Postgame: Moving On…

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Impressive is not the word I’d use to describe Calgary’s 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers, but what is impressive is a six game win streak, and that’s exactly what the Flames are riding heading into a huge game against the LA Kings on Saturday night.  Mikael Backlund scored an odd one late in the third period to put Calgary up by one and they’d weather the storm from there on out as the team continues their push towards a playoff spot.

What Happened

An unfortunate play had the Atlanta Thrashers shorthanded on an Evander Kane high sticking double minor, and the Flames would get a few scoring chances.  However, it would be just as the powerplay was expiring when the Flames opened the scoring, as Mark Giordano fired home his fifth of the season at 4:55.  It was a clean, hard shot to give Calgary the lead, a lead they’d carry over into the second period.

The middle frame turned into a bit of a track meet, and the Thrashers would tie the game 58 seconds in, with Nicklas Bergfors feeding Bryan Little for his 14th of the season.  A bad pinch from Adam Pardy would lead to a Thrashers 2-on-1, with Nik Antropov threading a nice pass to Anthony Stewart for his 13th on the year, and just like that Atlanta was up by a goal.  It didn’t take long for the Flames to draw even though, as a nice passing play was finished off by Brendan Morrison 55 seconds later.  Morrison put home his ninth and extended his point streak to 6 games, and things finished all square after 40.

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Both goaltenders, Miikka Kiprusoff and Ondrej Pavelec, made some key stops in the third period, and Olli Jokinen missed two golden scoring opportunities, and it looked like the Flames might be heading towards another extra time game.  But, with just under six minutes to go, a scramble in front of the Atlanta crease saw Mikael Backlund push a puck towards the net…it would pinball past Pavelec to give Calgary their lead back.  A late Curtis Glencross marker into an empty night would seal a 4-2 Flames win, and a sixth consecutive victory.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Well, the bounces went their way tonight.  It was a rather mediocre performance for the Flames overall, but they were resilient, and they continued getting pucks to the net in a tied third period.  Calgary didn’t get any bounces for a long, long time so I don’t think anyone is really arguing when some goals end up on the lucky side of things.  Overall, Atlanta won the scoring chance battle, but Calgary has six straight wins.

Red Warrior

Robyn Regehr gets the nod tonight and he got into it on the offensive side of things as well.  He’d finish +1 overall, and ahead in the scoring chance count.  Regehr’s assist on Calgary’s opening goal was actually a pretty nice pass to set up Giordano’s goal.  I’ve been beating the Regehr drum all season long, and I thought he was tough and intimidating tonight, the same way he’ll need to play in the remaining 29 games this season.

Sum It Up

Well, you can probably burn the tape and just move on if you’re the Calgary Flames.  Not a whole lot was done impressively overall, BUT, the team continues to show a resilient nature that we haven’t seen in a long, long time.  The Kings are a different animal on Saturday, and that game becomes massively important, as both teams will have 58 points heading in.

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  • Vintage Flame

    …(random thought) Kotalik and Staios might come in handy during the stretch if injuries mount. It’s going to get really physical as the season comes to a conclusion.

  • everton fc


    I don’t think Kotalik will ever play in this city again. As for Staois, at 37, he may prove fragile. Or filler, like he was this game.

    Can’t wait to see Bouma. Another guy who may fit on a fourth line assignment is Cunning. We have injuries in ’04. We found the right filler – young guys eager to play. And impress.

    The Kings will be another big test. I guess until we lie a solid 6th, all the games are must-win tests. If Bourque, Hagman and Stajan ever find their game on a consistent basis… Say, with 15-20 games to go (or, against the Kings)… We could be a real problem for someone, as a lower seed.

    • CitizenFlame

      “Can’t wait to see Bouma. Another guy who may fit on a fourth line assignment is Cunning.”

      What about Meyers? I thought he really fit the 4th line role at the beginning of the season. I have no idea how he is doing on the farm, but liked what I saw from him at the start of the year.

      • everton fc

        I thought about Meyer after I hit “post comment”. But as Kent says, he seems to be out now. And I don’t think between Meyer and Cunning there’s much difference, really. That said, I’m a big fan of Stefan Meyer.

        There’s others down there that could come up and give fourth-line minutes. Matt Keith and Jon Rheault being two that come to mind. Keith, in particular, deserves a look.

        • CitizenFlame

          I didn’t realize that Meyer was hurt. Really, we’re talking about a 4th line 5-9 minute energy guy, so there should be no shortage of those guys in the system.

