Postgame: Five!

Style points aren’t counted in hockey, and for just the third time this season, the Calgary Flames won a hockey game when trailing after 40 minutes, taking a 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators.  Calgary trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in this game, and for the seventh time this season, it took a shootout for Calgary to get the win, but at this point that’s not important…you can make it five straight wins and a little closer to that all important playoff spot.

What Happened

An absolutely furious start for the Flames gave them opportunity after opportunity, and Kent had scoring chances 8-0 early on, yet things remained scoreless.  And then a string of giveaways from Cory Sarich helped the Predators break in on a 2-on-1, with Martin Erat finishing a Sergei Kostitsyn pass, and on their first scoring chance, the Preds took a 1-0 lead.  From there on out, Nashville tilted things back the other way, getting the next nine chances and carrying a one goal bulge into the intermission.

The middle frame was fairly tame, with not much happening at either end of the ice.  Bad ice in Nashville seemed to really hamper anything from happening, and both teams fell into a very conservative game plan, which I guess is to be expected in the first game after the All Star break.  For the 24th time this season, Calgary trailed into the third period, with only two wins to show for it.

Calgary drew even early on, with Matt Stajan scoring at 2:57, getting his fourth past Pekka Rinne in a soft manor.  Rinne should have stopped the slap shot from just inside the blueline, but the Preds cancelled it off on the powerplay at 5:24 with Patric Hornqvist putting home his 16th catching Miikka Kiprusoff going the other way to restore the one goal lead.  But a nice shift from Calgary’s first line midway through the frame drew Calgary even once more, from an unlikely source.  After Jarome Iginla started the shift, Alex Tanguay would eventually find…CORY SARICH in from the blueline, and he’s fire home his second of the season.  The Flames wouldn’t be able to score on a late powerplay, and off to overtime we went.

Neither team did a whole lot in that extra five minutes, so it was a shootout that would decide things once again for Calgary.  These two teams each had six shootout wins heading in, leading the NHL in that category, and Rene Bourque’s goal was the only one needed as Kiprusoff stopped all three Nashville shooters to help Calgary to the win.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  I really liked their third period.  Even though Calgary gave up the powerplay goal after tying it the first time, the Flames played a strong final 20 minutes to get this thing to extra time.  They scored twice at even strength, limited the Preds to very little (one chance) at 5-on-5, and got themselves in a position for at least a single point.  They now have points in 10 of their last 11 games, and the third period in this game was a big reason why.

Red Warrior

As much as it was nice to see Stajan score his fourth of the season, I’ll go Curtis Glencross who was very strong along with Stajan on that third line.  Both players had strong games, but Glencross was making things happen offensively with a nice physical game, and his work at the other end was just fine.  When Glencross is on, he’s a difference maker, especially on a third line.  I felt he made a difference a few times on this night.

Sum It Up

That’s a sixth straight win for the Flames in Nashville and a fifth straight win overall, yet, they don’t move out of 12th place in the Western Conference.  Sure they’re tied with a few other teams with 56 points, but it shows you the difficulty of really moving up.  That being said, they’ve taken three of three from a conference opponent, even with the Preds taking two of a possible six points.  Calgary’s got six of six, and they’ll take that.  Just start winning in regulation…because these shootout wins get nullified in the event of an eighth place tie.

  • everton fc

    We are in 12th but only 1 point out assuming the sharks don’t come back tonight. Wow! I have never seen spots 4-12 be so close ever, so the flames need to keep playing good hockey. If they keep playing as well as they have they will get in. Go Flames Go!!

  • Flamin Cannot's

    Everyone is back on the flamers bandwagon! We are gonna make the playoffs, hurrah! Not so fast… The flamers currently have 56 points and they have 30 games left X 2 points for a win = a possible 60 points The LEAST amount of points a team needs to make the playoffs is around 96 points… 96 – 56 = 40 more points needed…40/60 = .666 Soo…as all the reporters have been saying the flames MUST win 2 out of very 3 games from here on out… Possible? Yes, but it sure ain’t good betting odds.

  • Flamin Cannot's

    The number of 95/96 points is historical reference, However if one was inclinded to do the math (ie kent) I think it would necessarily show that the increase in parity is directly correlated to a decrease in avg. points needed to make playoffs. Eitherway 90 points should get your a chance and is still a reasonable feat. It can be done.

  • Flamin Cannot's

    Hey, Flamin Cannot’s or whatever your stupid moniker is, what you don’t realize is that the other five teams the Flames are contending with also have to accomplish pretty much the same feat, as they all find themselves in relatively the same fix. Even the Coyotes sitting in sixth have to go 18W-12L to barely squeak into eighth -forget about maintaining their position.

  • I only caught the third but from what you summed up, Pat, it was the period to watch.

    Great grit, nice resilience after giving up the 2nd goal. A hard fought victory, for sure! Nice to extend the winning streak in Nashville to 5 in a row.

