Postgame: Much Needed

The Calgary Flames may have earned just two of a possible eight points on this road trip, but they finished it off with a victory in solid fashion, taking a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on an early Sunday evening.  Chasing starting goalie Niklas Backstrom along the way, the Flames caught some good fortune in the goal department but were full marks for the win, regardless of how pucks went in.

What Happened

An early powerplay for the Wild had them on the score board just 1:57 into this hockey game, with Cal Clutterbuck taking a pass down low and used some nice hands down low to beat Miikka Kiprusoff for his sixth of the season.  It didn’t seem to phase the visitors, however, as Mark Giordano was good on his fourth of the year from a bad angle at 4:37.  Just over two minutes later, Lee Stempniak put on another highlight reel maker, blowing by Marco Scandella before beating Backstrom five hole for his fifth and a 2-1 Flames lead.  A turnover defensively had this thing even at 8:06, however, as Nick Johnson sniped his third on a pass from Kyle Brodziak and early on this game had four goals already.  It had five just 39 seconds later on an NHL first, as T.J. Brodie’s first goal chased Backstrom thanks to a five hole marker and a 3-2 Calgary lead.

The second period was fairly pedestrian, which is kinda the way Calgary wanted it played, as Minnesota didn’t generate a whole lot even strength and were thwarted when they generated chances on their three powerplays.  The game remained a one goal affair after two periods, with scoring chances slanted Minnesota’s way 12-9.

The Flames did a strong job in the final 20, not allowing much of anything from the Wild, as they generated just two scoring chances 5-on-5.  With the lead, Calgary clogged up the neutral zone and managed to keep Minnesota to the perimiter, protecting in an effective manner and scoring a couple more times along the way.  At 1:39, Alex Tanguay took advantage of a Josh Harding giveaway, sliding home his fourth of the season from the half boards for a 4-2 lead.  Jarome Iginla did a nice job of getting to the front of the net later on, taking a Curtis Glencross pass and depositing his seventh at 8:26, getting us to our final score.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because they made sure things went as they were supposed to.  I say that because there’s no doubting Calgary is a better hockey team than Minnesota, regardless of what the records say.  The Flames made sure they were the better team at even strength, which they were, outchancing the home side 12-9 along the way, even though they were leading for most of the hockey game.  The fact the Flames imposed the game on Minnesota at even strength was why they won this hockey game.

Red Warrior

I’ll go Jay Bouwmeester.  Even though he was victimized on the first Wild goal, I thought Jay was involved offensively tonight and did a solid job in his own end, not letting much get by him.  He lead all players with 24:55 of ice time including over six minutes shorthanded, and there’s been a few games this year where I’ve really liked what Bouwmeester has done.

Sum It Up

Hey, decent game, decent win, same old story let’s hope they build off it.  The more worrying thing comes from the two third period injuries sustained by the Flames, as Alex Tanguay fell and went hard into the side boards about midway through the frame while Scott Hannan left with what looked like an ugly lower body injury late in the frame.  Let’s hope neither are too serious.

  • RKD

    Was really hoping for a loss here. The more losses that pile up, the closer we get to the inevitable sh*tstorm that will see radical personnel moves. Nothing is more exciting than trades!

    • Truculence

      Nothing!! How about a Stanley Cup!

      I`m happy the flames won, but still hope for a lottery pick. This team has already played itself out of the playoffs, as far as I am concerned, and we don`t need another mediocre finish.

      But, Brodie is really growing on me. We have`nt had creative offence like that from the back since….well, maybe since the eighties.

      Brodie is an awesome pickup for a fourth rounder. (I believe it was the fourth)

  • SmellOfVictory

    Things I like:

    Brodie (first goal, woo!).
    Backlund finally getting a point.
    The Stempniak trade. Yup, I said it.
    Iginla’s improvements (sissy shot on a glorious pass notwithstanding).

  • loudogYYC

    I don’t know about you, but I think the Brodie call-up has changed the way our entire D is playing. He’s not afraid to push the issue and try different plays that keep momentum on our side. Hopefully Bouwmeester will keep up the strong play.

