Flames Fall to Vancouver: A few Steps Back

Both the Flames and Canucks entered this game with winning streaks, but that ended with a thud for Calgary. With both teams missing a bug chunk of their second lines, this evening was about how the hopefuls like Schroeder and Street would perform as well as the battle between the top lines.

Advantage: Canucks.

The Rundown

The first period was relatively close, with the Canucks enjoying a marginal edge in territorial play and chances, but with the Flames being the only team to score when Lee Stempniak banged home a Blake Comeau rebound. The tide turned in the second, however, when Alex Burrows and Jordan Schroeder scored back-to-back markers in rapid succession. A Kevin Bieksa shot glanced off of Blair Jones later in the period, capping Vancouver’s 3 goal period.

Vancouver added to their lead early in the second when Higgins fired home a shot from the high slot. After that it was mostly cruise time for the Canucks who were happy to dump the puck deep and trap in the neutral zone. Bob Harlety tried mixing up his lines, in part to get Jarome Iginla away from the Sedin trio, but it was all for naught. Jordan Schroeder added his second of the game off a big rebound with about 4 minutes left, capping the rout.

Why the Flames Lost

Because, for the first time this year, they were fundamentally outplayed for most of the evening. Calgary’s scorers had a hard time generating consistent pressure at even strength and the Canucks were much more effective at getting and keeping the puck. Jarome Iginla generated a couple of chances in the slot, but continues to be snakebitten, which didn’t help things. Poor Leland Irving made a couple of highlight reel saves in the first half of the contest, but was eventually overrun.

Final chacee count was 20-13 for Canucks.

Firestarter

Hard to choose a Flames star for this one. Let’s go with Lee Stempniak, who added his team leading 5th goal and was at least occasionally dangerous throughout the night.

Sum it Up

Calgary had their first true stinker of the year, which was bound to happen eventually. Calgary’s top line couldn’t get much going against the Sedin twins and the lack of a guy like Backlund elsewhere in the roster was painfully obvious. Irving did everything he could to keep the team in it through the early going, but it wasn’t enough.

  • CDB

    Seems our weakness at centre was really exposed last night. Vancouver was fine playing power on power knowing Tangs and Iginla were not going to be able to contain the Sardine Twins down low. Regardless of what we do in rebuilding, we’ll need to focus on centres. I would go after Stephen Weiss aggressively… We’ll need to be a bit pro-active… can’t put all our hopes on landing Mackinnon, Monahan or Barkoff.

    • T&A4Flames

      amen to stephen weiss brother, and jettison some other contracts and persue getlaf and perry. sprinlke in some players with balls and heart mingle in the youth and a draft pick or two that can step in contribute imediately and whamo. hope again.