Postgame: It’s a Win

There really wasn’t much competition Thursday night at the ‘Dome, as the Calgary Flames took a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche without much resistence.  The game was decided on two early powerplay goals, and with the Flames needing a win, they did more than enough to make sure a winnable game didn’t get away on them.  The victory snaps a three game losing skid and moves Calgary back into a playoff spot for the time being.

What Happened

This game was over pretty early, to be honest.  A Cody McLeod tripping penalty 2:05 into the game turned quickly into a 5-on-3 with a Ryan O’Reilly goalie interference call, and the Flames made the Avs pay dearly.  First, it was a Jarome Iginla no-doubter on the two man advantage, with Alex Tanguay feeding the captain in the left circle for his 31st of the season.  24 seconds later, it was Mark Giordano sweeping home his seventh, also on the powerplay, and very quickly it was 2-0 Calgary.  The Avalanche would show a little life, catching a nice break off the referee which allowed Matt Duchene to feed Mark Olver for his first NHL goal at 7:35.  Colorado wasn’t terrible for the balance of the first, but the Flames drove home the dagger with 18 seconds remaining in the frame; Rene Bourque would notch his 24th on a seeing-eye shot past Peter Budah, and Calgary would take a two goal lead into the second period.

The second period was about as uneventful a period of hockey you could ever imagine, and as such, no goals and only a few chances.  It was 3-1 Calgary after 40.

The Flames would just pad the lead in the final frame, starting with Ales Kotalik’s welcome back goal at 4:36.  His fourth of the season came on a nice Niklas Hagman pass from the other side of the crease and put this game out of reach.  Jarome Iginla would score just under two minutes later, good for his 32nd of the season before a Cody McLeod powerplay goal cashed in on the powerplay late, getting us to our final score.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  This one’s pretty easy…they were a whole lot better.  I know the scoring chance count ends up somewhat close, but that’s due to the Avalanche getting a few in the latter stages of the game.  Overall, the Avs weren’t close, because they just aren’t a good hockey team, and they aren’t going anywhere.  This team clearly sees the finish line, and while it wasn’t a 9-1 win for Calgary, the Flames took advantage of a poor team and won the game.

Red Warrior

Let’s do it.  Ales Kotalik.  Welcome back.  Who knows if he plays effective hockey at all the rest of the season, and hey, it wasn’t as if he was a world beater tonight.  But Kotalik had two points, which is almost as much as he had in his entire season prior.  So, good on em.

Sum It Up

It’s a game the Flames should have won, so nobody is going to start the celebration because they did.  But give them credit, they did exactly what they needed to do, and win a hockey game.  It wasn’t a firing on all cylinders type night, but it was a firing on some cylinders night, and that’s all you need against who they played tonight.  Now you go out on the road, with three crucial games in the Pacific.  Once that trip is done, well…we’ll know.

  • Vintage Flame

    K I saw the still on the video for Kotalik and forgot what the hell I was even reading.. Nice video Patty! Never remembered that one. Forget the song, they should play the video, or at least the start when Kots scores.

    Anyways….

    Not a great game but a great win for the boys. They did what they needed to do.. beat an inferior team, convincingly. Some really good aspects to this game too. Obviously the production from Kotalik, but let’s face it, our Captain had a great game too. Exactly what this team needs in these last 10 games. Iggy carrying this team and this City on his shoulders. If Iggy does just that, then I’m sure the fans will ride a 1000 pt career and possibly 40 goal season, high right into the playoffs.

  • Good to see them put another in the W column.

    On a side note, why is it that every time the Flames play, Kipper lets someone ridiculous score? By this, I mean that I hear an awful lot of “first NHL goal ever” (a la Olver) or “first goal in 3 months” (a la Stempniak) or “first goal in 2 years”. Damn you Kipper, you like seeing those people score, make ’em feel better?

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Forget the song, they should play the video, or at least the start when Kots scores.

    …. they do. you just wouldn’t usually know cause the goals are so few and far between. 😉

  • icedawg_42

    Best music video of all time. Always liked that song just because of that video haha. Wow – talk about no love out of town last night. Am I crazy to think the Flames could garner 10/10 points vs EDM, COL and STL? – I think they’re gonna need to, this California roadie still worries me a bit…I’ve had my eye on it for a long time now!

  • everton fc

    I think we will be okay against the Blues, as I honestly think we are a better team than the Kings. We play a different style that matches up better versus the BlueNotes. I think we’ll be fine.

    The California trip is the season, methinks. Anaheim is a tougher team than the Kings. Obviously you have to go with Kipper in both games…

    Kent, I think, made the comment last week that perhaps Kipper plays the game in Phoenix instead of Karlsson, and Karlsson getting the nod in Vancouver. I agreed with that theory. And it may prove a costly decision, for the Flames, as I think Kipper might have stolen that game for us in the desert.

    Easy to be a critic on a keyboard, of course.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Anaheim, IMO, is definitely the poorer team compare to LA. The teams in the Pacific division have to play each other over the next couple of weeks. With the competitveness of that division, games for those team are tougher. Let’s hope there aren’t too many 3-point games between them. I think Nashville may have the easiest schedule of the 4 teams – Calgary, Ducks, Preds, Stars – not to mention that they will play most of the games at home. Here’s hoping that the Ducks and Stars falter in divisional play and the Flames can sneak in.

    Assuming that the eventual playoff teams win 60% of their remaining games, we are going to have a log jam of teams with 96 to 97 points, which methinks will be the cutoff. Yotes, Hawks, Stars will only have to play .500 hockey to get that mark. Flames, Preds, Ducks will need to play .750. I doubt if all 3 teams will do that. Pretty tall order for the Flames. That 3-game losing streak really hurt. I was hoping that the boys would have split the 2-gamer with the Yotes, but alas…. They really need to sweep the 2 games remaining against the Ducks and find ways to get points against LA, SJ, and the Nuckleheads. And of course, get all the points against the likes of the Spoilers, Avs, and Blues (tough game in St. Loo). I would NOT want the Flames playoff chance resting on the final game of the season against Vancouver unless they will sit out the Sedins, Kesler, etc…

    Just to speculate…. if the final game against Van is for all the marble (Flames’ pov), will the league mandate that the Canucks play their star players just so that other teams like the Ducks, Preds, etc., will not bitch? That would be an interesting scenario. If I was Van, I would not want to play my best players in a meaningless game against a desperate team who will try to lay it all the line. The physicallity might lead to a freak injury which could derailed their play off run. Unfortunately for the Flames, the Nucks aren’t in the position to help us out since they only play Phoenix, Nash and LA once. After that, they’ll be cruising against the NW division basement dwellers.

    Is Van the new Detroit? In years past, we have criticized that Detroit were easily winning the games and racking points against easy competition in the Central enroute to the President’s trophy? They will probably have 40 of their 110 odd points from beating up disional rivals.

    Just had a look at stats on NHL.com…. looks like Detroit beat up on div opponents this season as well. Forget my last comment.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I think it’s reasonable to expect the Flames to finish with 12 points in the last 9 games – 95 overall.

    Nashville has an easier schedule than Anaheim, so I think they are the biggest worry for the Flames chances, and with a couple of games in hand it’s going to take some bad luck for Nashville for the Flames to make it.

    If you’d asked me even 1 month ago, I’d have said the Flames had no chance at 8th.

    It’s not over yet though.

    • T&A4Flames

      I think the key is the 2 games against Anaheim. If they win both, I think they get in. If they split they will need a lot more help. Lose both… start planning for next year.