Postgame: SVENsational



The Winnipeg Jets came into town tonight on the second game of a back-to-back and you could tell they were feeling the effects from last night’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks. After the Flames went up on leads of 3-0 and 4-2, it was pretty much over for the newer Atlanta franchise as the older Atlanta franchise emerged with the 5-3 win.

The Recap

It was one of a few games this season that actually had the crowd going before the puck drop-the dueling Jets and Flames cheers gave this writer a few goosebumps. When the game started, however, it wasn’t much of a duel. After a wild start, the Flames opened the scoring just 4 minutes in with Mark Giordano potting a power play goal in the left corner of the net for his 7th of the year. The Flames continued to push hard and before the 13 minute mark of the first two more goals would be added to the total-another power play marker from Jarome Iginla, moving the needle to 28 for him on the year and a great second effort by Matt Stajan led to his 4th of the season. The Flames would sit back a little towards the end of the period, however, and the Jets made them pay for it. Evander Kane got his 27th of the year with less then 3 minutes left after a defensive breakdown left him all alone at the back door for the easy tap-in. Speedster Blake Wheeler would put one more past Miikka Kiprusoff before the end of the period, with his wrister just sneaking under the glove of Kiprusoff for his 17th on the season. The Flames were outshot and outchanced in the period by a fairly small amount-14 to 16 and 9 to 12 respectively.

The second period would be a much tamer affair with the only goal coming at 12:53. Stajan fed the puck up to Iginla and while Iginla was stopped on the breakaway, Alex Tanguay was there to clean up the rebound and from a sharp angle potted his 11th of the season. There was a bit of a dust up in front of the Flames net at 15:20 of the period, which ended with Curtis Glencross calling Nik Andropov some kind of feline as they skated to the box to serve their coincidentals. The Flames were outshot 9-12 in the period but outchanced the Jets 6-5.

There was nothing doing in the third until 9:54 when Iginla was set up on a tape-to-tape pass from Tanguay and absolutely murdered the puck-but Ondrej Pavelec just got his blocker on it to keep the score at 4-2. The Flames would break though about 90 seconds later though with their third power play goal of the night-this one off a beauty Tanguay skate pass right to Curtis Glencross in front to the net-to put the Flames up 5-2. The Jets would add one more when Tobias Enstrom absolutely destroyed the biscuit and got it past Kiprusoff in rather weak fashion for just his 5th goal of the year. Winnipeg would have another one waived off-and rightfully so-due to a high stick. From there, the Flames shut it down-well, kinda-and would emerge as the victors of a hard-fought game. Shots in the third were 4-17 for the Jets and while the chance count was closer, the Jets still beat up on the Flames, 4-8.

The Stars

1. Alex Tanguay

2. Jarome Iginla

3. Miikka Kiprusoff

The Final

First of all, honorable mention to Matt Stajan. Dude has been just getting destroyed out there and most of the infractions against him have been missed by the refs-but he’s playing by far his best hockey in a Flames uni these past ten games. Hopefully he can keep it up.

It was definitely the best second period in a while for the Flames-they actually won both the chance battle and the goal battle in the second. While the shots and chances were slanted towards the Jets for the most part, I’m willing to chalk it up to score effects since the Flames were up by two or three for the bulk of the contest.

For those wondering: SVEN had an OK game. He didn’t play much, but when he was on the ice it was quite clear he’s still in the junior hockey mindset-the “I can deke around everyone” mentality. He definitely showed flashes of what he can be but he did look smallish out there. I still want him to have 6-12 months in the AHL and it would be good if he could put on 10 or so more pounds of muscle…but it’s obvious he’s going to be a player.

All in all, a good game and it allows the Flames to keep holding onto hope.

The Flames’ next game is Sunday, when they head to chilly Minny to take on the Wild. Game time is 4 PM Mountain (FAN 960 and Sportsnet West).

    • SmellOfVictory

      My thoughts on Baertsci were that…

      A: He’ll be a gooder… but,
      B: He needs to get his adult strength,
      C: He would really benefit from a year in the AHL getting trained/experienced for the adult game.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Can’t tell. He definitely looked overmatched physically, but that could just be because he needs to adjust. Showed flashes of offensive creativity, and he put out a defensive effort as well.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Hopefully Stajan takes Sven under his wing and shows him how to be a man. Also when Cammy is back you would have to think you’d stick him on the third line? Stajan with confidence and uninjured is a very likeable player.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    It would have been nice to see Sutter roll his liners a little more. I didn’t get a ful read on Baertschi, but I did think he looked out if place. Some time in Abby will do him some good.

  • supra steve

    It seem that as of this moment, the Flames are one spot out of playoff position. I also noticed that of all the teams currently on the outside (of the playoff picture) looking in, they have the best record. That translates to the 14th overall pick in this summer’s draft, or the absolute worst position for them to be in as no playoffs and the last pick of the non-playoff teams.

    On the brighter side, their opposition in the coming weeks are overwhelmingly average to below average (but on the darker side, so are the Flames). So lets gun for that cherished 15th pick and a first round series with the Nucks or Blues.