          I would like to see Staios put on waivers. I’d rather see one of the farm hands on ‘D’ get a shot over him as well. A couple of weeks ago when CBC had the heat game on they were talking about Pelech playing well recently. Same goes for Brodie. Not to mention the savings of demoting or getting rid of Staios.

    • CitizenFlame

      …you are probably right. However, if say Borque and/or another “goal scorer” are injured, I wouldn’t be suprised to see him recalled. I’m actually not as down on Kotalik as some, but that is another debate for another time πŸ™‚

      • Scott

        To be honest, in terms of rivalries, the wild are up there with edmonton and vancouver. IMO I don’t think there is much of a rivalry between Colorado and Calgary, (heck growing up I was as big of a Sakic fan as a flames fan) that may just be my opinion, but your right, emotionally, I hope the wild lose out the remainder of the season.

  • Vintage Flame

    I don’t think Kotalik will ever play in this city again. As for Staois, at 37, he may prove fragile. Or filler, like he was this game.

    I have to agree with this. IMO, Kotalik played himself right off this team and won’t be getting another chance. If he wasn’t on the cusp of being bought out last year, he sure is now. as for Staios.. who really knows, but I think your idea of a “filler” player is pretty much spot on.

    Can’t wait to see Bouma. Another guy who may fit on a fourth line assignment is Cunning. We have injuries in ’04. We found the right filler – young guys eager to play. And impress.

    Again,I agree. excited to see what Bouma will bring. I hope he comes in eager as hell and just play like someone just gave him the keys to the candy shop!!

  • Scott

    I think the appropriate word for this team, and fanbase is wow.

    “Wow” because a month ago no one thought this team could be in a playoff hunt

    “Wow” because the team is actually trying.. aside from olli of course. I think that guy has been curesed…

    “Wow” because of the number of ’04 references that have been made in the last day on Flamesnation.

    As each passing game, there is less focus on, ” Lots of games left…” to, “we can make a good run…”

    Its hard not to get too excited, winning ugly just reminds me even more like the 2004 team, and I don’t mind these wins at all. To me, this is what the teams identity needs to be…

    As I said after the last game, once the Games Played evens out, I’ll be prepared to be excited, for now, I’ll try and control my emotions until that point. Lets just hope that the wild and the avalanche dont have a three point night!

  • Vintage Flame

    …I’d rather be tied with the AVS than see the WILD move ahead of us, but meh, I guess your right it really doesn’t matter at this point πŸ™‚

  • CitizenFlame

    Looks like we will be 1 point out of 8th, but in 11th. Also we are 3 points out of 4th! And we’re 11th! It’s not that big of a long shot we could be 4th. Anything can happen but Calgary just needs to take care of buisness and win their games. Let’s pull a 2004!

  • Subversive

    A whole lot of “Crappy performance, but it’s a win” games lately, it seems. I worry it will all come crashing down, but I’ve actually started to dare to hope again.

    • It’s bound to even out again. Flames aren;t dominating here and a lot of the success is based on S/O wins and percentages. Question is when does the correction happen, because some teams ride bounces like this for awhile.

      • Scott

        Actually, Kent, during the 6 game winning streak they have two shootout wins( Vancouver and Nashville).

        Moreover, while they may not be dominating all their games (who the hell really can in the West; not even Vancouver, as any of the guys who follow their games will admit) they force teams to play their style -one in which the team with one more mistake than the other loses.

        We were losing those one-goal games earlier this season, and the latter part of last season, but are now winning them. The success will continue only if the D remains solid and the tandem of Kipper and Karlson is solid for the strech run.

        Consistency will be big factor, but I have personally come around to the opinion that the Flames are better than teams like Anaheim, Phoenix, Colorado, Nashville, and Minnesota (even though they have our number the last two seasons). If Regher and Kipper continue their recent excellent play, Calgary may actually finish higher than eighth. This may be borderline naive, but I believe if we don’t suffer a significant injury at the back-end we will continue win more than we lose.

  • Scott

    It amazes me how so many of the people who were agreeing the team should be blown up a few short weeks ago are now talking about riding off with the Cup due to one winning streak.

    As Kent notes, it will balance out.

    Lightning in a bottle only happens once.

    Personally, I’m tired of a plan that calls for scratching into 8th and then hoping to ride a hot goalie.

    I’d rather build a team the proper way and become a contender.

    Seeing as how the current plan has gotten us past the 1st round once in 21 years I’m not sure why anyone supports it still.

    It’s like refusing to put up with a little bit of pain at the dentists to have good teeth and instead choosing to live with a mouth full of rotten teeth.