  • Franko J

    Again Flames played to the level of the competition. Beat another #1 team in the division / conference. A couple of weak goals by Backstrom fueled the Flames to victory.

    Short term – good win tonight. Another great goal by Stempniak. Wait for about 10-12 games for Comeau to adjust and he will start contributing as well.

    Flames executed to the game plan set forth by the coaching staff.

    Which team will show up for Tuesday’s game against the Predators is anybody’s guess, hopefully the same effort will be dispayed.

    Long term — stay the course, listen to offers and wait for trades closer to the trade deadline when other teams are desperate.

    @ Cmon, I’m Olli Jokinen

    Brodie was a 4th round draft selection in 2008 NHL entry draft.
    Lance Bouma was the 3rd round selection.

  • Vintage Flame

    All in all I was pleasantly surprised with the game tonight. There was jump in the game and despite the Flames getting down early, they came right back and for the most part dominated the play.

    Hard to feel too good about the performance though until they show they can do this more often than a one-on one-off basis.

    One great thing was to see Iggy fight for position in front of the net and score the big goal.

  • Truculence

    haha mom went to bed I hope! Anyway this is just nublious gas clouding the situation. The Flames are still in the basement of the division and the wolves we just not hungry enough today… With that being said its time to get the fertilizer and get on with the tear down of this team… Byron belongs on this team!!!!

  • RKD

    Awesome, a big two points. Nice to see Iggy and Tanguay score.

    I’m assuming Sutter will keep Jokinen as the #1 center for the game against Nashville.

    Hope the injuries to Tangs and Hannan are nothing too serious.

    Congrats to Brodie on his first NHL goal and to Kipper for winning game number 500.

  • RKD

    Hey… We won the Stanley Cup.. The Flames can take the next 2 or 3 games off now… That is their mindset correct. Win and think all the problems are solved so dont show up for the next game?

    When teams like Chicago or Minnesota play down to their competition, and dont put in the work ethic needed to win, the Flames get a lucky win. Yeah, they will win enough games to put themselves out of playoff contention, as well as quality drafting position. Big deal.. I dont know why, but I am more dissapointed with their wins than their losses at this point.

  • RKD

    Didnt watch it but listened to most of it. They sounded like they were on a mission. Good response, Happy Iggy got one. Unfortunately i hope this isnt all. But what i did hear was that they were playing a more open game, run and gun, definitely a more exciting brand of hockey. Shows that this team doesnt need to play the bland hockey Sutter wants them to play. I’ve been hearing rumours that Boudreau’s days are numbered in WASH, if so, fire Sutter the second after it comes down the wire and HIRE HIM! Love his demeanor and use of colorful language. (Thanks HBO)

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Pat,

    I like the Red Warrior call, Bouwmeester was really good last night and should have scored, if not for the heroics of Harding.

    The Red Goat: Rene “Lazy” Bourque. To think that I just loved this guy 2 seasons ago, and throughout his crazy streak last year. Since then, he has been consistent in dragging every line mate down with his terrible play without the puck and overall lazy effort. The second this guy goes on a streak, the GM should trade him without delay.

  • Super_Gio

    Yup, way to Iggy, way to score when the game was out of reach.

    I can see why th eclub doesn’t want to trade him.

    What a bunch of sissy cowards. They’ve made Iginla bigger than the entire franchise and now they’re going to pay the price.

    On a positive note: good work by Brodie and Backlund.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Wow Steinberg, pretty bold statement.

    “I say that because there’s no doubting Calgary is a better hockey team than Minnesota, regardless of what the records say”

    No doubting? Based on what? Give your head a shake.

  • Super_Gio

    There are somethings that Paddy says i agree with. There are other things he says and i look in his cup to see what he is drinking and find its kool-aid c/o Calgary Flames.

  • ville de champignons

    “I say that because there’s no doubting Calgary is a better hockey team than Minnesota, regardless of what the records say” *

    * Probably should read, “I say that because there’s no doubting Calgary has more high paid ice-time wasters than Minnesota, regardless of what the records say.”