On a night where most Flames fans were going to be happy just to see Iginla get one or two goals closer to 500, something else happened. Call it part two of a three part Christmas wish for Calgary, but whatever it was, someone was listening. It wasn’t as a dominant night for the top line as the Wild game, but Curtis Glencross led the way with two tonight.
The Flames came out like world-beaters tonight, taking it to the Wings right off the get go. It was exactly what the Flames needed to do if they were going to see any margin of success tonight. Catching the Wings on the back end of the back-to-back helped, but everyone thought Detroit might come out a little nasty after losing last night. It took until the 16:10 mark of teh 1st period, but Curtis Glencross put a wrist shot passed Ty Conklin, on a nice pass from Olli Jokinen on the power play. Even though the score was 1-0, Calgary dominated the play with scoring chances favoring Calgary 6-2.
The second period was even a better one for the home squad, carrying forward the momentum they built in the first. Out shooting the wings 13-11 seems closer than it was. The Flames started early, at 1:30, Blake Comeau put home a soft pass that was served to him on a silver platter from Morrison. What didn’t go unnoticed was the sacrificial hit Tim Jackman took from Kronwall (that was reminiscent of the hit on Kesler last night)in order to get the puck up to Morrison. Not long after that, at the 5:47 mark, Curtis Glencross gets his second of the night on the feed from Jay Bouwmeester. Calgary out-shot Detroit 13-11, but hammered them in scoring chances 6-1.
The third period was more what we were accustomed to seeing in a game from these two teams. Detroit poured it on, as you can expect from an elite team that trails 3-0 after two. Jiri Hudler got the Wings on the board at 4:55 of the third and it was like a shark smelling blood in the water. From about the 12:00 minute mark on, the Flames were in full shell mode and just trying to hold on to the lead. At 15:48, Ian White scored on a flutter shot from the point that somehow handcuffed Kipper. It wasn’t a pretty one, but the Wings were within one. Panic subsided and it was one for the win column in the end. Detroit hammered fifteen shots to the Flames 5 and out-chanced them 8-5, but the Flames managed to hold them off with some key saves from Kiprusoff.
ONE GOOD REASON…
… why the Flames won? Because, for once, the Flames did it in the right order. They came out and severly dominated the first forty minutes instead of sitting back for the first forty and trying to play catch-up. Calgary controlled a superior team and foound a way to put them back on their heels right from puck drop. Did they have to hold on a little more than we liked at the end, yes. However, did they steal this game from the wings? Absolutely not. The Flames played with jump and speed and they did not let the Detroit thugs bully them around in their own barn.
I’m going with Jackman tonight. Tim was a +2 in scoring chances and is the reason Morrison was able to make such a pretty play over to Comeau on the second goal. Jackman gives the Flames what they need night in and night out, an honest effort; it was nice to see him get rewarded. The line dominated when on the ice, and could have a few more chances with a bounce here or there.
SUM IT UP
The Flames played an overwhelming dominant game against a team that they needed to beat. There were no excuses for the Wings due to anyone missing from the line up. They had their guns, but Calgary still managed to have their game. They obviously went into this game with a specific game-plan and it was refreshing to not only see them stick to it, but excel at it. Can they again carry the momentum into tomorrow night against yet another important game, against a division rival? We’ll see, but one thing is for sure, the Flames seem to be finding a game they like and are comfortable with.