Postgame: Iggy Powered

On a night where he could have scored a few more, Jarome Iginla’s 497th career goal proved to be the winner in a 2-1 Flames win over the Northwest Division leading Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.  Iginla’s trio with Olli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross were dominant on this night and were good for both goals Calgary scored, helping the team snap a four game losing skid in the process.

What Happened

It was a very strong start to the game for the Flames, as they did excatly what they needed to against a negative possession team like the Wild.  They controlled possession, worked a hard forecheck, and made starting goaltender Josh Harding work for everything.  At 2:47, Calgary opened the scoring thanks to a pretty rush finished by Curtis Glencross started by a nice Iginla pass from the right side.  Glencross went backhand for his 11th of the season and a one goal lead.  Some poor defensive coverage about four minutes later had the game tied, however, as the Wild scored the equalizer off a faceoff win.  After Jared Spurgeon’s shot was stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was on the doorstep for his sixth.  With Minnesota turning things for a good ten minute span following their goal, the first period ended 1-1 with scoring chances favoring Calgary 8-7.

The second period saw the home side really take over, doing exactly what they needed to after a meh stretch in the first.  The Flames outshot the Wild 13-6 and outchanced them 6-1 in the middle frame, scoring the final goal of the hockey game at 6:02 at the tail end of a powerplay.  With Calgary doing a nice job holding the line, the puck filtered to the front of the net where Iginla worked for space and puck possession, eventually cashing number 13 on the season and 497 for the career.

Calgary was pretty strong in the final frame, allowing zero Minneosta scoring chances on three powerplays (albeit one lasting for only 13 seconds).  The Wild ended up outchancing the Flames 6-5 in the period, but that’s pretty decent for a 20 minute stretch where the opponent is supposed to be chasing.  Calgary did a decent job controlling possession, even as the Wild activated their D.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  Because, for the most part, they played their type of game which translates well against the Minnesota Wild.  Save for a ten minute span in the first period, Calgary was the team that ran this game.  That isn’t going to lead them to victory on this night, but against the Wild, it should unless their goaltender goes into game stealing mode.  Harding was good tonight, but the Flames did more than enough to win this game.

Red Warrior

(pretend that says 497) He’s just three goals away from the milestone, and this was one of Iginla’s best games of the season.  Along with his linemates, they were the most dominant lines on the ice, and as Coach Sutter said postgame "chalk one up for me."  Brent showed us a Tanguay-Backlund-Iginla look this morning but went right back to the captain with Glencross and Jokinen to start this game.  The three combined for a +13 in even strength scoring chances, and Iginla could have had number 498 and 499 as well.

Sum It Up

Pretty decent night overall for the Calgary Flames, and it was the type of game they needed after riding a four game losing skid prior.  They weren’t world beaters, but they were solid and composed for the most part and controlled things en route to victory.  Things won’t be so easy on Thursday night when Detroit pays their first visit to Calgary, but who knows, maybe you catch the Wings on an off night?

  • MC Hockey

    Solid game all around. This is how Flames must play and given the team is lead by smart play, team commitment to defense, and great goaltending, they can win a lot more. Woah…now I sound like BSutter or Feaster!.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I was at the game and Calgary played ok. The Wild were without Koivu and Setoguchi plus this was the second game of a back to back for them.

    Guys who aren’t their top end guys played a lot of minutes.

    Calgary beat them 2-1.

    Calgary was better coming out of their end and it showed in the shots and their ability to make things happen.

    However, Calgary continues to have trouble in their end at times. They are just slow to move the puck and it allows teams to press Calgary into mistakes. Most teams try to get the puck from the D to the centremen to break out. Not all of Calgary’s D are able to hit that pass or that pass gets shut down by the opposing team. It just seems the Flames double clutch in those situations and it results in ‘unforced errors’ (the puck is on their sticks and they give it away) that turn into scoring chances. It didn’t cost them tonight but the competition wasn’t the strongest. Sarich, Hannan and unfortunately Butler aren’t going to beat the forecheck by skating out of trouble like mobile D can do. Although Butler has shown he can do it he just doesn’t do it consistently. When he’s not going good it looks like he guesses, when he guesses wrong his confidence goes way down. Butler should be making more plays but he is playing against the top guys so his job is to be safe. I think he can develop more and he needs swagger in his game.

    Backlund was real good, he was gaining the line being aggressive and he took some shots finally. Brodie stood out for me again. This kid doesn’t show fear, he makes great first passes and jumps up and attacks. As a young D he’s going to make some mistakes that will look bigger because of his position but he is a bright light.

    Bottom line is, yeah they won but they aren’t playing that great. Iggy and Jokinen did well, when Iggy scores the Flames get good results.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Glenx – Jokinen – Iginla were very strong last night, but ultimately this line is not good enough in a power vs. power role. They are simply not good enough defensively. While, most of us had fun at Kent’s expense in the Live Chat, I think his argument to break this trio up is very sound. The first line was good against an anemic offense last night, but it will likely be a different result against Detroit and Vancouver’s top forwards.

    Oddly it was a pretty entertaining game last night, odd because the Wild are the most boring team in sports history (okay fine in the NHL).

  • ChinookArchYYC

    C’mon guys! Im dissapointed in those of you who want the flames to loose for the possibility of a collapse and rebuild. Shame on you! Are you a fan or not? I’d much rather the flames be respected around the league for doing their best on and off the ice to win every game they can and finish just out of the playoffs then be known as an organization that is willing to make moves to make them a worse team so they can get a better draft position… Such antics I would leave only up to the Nucks organization should they ever be in this position… Flames are the underdogs. Lets cheer them on as such!!! GO FLAMES GO!!!

    • Jeff Lebowski

      …..uh….yeah….well, hmmm….shame on you I guess for supporting an ideology that has gotten past the first round once since ’89. Fans like yourself ensure continued mediocrity.

      Go ahead and cheer for 10th place all you want. I’m firmly in the camp that drastic moves and a few years of pain are necessary in order to come out stronger on the other end.

      No guarantees, as some like to always mention, but a better chance than continuing down the road we’re on.

    • icedawg_42

      furthermore, many of us have stated similar feelings: “Heart says win, head says lose” – I for one do not want to see a middle of the road team any longer than I have to. If losing in the short term is a quicker path to a deep playoff run, then that’s my wish – NONE of us are saying the team should tank on purpose. This is who they are – they are not good enough.

  • icedawg_42

    Still need to win games to keep trade values up:):) I feel good when we win but at the end of the year, we all know what needs to be done for us to move forward. I hope Philly strongly pursues JBO come trade deadline & we get a great return & if Gio is still down, watch us lose games the old fashioned way & we are all happy, goal accomplished. Nothing wrong with seeing close entertaining games & even winning a few on the way there? Right??