    The bubble will burst and then all the usual moaning and groaning and over-analyzing will take place, will be a year older, still with little cap room, still with no blue chip prospects, but then the team will win 4 or 5 in a row and everyone will stop complaining and be believers again until the bubble bursts again at which point………..etc., etc, etc.

    This team has become a broken record and so have I. I I’ll stop now and be back later to say ‘I told you so.’

    • everton fc

      Seeing as how the current plan has gotten us past the 1st round once in 21 years I’m not sure why anyone supports it still.”

      If you think the Flames have had the same plan for 21 years you haven’t been paying attention.

      Question: When the Flames missed the playoffs for 7 straight years…. what was their strategy then?

      1. Buy to compete today
      2. Build for the future

      I’m not saying there is one right answer, but the “grass is always greener the other way” doesn’t guarantee success either.

      There is no reason for it to be so polarized. You take short-life current assets and turn them into future assets from now over the next couple of years.

      AND, you have to make sure you HAVE assets to put in their place. Something we don’t really have right now.

      • everton fc

        I’ve addressed the Young Guns era more times than I care to think about, so this will be the last. It was NOT a proper rebuild. It was a half-assed attempt that lacked deciation, commitment and resources to acquiring the number of assests needed, the scouting initiative required and the development tools necessary. “Something for now” and “our goal is to make the playoffs” don’t count as rebuilds to me. Had the proper resources and time and planning went the rebuild route we would’ve finished lower, picked higher, received more picks and prospects, scouted better and therefore drafted better and then subsequently developed better. Had that been done, we’d still be reaping the beneifts.

        Every GM for Calgary has had the mandate to make the playoffs every year. in that sense, the plan has been the same – win now. Different styles, but the same mandate. It comes from ownership. That’s why Phaneuf got traded for supposed 20 goal scores and not a prospect, for example.

        We have no young prospects capable of being impact players. Certainly none ready to step in now, next year or even the year after and make an impact.

        Ergo, to get those assets you have to trade the assets we do have – our heroes of yesteryear. Before they get so old that we have no assets for now or the future.

  • CitizenFlame


    Who pissed in your corn flakes?

    You make a good point about the team being mis-managed but I think I can speak for the rest of us when I say its nice to see a little work ethic coming from this team, even if we are not contenders. I don’t think anyone here is expecting a Cup; and I don’t think the Flames are all that bad. Three Stanley Cup finals in the last 25 years is not too shabby IMO.

    I’d peg you as a glass-is-half-empty kinda guy… am I right?

  • icedawg_42

    I dont peg the-wolf as a glass half empty guy. After listening to the overtime show last night, one thing struck me was the huge temperature shift in the last few weeks from “tear down the team” to “lets plan the parade”…lots of people claiming that “I told you so”….where were you a month ago?? I’ll put it this way, the team WILL have another losing streak – maybe 3 or 4 games, I hope we dont hear the same people calling in to b!tch about how slow and old Iginla is, or how Kipprusoff has passed his prime. I rode the roller coaster last year and I learned my lesson. I’ll take a stance of cautious optimism – I’ll have fun with the wins, but I will not be surprised by losses or extended losing streaks. I will say however that I am a bit surprised and very impressed with the way this team has seemed to have banded together. To me that’s more impressive than a 6 game “winning streak” that’s half full of shootout wins. —–and if anyone sees Jay Feaster on the street, please pass on a message for me “Please, Please, Please dont let Glencross walk!!!”

  • SmellOfVictory

    HAR! Actually I am a half-empty guy, astute observation.

    I just:

    1) don’t believe the team are suddenly world-beaters because Darryl’s sour puss face has left the dome and,

    2) tired of the ‘win it every year’ philosophy that obviously isn’t working.

    As far as 2 trips to the finals, 2 of those were with teams that would skate backwards circles around this club. You have to go from the last Cup win and that means one Cinderella run and nothing past the first in 21 years.

    So, yeah, I’m bitter, but I’m definately NOT a bandwagon fan. Though I’ll cheer as much as anyone if they make the playoffs because there’s no other options at that point.

    However, come summertime I’ll still say the team needs to be blown up for the sake of building a a true contender.

    And, if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly admit so. I dumped my ego years ago. I hope I am wrong (but I’m not)and we win it all (but that won’t happen).

    P.S. They were Frosted Flakes, not Corn Flakes.

    • CitizenFlame

      “I’d rather build a team the proper way and become a contender.”

      “This team has become a broken record and so have I. I I’ll stop now and be back later to say ‘I told you so.'”

      …the proper way? What you really mean is the way you are most comfortable with. I’m not saying blowing up the team wouldn’t yield good results in 5 years time. However, it is not the only way and to think so is narcissistic at best, ignorant at worst.

