Postgame: All Things Considered…

…that was a pretty darn impressive victory for the Calgary Flames.  With a crucial game staring them in the face, I really felt the Flames needed to rise to the occasion, however I knew with the opponent they were playing, it still might not have been good enough.  Well, on this night, the Flames rose to the moment, and with a little bit of debate (albeit the right call was made), the Flames are 4-3 shootout winners over the Vancouver Canucks.

What Happened

This one sure didn’t start well, did it?  The Canucks opened the scoring 3:32 into the first period, as a Henrik Sedin drop pass found the stick of Alex Edler who fired it past Miikka Kiprusoff.  It looked like Kiprusoff was screened, and you kind of had that feeling things could go south for the visitors.  But, a Calgary powerplay got this game all square at 8:42, as some nice work in front by Tim Jackman saw a puck pop loose for Brendan Morrison; he’d go roof on Roberto Luongo to score in his old barn and tie this game 1-1.  And then 20 seconds later, it was a bit of a Canucks breakdown in their own end, and a nice pass from Matt Stajan behind the net found Curtis Glencross; his backhand gave Calgary their first lead of the game.  After a shaky start, the Flames kind of had the Canucks on their heels in the first period, and they took a one goal lead into the first intermission.

The Canucks would tie the game early in the second though, with Edler getting his second of the game after a bit of a Flames defensive breakdown.  Eventually, Alex Burrows would find Edler on the left side and he had a wide open cage to shoot at, and he’d make no mistake, tying this game at two 73 seconds into the frame.  I thought the Flames really held on for the rest of the second, and Kiprusoff made some big stops on some pretty quality Vancouver chances.  After 40, it was 2-2, with the Canucks leading in the scoring chance count.

Vancouver carried the play in the opening two periods, but what was really impressive to see was how the Flames raised their game in the third period.  They were hard on the puck, they were driving the middle of the ice, and they were generating scoring chances.  And give Calgary credit for taking their second lead of the game at 6:42, with Mikael Backlund doing a nice job driving the net and dropping to Adam Pardy; his shot would be stopped by Luongo, but his difficulty in controlling the puck, Tim Jackman would follow through and put it home for his seventh of the season.  However, just under three minutes later with Calgary on a powerplay, Ryan Kesler would burn the Flames again, scoring shorthanded at 9:33.  The Canucks woke up from there on out, and carried the play for the remainder of the period, but off to overtime we went.

Once again, the Canucks carried the play in overtime, even with a Flames powerplay sprinkled in there.  And fancy that, we were off to a shootout.  Jeff Tambellini and Rene Bourque would both score on their first shots, while Mason Raymond and Olli Jokinen were stopped.  After Kesler would miss on Vancouver’s third shot, Alex Tanguay would score on Calgary’s final chance…or would he?  Yeah…he would, after a review, the right call was made, and what do you know?  The Flames have back to back wins over division leaders!

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because they held on in the first two periods, and yet the game was tied after 40.  And then they rose to the occasion.  The Flames played a really strong third period, and Vancouver need a shorthanded goal to come away with a point in that final frame.  I felt Calgary held on, but did it in a smart way, and didn’t look desperate doing it.  Were they the better team throughout?  No probably not, but they hung with Vancouver and probably pissed em off a little too.

Red Warrior

Hands down, Miikka Kiprusoff.  It was really nice to see him play a very solid game, especially after the first goal went in, seemingly right through him.  The saves he made after Vancouver went up 1-0 kept the game within reach, and he made some solid stops throughout the rest of the evening.  I really liked how he was square to the puck and how he was challenging shooters.

Sum It Up

What does this mean overall for the Calgary Flames?  I don’t think it’s some sort of message to the league to watch out or anything like that, BUT, it’s an important two points.  Vancouver was kinda non-chalant at times, but the Flames took advantage, and most importantly they played their game.  Do they win that game every night?  No probably not, but they did all they could, and on this night it was good for a ‘W’.  Why am I all of a sudden feeling so optimistic?  That was fun!

  • GermanFlame

    I heard you ended OT with a Canucks fan there Pat? That should be against the ‘code’ of overtime. Never end with an opposing team’s fan. Especially when its those nosey(Lets just say.. Im thinking something different) Canucks fans who have nothing better to do on saturday night then call into a Calgary hosted call-in show.

