the penalty kill.  He finished with 20:54 of ice time, and he played simple, solid hockey.  The Flames remain without a true "number four" defenceman it could be argued, but Sarich is the guy best suited for the role, and sometimes he gits it very well.  Sometimes he doesn’t, but tonight I thought he was pretty good.

Sum It Up

Nope, it wasn’t pretty, or anything close to a masterpiece.  But it’s a win over a division leader, and it’s a win period.  The Flames get themselves back to the .500 mark, and they get a much needed win.  They’ll need a better effort against the Vancouver Canucks, but put this one behind you, burn the tape, and move on!