Postgame: A Night of Firsts

The first shutout of the season for Miikka Kiprusoff.  The first NHL goal for Derek Smith.  The first win this season over Nashville.  It was a night of first times for the Calgary Flames tonight, as they stuck to a conservative plan to take a 1-0 win over the Predators.  It’s just the second time this season the Flames have won consecutive games, and they did it by playing a typical Calgary-Nashville game.  Not a lot of action, but the proper result.

What Happened

A fairly low event first period kind of set the tone for the rest of the game, with both teams generating four chances in the opening frame.  Calgary scored the only goal of the period and it came late.  With the team entering the offensive zone, T.J. Brodie did a nice job looking off a defender before firing a pass from the right point to the left side of the crease, finding Derek Smith for his first ever NHL goal.  It’s the second consecutive night a Flames player has scored their first ever NHL goal, as Brodie’s first served as the winner Sunday in Minnesota.

The second period also saw four chances a piece, and was basically a carbon copy of the opening 20 minutes, with neither team wanting to stray too much from what was happening defensively.  Through the first two periods, we saw a lot of outside chances and a game that could have seen either team leading; or a game that could have very easily been tied.

I liked Calgary’s third period though, as they took advantage of a Preds team that was maybe running low; Barry Trotz’s team seemed to really struggle trying to get their chase game going.  As a result, the Flames took advantage, generating a couple ten bell chances on Pekka Rinne who had to be pretty strong as per usual.  In the end, Smith’s first stood up as the winner.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because they didn’t allow Nashville much of anything.  Kiprusoff’s first shutout of the season is likely one of the easier ones of his career, which is good news.  Calgary did a strong job keeping their opponent to the outside and clearing second opportunities; they never allowed more than four chances in a single period.  Kiprusoff was strong when called upon and was deserving of the goose egg.

Red Warrior

Hmm.  We’ll give it to Smith because it was his first NHL marker, but an honorable mention to Kiprusoff for the shutout.  With Mark Giordano going down in the first period with a scary looking injury, and Chris Butler missing a little time with a leaking face, Smith had to take on a hefty amount of ice time comparable to his prior work this season.  Smith finished with 22:33 of ice time and did a nice job with it, playing most of his time with Brodie.

Sum It Up

We all know stringing wins together is what the Flames need to do, and they’ve put two together and now it’s time to get to three for the first time this season.  Their efforts against the Wild and Predators have been decent, if not spectacular, and are a fairly good example of how the team can play.  If this is what they do against Columbus on Thursday night, they’ll probably pick up a third straight.  The Giordano injury is scary, as that would take an important piece away from the team, and this one did not look pretty.

  • Truculence

    That looked painful. Gio’s gone for a month at least, if it’s a ham-string injury. That leaves us with Hannan, Butler, Jaybo, and Brodie as our top 4. Ouch!

    In other words, here comes NAil Yakupov!!!!

  • SmellOfVictory

    I know this is completely unrelated but there is commotion going on at the CP forums about a report from CTV:
    “Local CTV station just reported that as per McKenzie of TSN the Flames have made a trade subject to the player agreeing to waive a no trade clause and that we will know within the next day who its is. The report said it was not Iggy.”

    There is nothing on TSN nor has Bob McKenzie tweeted anything, but it is nearly 3AM in Toronto. Any chance there is some truth to this or is at all hogwash??

    • I didn’t hear it myself, but I saw the thread at CP. Because I don’t know who said it, I really don’t know how to judge the whole thing myself. I looked on Twitter, there’s nothing there, so right now, I won’t put a ton of stock into it.

      That’s not to say it’s wrong necessarily, but usually Bob McKenzie would put something on his Twitter if a trade was being discussed or imminent.

    • Emperor Crayons

      The initial rumor actually came from “Incarcerated Bob” on Twitter around 10AM yesterday. Either CTV or CP must’ve mistaken him for McKenzie I guess. Given the timing of it though, I think a trade would’ve happened by now if there really was one to begin with.

  • RKD

    To trade Iggy would be devastating to the flames organization! You don’t trade away the face of your franchise. If Iginla goes my jerseys will be burnt and I’ll cheer for Edmonton, this team has made enough stupid moves in the last year like the phaneuf trade! Hope all this trade talk is just stupid Toronto sports talk because they have nothing to talk about since Sid Crosby has come back to the league!

  • jeremywilhelm

    Anyone else here think that Brodie may be the type of guy who puts up better totals in the NHL than the AHL? I think playing with/against better talent helps his game. Again, thank goodness for the young guys.

    Too bad we didn’t score 4 though, so Iggy could pot the 5th. Hurry up and score your next 10 already so I can sleep through the big ceremony honoring how you are by getting us into the playoffs 5x in 15 years and making no one around you better. Probably waiting until Sutter is canned first.