    But really, if we miss the playoffs by 1 spot and pick 14th…I’m not buying any razor blades, I’m buying an assault rifle….FRUSTRATED (and just joking about the rifle)

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Bouwmeester with less ice time than Hannan & Giordano. Sarcich played only 1 minute less!

    Was on the ice for both 1st goals & was a -2 on the night.

    I know it’s only one game, but I seem to remember him falling off a cliff last year late in the season. I hope the ironman streak with 25+ minutes per game does not wear him down to the point of epic fail in the last 15 games like last year.

    When Butler comes back I would like to see Gio & Hannan take a bit more of the ice time to keep Bouw a little more fresh or he & Butler will get killed by other teams top lines I fear.

    • BobB

      Speaking of getting worn out.

      Kipper is on pace for a career high number of shots faced at even strength. And around third highest overall in his career.

      Let’s say he plays 12 of the final 14 games (very likely.

      That’s 71 games played.

      He’s already at 1457ev SA (on pace for ~1750). His previous high was 1610 in ’06-’07.

      He’s now at 1729 total SA (on pace for ~2080). His career high is 2190 in ’06-’07.

      Again this year, so much for resting the guy.

      • Bean-counting cowboy

        I sure hope so (yet not, cuz we have enough injuries). Hope he doesn’t push himself into games he should probably sit – just to keep the ironman streak going – if he really is injured.

        And then I think – man if he goes down – yikes our D looks really scary.

        I think we have taken his durability for granted here in Calgary.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Well, on the brightside, we are right in the thick of things meaning my $$$ for games coming up have meaning. Would suck to be an Oiler Season Ticket holder. Sven did OK, he was nervous, a little intimidated of the size & speed of the players, so what, I would be too. This really shows where & how far he still has to go. Sometimes 2.0pts per game in the dub can give these kids a bit of an inflated ego. This is the perfect, bring him down to earth stint. I like it. Still dont think we make the playoffs but I have no clue where we finish when the dust clears.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I thought Sven played quite well, all things considered. He was going to be nervous but it didn’t show.
    Sven was dangerous. He clearly tried to make things happen, sometimes they fizzled out before registering in a shot but he wants to attack.

    He would get the puck and accelerate. He was quick to get on guys if there were any 50-50 puck opportunities (Buf, Jones). You can see he’s a guy who thinks he should have the puck all the time. He’ll learn fast how to balance that and be effective.

    I also noticed he came back hard into the zone and tried to get pucks off guys (a little Datsyuk mindset).

    Basically he is a competitor, a fearless one. I’m very happy as the best offensive guys are the relentless ones.

  • RKD

    Glad Bartschi got his taste of the NHL, he reminds me of Nugent-Hopkins.

    Before coming to the NHL, RNH had 106 points in 69 games in the WHL which averages to 1.53 ppg.
    Bartschi has 94 in 47 which averages to 2.00ppg.

    I think whenever Bartschi comes into the league, he needs to be surrounded by some other talented players around him and close to his age.

    RNH has Hall and Eberle to play with. Who will Bartschi play with? Ferland and Reinhart?

    The Flames need Iggy and Kipper big time to lead the drive right until game 82. How GlenX has scored a goal in six straight is amazing, his goals will help us big time. Nice to see Stajan heating up, the refs have it out for him. He’s been high sticked, tripped, slashed, with no calls!

    • beloch

      Baertschi is actually a half year older than RNH. RNH was 1.5 years younger than Baertschi in the season where he went 1.53 ppg. In Sven’s most comparable WHL season, when he was just half a year older than RNH, he put up 1.29 ppg.

      It’s hard to say what RNH would have done in the WHL had he played there this season but it probably would have been scary. As small as Baertschi may seem, RNH is actually a good 12 pounds lighter (according to their stat sheets) despite being taller.

      One thing is clear though, RNH was indeed ready for the NHL. Despite being 18 and skinny, he’s managed 40 points so far this season. He’s going to be an amazing player that will plague the Flames for years to come if Edmonton can hang onto him. Edmonton has so many superstar rookies now (with more likely on the way!) that they’re going to have to trade some of them to stay under the cap once these kids become free agents and start demanding *big* salaries.

      Given how Baertschi has been doing in the WHL, he’s more than ready to move up. The only question is whether or not it would be best for his development to spend some time in the AHL first. That’s what the next few games are going to tell us. Despite the large step forward he took this year I still don’t think Baertschi is on RNH’s level, but he’s definitely looking like he could be first line material.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Reading around on various websites that Brodie is hurt? If true, that is unreal. The Flames cannot catch a break at all. I would guess Babs will get the call. Hope he can play some decent defensive hockey here. Would also be nice if he could grab a point or two on the PP. These last two games have been (dare I say it) actually exciting to watch. A little bit of river hockey, end to end rushes, and winning to boot! If they can stay in the hunt and get some injured players back, they may make a nice little run for a playoff spot. Man, last week I was writing this team off. Where will I be next week?