      …it doesn’t take a genius to realize Iggy and Kipper are getting older, and trading them to a team that overvalues them would be a good idea. However, like I said to another poster, what is the point if all we are getting in return is spare parts with no real blue chippers and or 1st rounders.

      • SmellOfVictory

        No, I mean the only way that’s viable for a club as old as Calgary, as bereft in any impact prospects as Calgary and with as much salary commitment as Calgary (even if Kotalik is gone).

        The time frame to do something like Philly did and choose to do a minor rebuild is gone. You should have seen the pitchforks and torches come out when I suggested trading only Iggy 3 years ago. A trade that would’ve paid huge dividends but for which I was basically banned off of another forum for even making.

        The time for half-measures is over. One or two moves isn’t going to cut it. Yes, that’s my opinion, you obviously have one too. Good for you, I respect it, but having an opinion makes me neither narcissistic or ignorant. Didn’t I just state in the last post I have no ego and would admit if I’m wrong?

        The core of every Cup winner is built throught the draft. Do you remember the names Fleury, Niweuwendyk, Roberts, Suter, MacInnis, Vernon, and on and on…?

        We WON the Cup with those guys we drafted. It’s hardly a one man opinion that building through the draft is the “proper” way. And it’s certainly no secret that the league largely rewards youth and speed.

        Obviously, proper management and scouting play into it. Of course you don’t want spare parts back. When doesn’t it? As I’ve stated before, I don’t care what the plan is if, if you have bad management it will fail. So that’s not really an argument as it should go without saying.

        Teams that have supposedly failed to build that wy, Minnesota for example, also tried hard to be immediatley competitive while building simultaneously, so the argument doesn’t wash. Same with the Young Guns era – “something for now, something for the future.” Don’t even mention NYI (Milbury, anyone?).

        It’s hard to commit to being a true contender. When the Hawks changed course and finally did that, they won and have a future in place to contend again for years instead of riding on a wing and a prayer.

        Hell, Pittsburgh built from scratch twice and won 3 Cups.

        Besides, the alternatives to blowing it up have been tried and obviously have not worked. It’s easy to be competitive and take the middle road and tinker here and there and sign here and there. The Leafs and Hawks and Bruins did it for decades and never won crap.

        However, maybe you can enlighten me as to your master plan rather than just hurling psuedo-psychology insults? I’ll try to climb my mountian of ignorance and consider your hockey points.

        • everton fc

          …I didn’t realize the words IGNORANT or NARCISSISTIC were “pseudo-psychological?”.

          …chill. I didn’t write that you were narcissistic or ignorant. I wrote to think THE ONLY WAY to build a contender is the way you outlined, is.

          …your way IS ONE WAY to do so, I respect that, and not having access to the trade offers made to Sutter or Feaster I have no clue what route I would take. I’m sorry, I am in the dark too πŸ˜‰

          …you are very selective in your examples, but again I agree that getting a top pick is beneficial. Just realize it IS ONE WAY, not THE ONLY WAY. After reading your rant I’m not sure that you do.

          • icedawg_42

            Well, considering the alternatives haven’t worked, in my opinion, it is the only way.

            I get that there are other ways, those ways just don’t work, in my opinion.

            Frusturation over 2 decades of being one and done (apart from solitary Cinderalla run that won’t happen twice, in my opinion)have made me avery bitter and jaded fan, in my opinion – though I’m sure you’ll agree with that one.

            No hard feelings.

          • everton fc

            “No hard feelings.”

            …it’s just hockey. If I ever attack anything it’s just my opinion of your hockey knowledge and even then I realize (usually) it’s just a matter of opinion and personal philosophy.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Speaking of things, did anyone read the interview with Warrener wherein h explicitly states that Darryl’s demeanor affected the morale of the players? I knew it!

  • everton fc

    It’s fair to say many (most?) posting here wanted this team blown to smithereens. Some still do. Some covet that first-round pick. I believe, until there’s proof our scouting has improved radically, any early picks we take a chance at… even the sure things… may not be properly developed. Hope that makes sense…

    I’m a fan who hopes for success now. In the history of sport, many teams have come out of the dungeon to win the crown, or at least come close. Look at the ’73 Mets – last place in August, take the A’s to 7 games in the World Series. The ’76 Suns vs. the Celtics… many in all sports. I hope for this destiny, with this team.

    As for blowing up the team… I never jumped on this band wagon. I never believed we should trade Iggy or Regehr. I still don’t. Trading Kipper at 34, with current elite status somewhat intact, I can see being considered. Trading perhaps Bouwmeester salary, I can see being considered. Moving the likes of Hagman and Stajan, ditto. Sarich. Ditto, though I actually like Sarich more than most… as a 5-6 guy.