  • T&A4Flames

    @ The-wolf, I like the cut of your jib, couldn’t agree anymore. The sooner the Flames can get a good package for Iggy the better.

    @ Jimbo, do you want a notorious coach killer as a mentor for your up and coming prospects? Not me man, get some young blood in here to change the mentality of this organization. The Flames organization and Flames fans for that matter, have made Jarome Iginla a very rich man. I don’t believe anything else is owed to him.

    • icedawg_42

      My take on Iginla, Im still a big fan, anyone who carries a team on his back for as long as he did deserves our respect..even into the last years of a contract that is 3 years too long (if that sentence made any sense). Do I believe he is a coach killer? The evidence is there – but I also think this is a trait of any elite talent when he is under a coach who demands structure/system etc. These players want to be let loose to do the things that made them successful. Iginla, Ovechkin..guys like that didn’t become elite by shadowing opposing forwards and trailing the offensive play. (This is why I have my doubts about Dale Hunter’s potential for success in Washington). Iginla’s contract handcuffs the Flames ability to move forward somewhat, but it’s not the worst on the team. Is Iginla “Bad” for up and coming kids? Without knowing what goes on in the locker room, it’s tough to say, but he still garners a hell of a lot of respect from players in the league. I’ll let that speak for itself. Bottom line, if Iginla WANTS to leave, shop him. If, as he has said publicly (and you choose to believe it) he wants to stay, then leave him be.

      • icedawg_42

        I disagree with this to an extent and with what Iginla said about it was different for Yzerman because the Wings were more talented.

        To me that’s a lame excuse.

        It’s long been established that good D leads to good offense both individually and as a team. Some guys buy in, some don’t.

        The Wings certainly have less fire power now than they did than, but does anyone honestly believe that they’d be better off if Datsyuk and Zetterberg suddenly changed their game to all-offense?

        • icedawg_42

          Personally I think it’s Datsyuk’s defensive abilities that make him one of the best in the game – I also tend to think thats “just who he is”, and has never had to reinvent himself. Look – im not saying Iginla’s right in refusing to reinvent his game. Far from it, im just saying that the cold reality of it is that elite, and former elite players have big egos, and forcing them to change their game wont guarantee success. Even discounting the “ego” thing – playing a certain way made him a superstar, I can understand his reluctance if in his mind he’s being told to move away from what he feels got him there.

          Do I think that Iginla is the asset that will net you the most in return? Sure, I think that’s pretty obvious – but even so, I bet everyone here would be disappointed in the return. If we could get a “franchise” prospect or the lottery pick in return, I’d be all for it. But I dont really think that’s realistic any more.

          We all know he’s not getting 7 million on his next contract. A rebuild is going to go past the end of his contract. He could still stay and be part of a rebuild, at half his current salary, take on a secondary role along with Tanguay, and let the kids run the show. – Im just a little tired of all the speculating etc etc, when the man himself says he’s got no intention of leaving.

    • icedawg_42

      amen brother, iggie has in winning the lottery for several years. the flames, the fans and the game of hockey don’t owe him squat. now if iggie, was donating his 7 mill a year to feed under priveledged kids, and house the homeless, then perhaps i would think differently. he is a well paid( 37k per game) hockey player. how many doctors can you buy for that.

  • everton fc

    Could the trade bait be:

    Babchuk?

    Sarich??

    Stajan??? (Here’s hoping!)

    All three are expendable. None are really playing any significant minutes (though with Gio down, we’ll need defencemen)

    ???

  • icedawg_42

    @ icedawg_42
    All good points. I don’t want to start a war. I just think that the Flames are potenially missing out on some key components that may come back in a trade that could help this team for a long time into the future. That being said, there’s nothing saying that a prospect coming back will pan out, or a high draft pick may turn out to be a total bust. However, the Flames won’t win a cup in the next two years. Trade Iginla to a playoff bound club, and then offer to re-sign him to a more cap friendly, salary reduced contract after his current deal is over. In my mind, that would be a win-win for both the team and the player. I am a fan of Iginla, but I don’t think he can walk on water as of yet. Now, if he magically gets this team into the playoffs and they go on a run this year to the cup finals? I would likely start going to the Church of Iggy every Sunday.

    • T&A4Flames

      I completely agree with you on this; a win win. Trade Iggy with the intention of resigning him after his current contract expires and, god willing, he wins a cup. Then he can go on to mentor the kids we aquired in a trade for him and retire with the flaming ‘C’.

  • icedawg_42

    Thanks for responding Pat. McKenzie tweeted just a little while ago that he never reported a Flames trade:
    “For last 24 hrs, I keep getting CGY fans asking/telling me I reported a Flames trade is/was happening. I’ve reported no such thing.”

    Not looking good on CTV for reporting that prematurely. I apologize for even mentioning here.

    And as always, good article! Concerned about Gio though..