    Toughest moment for me was right within the first minute when Tangs had a shorthanded breakaway only to have his stick lifted at the very last moment. A gorgeous defensive play by the Preds to get back… that’s some back-checking I’d like to see happen on our side more often.

  • icedawg_42

    The Flames ‘comeback’ has ridden largely on the back of OT and shootout points – to me, not indicative of whether this team is truly competetive. Points are points, and I’d much rather watch a team who’s in the mix, that be depressed by having them way out of it. We can be pretty sure that there is no ‘retool’ coming this season. Pat, I echo your sentiment that we need to see some regulation wins here, not only to make up/increase standing amongst teams in the same conference, but also to simply prove that they can win a game outright. There are no ‘loser’ points in the playoffs – assuming they can get there. What’s with Sarich anyway – is he the Flame with the biggest swing between good and awful?

  • RodBlogojevich

    @ doc

    “However if one was inclinded to do the math (ie kent)”

    I’m not speaking for Kent or anything here, but seriously, maybe you should try to “look at the math” because you’re coming across as a pretty huge dumbass right now. Contribute something to the discussion by doing it yourself (if you can, of course).

  • Alright folks let’s not start name-calling.

    The line for the playoffs changes daily. I’d say between 93-95 points is where it’s going to fall this year. The lowest it’s been since the lock-out is 91 and the highest has been 96.

    Sport Clubs stats puts the Flames chances at about 22%. That’s still pretty poor, but a lot better than the 4% they dropped to in December.

    • TheGirlOutWest

      Then don’t watch, don’t listen, don’t look at stats, or get involved in blogs.

      It’s a GAME. They’re having fun winning. Maybe there is no fun in your life. When I pay to go watch this team, I surely don’t like watching them lose. I want them to win, and when they do, it’s usually entertaining. That’s what I want – to be entertained.

      Perhaps you need some antidepressants to lighten up our life. Try going to a game and having fun. You, too, can be a winner!

      Or maybe go to the Devils blog and you can lift your depression with their record of 17–30–3.

      • TheGirlOutWest

        You sound like a Lefs fan. No wonder this team has only gone past the first round once in 21 years.

        It’s easy to be competitive, it’s hard to be a contender.

        As a fan, I want to see the latter.

        • TheGirlOutWest

          Where did the Flyers and Habs finish last year-answer barely in playoffs.
          Both sqeeked in with less points than the Flames and both knocked off top teams deep into the playoffs.

          Now how has being terrible for years and drafting high been working for the Islanders, Atlanta and even the leafs and Oilers.

          Be careful what you wish for!

          • TheGirlOutWest

            The draft is the only way to build a contender and stay one.

            No plan in the world will overcome bad management.

            Lightning in a bottle happens to teams once.

            It’s nice to be a fan, but I don’t want to continue to see a plan that calls for scratching into eigth spot and hoping that you can ride a hot goalie.

            Philly, btw, had a much better team than what they showed, as evidenced this year.

            Our plan has gotten us past the 1st round once since ’89 and yet you’re trying to tell me that it works and we should stay with it?

  • otto

    The team is doing better since they broke things down into 3 game segments.Might I suggest that we fans do the same.Stop worrying about next month or next season and just enjoy the ride.(Or get off the wagon.)Go Flames Go!

    • otto

      …some cynicism, criticism, and scepticism is warranted, but (IMO) lots on this board are hard to please and just need something to complain about. I’m not saying the Flames are the best team in the league, but being depressed about a 5 game winning streak? Come on 🙁 It’s not like we are the Islanders or Devils and have a legitimate shot at the first few picks.

      • Vintage Flame

        We could if we traded our aging stars who can’t get us past the first round for some fresh blood. Whatever, enjoy finishing in 9th and watching the team that picks directly ahead of us draft the player everyone wants and instead pick up another future 3rd liner who was actually ranked 42nd.

  • Vintage Flame

    Well I can’t believe I’m actually saying.. err typing this but I’m a believer. I tried not to be, I tried saying the team needed to burn the Dome down and start from scratch, but in the end.. I just don’t want to see them do it. I want to see them win. I like the wins, the comebacks, and it drives me nuts when they lose.

    I hope they NEVER get the first pick overall, unless they trade for it! Leave that glorious honour for the Oilers.

    As I said before in another discussion, I think the Flames need to set the organization on what it wants to accomplish in the off season whether or not the make the playoffs. I hope there aren’t too many “ifs’, but rather more “whens”

    Even if by some miracle they win the Cup this year, I would hope it does not change the plan for what this team needs to accomplish within the organization in the short term.

    • Vintage Flame

      I completely agree with you. I still feel this team needs a retooling, but that can wait until the trade deadline (depending on our state of affairs at that time) or the off season. I hope they go into Vancouver in Round 1 and send them packing (undoubtedly in the 7th game in Vancouver)!