    Anyways… I agree with those who say those who jumped ship want to get back onboard. So it goes in sports. Who cares?! I hope we make the playoffs and win the Cup. As crazy as that seems. We should all be pulling for this, and not a first-round pick.

    That’s my $0.02. Means little. And we will have our losing streaks. But I think they’ll be more along the lines of 2-3 games…

    And I am also quite psyched to see how Bouma, Cunning, Keith, Brodie, Meyer, or whoever else the Flames bring up from Abby. It’s time to see how are farm system looks. Live. In the NHL. Now. Other teams are doing this. How else are we to assess our talent pool, but to expose them to the big-time, especially in “must-win” situations…

    Remember Commodore and Montador during the ’04 Cup Run. The time to assess these guys is now.

    • SmellOfVictory

      …I agree with most of what you are saying everton fc. Blowing up the team for the sake of frustration is a horrible idea. If the stars align and the right deals are on the table for anyone (not just Iggy and Kiper) the GM has to consider it. Some on here (IMO) are the type of fan that just needs something to criticize more than to cheer for. I’m happy doing a little bit of both.

  • If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the game after writing about it intensely the last 6 years or so is this: the general human tendency to assume that current trends will continue indefinitely is always, always wrong. “This too shall pass” is a proverb every sports fan should remember.

    Not that Flames fans shouldn’t enjoy the current winning streak or anything. The bounces went the wrong way for awhile and now the hockey gods are smiling on the Flames. It doesn’t necessarily indicate anything beyond regression; the inevitable ebb and sway of fortune. Calgary was never as bad as they seemed when they were in 14th, but there aren’t nearly as good as their current streak suggests. They’ll eventually settle somewhere in the middle.

    • icedawg_42

      …agreed Kent. (IMO) I am one of the more optimistic posters on the nation as far as the Flames fourtunes are concerned. This win streak however is above and beyond anything I ever expected. (IMO) The Flames are good enough to get between a 4th and 8th place seed and I predicted after Oli and Tanguay were signed that we would be around 6th place in the West this season. There is no way were are winning the division, but hopefully we can play a weak 3rd or 4th place team if we make it to the dance.

  • icedawg_42

    – it became apparent some time ago that Jay Feaster didn’t intend to really change the makeup of this team very much, so we are left with cheering and hoping they go far, so it doesn’t matter who thinks the team should be blown up. It is what it is. I still look at this roster and see “.500” written all over it. Im happy for their recent success, but it’s really balancing out the horrible start – maybe the hockey gods are just making some corrections. Im glad they’re bringing up some of the youngsters for a look, but im curious as to what criteria they are using to determin who’s deserving of the call-up. Granted, I dont watch Abby play, so I dont see who’s doing what on the ice, but looking at stats, Bouma’s numbers aren’t really great – Neimsz seems to be doing a little better – is he injured or something?

  • everton fc

    There are no hockey gods!

    Kent’s right. icedawg’s right. It’s sports. The Flames could win 6 more. They could lose 6 in a row, and we’ll be talking about blowing up the ship once again.

    As a fan, ride the wave. It’s fun. Expect anything. Root for the best.


    Not a lot of scoring in Abby. Obviously a concern. I’d like to see what Keith can do up here. 15 goals on that team must mean something.

  • everton fc

    Do you want to know the worst part about the Flames being in contention is? I am starting to scoreboard watch and note that tonight Edmonton plays St. Louis and Vancouver plays Chicago.

    I have to hope for the Oilers and Canucks to win on the same night!? How many more times is this going to happen this season?

    Someone pass the Tylenol and Tequila.

  • icedawg_42

    Hey – anyone ever hear what the deal was with Freddie Meyer feinting at center ice was last night? after the game they were calling it “an upper body injury” (eye roll) – any updates on that? Wierd!

  • everton fc

    Things are so tight right now anything can happen, the Flames have just as good of a chance as the other 4-12th place teams. I definetly don’t think the Flames are better than anyone else, but I would say as good as most teams in the West. Back in December I thought the only way Flames could make the playoffs is if we got on a hot streak and won like 10 games in a row. Well, its happening.. things are falling into place so there is a good reason to get excited. I firmly beleive that in the playoffs anything can happen, we’ve seen it time and time again. Eventually the bounces have to go Calgary’s way (I know that’s a terrible cliche) but we’ll see.. If the Flames get lucky and sneak into the playoffs, do you blow it up after the season they’ve had?