    I have to be truthful in that I had a really bad feeling about this game considering A: Canucks have lost 4outta5 and the Flames love to be those ‘slump busters’, and B: It was on back to back nights with travel the night before.

    When they got the one point, It was good for me… But when they got that second point and that goal was called good, I was downright estactic and even gave it the ol’ Calgary Tower fist pump!

    And to all the Canucks fans whining about that call… Flames got screwed out of a cup because a silly call like that was made, Canucks got screwed out of one point in regulation, big whoop. Stop your whining.

    Glad the right call was made, we all knew the puck was in his pad the whole time.

    • everton fc

      Poor ol’ Jamie Lundmark. The little dude I had already forgotten about. Not all that long ago i wanted to sharply slap Butters on his odd shaped head and say “your really gonna bench him but you’ll idle by and let jokinen stooge up the ice!”

  • Jarom

    We had every reason to dread this game.

    1. On the road 2. Vs. a cup contender 3. Kipper slumping 4. I will stop the list here but there’s more.

    You really have to give the team credit. How about Kostopoulos taking out Bieksa! The game was intense from beginning to end.

    Kipper needed a game like this. He was sharp and he was a major factor. Now we can collectively get off his A$$ and let him do his thing.

    The questions I have is where has this team been up to this point and can we do it again?

  • palooza

    How about Gio being -14 in the last month. Is this a byproduct of playing with Sarich, because it doesn’t seem like he’s being playing any differently of late. I was just kind of surprised by that number.

    • BobB

      I imagine it’s a number of things, but I doubt one of them is playing with Sarich. Cory may be a slower, overpaid defenseman, but he’s a smart player who pays attention to the details of his game and minimizes his mistakes.

      Also, if you allow a ton of goals against, you’re gonna see it show up on some peoples +/-.

      With all that said, the defensive play has been horrendously sloppy of late, and that’s probably being nice.

      Soft backhands up the boards that don’t get out (ie Morrison too many times), risky passes in front of the net or cross ice (Gio too many times), being soft on the puck when looking for long passes (Reggie too many times) and general running around like a chicken with his head cut off (JBO…)

      All of this stems from poor backpressure and cheating plays by forwards like Iggy and Tanguay continuously being lazy coming back.

      It happens too often. Every game, a lack of effort on the back-check turns into a goal against.

      I’ve never been on board with this team tanking the season, or blowing things up, and that’s because the primary reasons for their lack of success has been, and continues to be 1.) Full team effort 2.) Full 60 minute effort 3.)Attention to detail in the neutral zone. 4.)Adhesion to “any” system.

      Sutter is too damn busy spending his time focusing on guys who “Battle”, about reminding players to “have fun”, and too little stressing that proper positioning and back-pressure wins games.

      Case in point last nights Kesler goal. If you’re going to allow short-handed plays to go all the way up ice as a 2-on-2, what’s the point of having an extra man?

      Too many players thinking “Oh this is the perfect time for a 3on2 the other way as soon as….. oh …. damn…. guess we should have actually skated.”

      It starts with the Coach and the Captain. If they aren’t going to make that performance unacceptable… then who is?

      This is our leadership group/core:

      Jokinen -15,
      Gio – 13,
      Iggy -10,
      Bourque -10,
      Tanguay -5

      Most of the rest of the team are “+” players. Sure, it’s only a proxy for even strength play… but… I’d say that’s not the leadership we need.

      /end of rant.

  • BobB

    What the jepers is going on down there in Calgary? Are you rebuilding or not? The Wild game looked like the team was done for sure and then you follow up that bed crapper with a gritty win over the Nuck’s. Your team has got more personalities than Brittany Spears. What a Circus. I am an Oilers fan and atleast there is plan. Lose. You guys in Cowtown can’t decide whether you want the Prime Rib or the Salisbury Steak. By the team you decide its gonna be beef stew. You’ll get a mash of everything with alot stuff you never liked to eat. Shaat or get off the pot. Make a decision guys. As much as we hate you in Calgary you don’t deserve to suffer. Even us poor hicks here in Edmonton know when to put a sick horse down.Cheers.

  • everton fc

    Kostopoulos is really earing his spot on the ice, in my opinion. As a fourth liner, he’s been quite a nice pick up. Dropping Bieksa definitely helped! He’s not afraid to defend himself, or his teammates. I like that.