      After that, what ever happens, this team needs to sit down with “the core” discuss who wants to stay during this retooling, and move forward dumping stajan, hagman, staios, sarich etc. Oh and cloning Jackman, 3 Jackmans on the 4th line would be awesome to watch next year….

      • Vintage Flame

        Yeah.. It would be pretty sweet to send Van away crying again.. Especially with that playoff choke Louongo.

        For the record, it is ALWAYS good to get Vancouver OUT of the playoffs as soon as possible, just so we don’t have to listen to Jim Hughson talk about the Sedin’s like they’re neighbors. Oh and the BIGGEST reason? So I don’t have to listen to him say Kevin Biiiiieeeeksaaaa.

        That annoyed me just typing it…

        • Oyo

          Haha I totally agree, to oust them on their home ice would be spectacular!

          I’ve moved past the sedins, they are good enough, and decent enough role models that I have accepted them in the “star” category. But Bieksa, Burrows and Kesler… They are different, I can’t stand these guys at all. A bunch on whiners and babies.

          I don’t mind Hughson so much any more, its his partner Craig Simpson that drives be wild. That guy is as anti-Calgary as it gets…

          Side note: Did any see Prust get “knocked out” by Staal yesterday? That guy went down faster than Avery, they must be roommates now. Prust never pulled that stuff here. Too much Broadway and Avery….

          • Vintage Flame

            “I don’t mind Hughson so much any more, its his partner Craig Simpson that drives be wild. That guy is as anti-Calgary as it gets…

            Side note: Did any see Prust get “knocked out” by Staal yesterday? That guy went down faster than Avery, they must be roommates now. Prust never pulled that stuff here. Too much Broadway and Avery….”

            What would you expect from Simpson… He IS a former Oiler!

            I was REALLY disappointed with Prust going down like that. I would have expected him to get up and kick the crap out of Staal.. Instead he went down like he was Marion Gaborik.

          • Vintage Flame

            “To be fair, Prust’s head snapped from side to side pretty hard; he sorta’ turned into it a bit from what I can see.”

            Don’t get me wrong.. Prust sold it really well, but let’s be honest, it was Staal’s left hand, with his glove on, flatfooted and virtually NO backswing in the punch. It’s not like he set his feet and loaded up the ol’ hay-maker?

          • Vintage Flame

            @Vintage Flame:

            Yah I know, thats why I was surprised when he left the oilers broadcast team… I guess he saw Louie Debrusk coming and ran the other way… With good reason! Your right, that is more like Gaborik, Avery would have ran away before getting hit… Silly me.


            As for Prust, I was shocked. This guy can take on the giants and fight the best fighters and this drops him? Wow.. I know Barnaby called it embellishment too. I’m sure it hurt but, c’mon, a left handed jab like that though… His head snapped back so fast because he was trying to be like Avery.

  • Vintage Flame

    I’m doing my best to temper my emotions, every time I get excited and look at the standings, I’ll wait until the games played matches up with the teams the are tied in points with. Currently the Flames have played 1-2 more games the other teams tied in points, once these games are played we could be back in 14th, but I’m holding out hope that everyone team loses 2 straight to cancel out those games.

  • Oyo

    Team needs to start winning more games in regulation. Not to be too much of a negative nancy but with the playoff race as tight as it is the team needs to start winning more games in regulation. Sure it’s nice to be winning and collecting points but giving one away ain’t gonna help and the S.O. wins don’t help us if we need a tiebreaker.

  • BobB


    I like how a punch to the jaw isn’t a head shot.

    “Oh, but honest… it was a soft headshot, and I intentionally only used my fist… at least I didn’t accidentally have one piece of the cap of my shoulder pad catch him when we were flying at each other at 20kmph in a body check. This way the league could KNOW I was really trying to hit him in the jaw.”

    Perspective. We’re looking for it, as it’s been completely lost.

    • BobB

      Oh, its definately a penalty, I just get annoyed when players turn into Actors… Hey if Olli’s stick can bounce off a shoulder pad and hit the guy in the head and get called a head shot, then no doubt this is too. I’d like to see Boogaard do that next time…

  • icedawg_42

    I for one wouldnt be too excited to see a #1 seed Vancouver vs #8 seed Flames series. Main reason is that I dont think the guys are equipped to beat them in a series (saying that just made me throw up in my mouth a bit), there’s NOTHING…let me repeat, NOTHING worse then when canuck fans start coming out of the wood work. In my experience at least Oiler fans keep the razzing mainly about the hockey. Im as stoked as anyone about where the Flames have put themselves, but I’m going to temper my expectations, and ride out the annual roller-coaster ride. I hope the hockey gods are listening when I pray all this effort doesnt just lead to a 9th overall finish. Then again, another ‘one and done’ is almost as bad as not making the dance. And, yeah, what’s with Prust going down like Lindsay Lohan? He really should have laughed that one off!