So where to begin tonight?
Emotions have to be torn amongst fans tonight. Are you one that wanted to see the Flames win tonight, a chance to begin that mid-to-late season wiining streak, that once again might put them in playoff contention? Or were you hoping that the Flames would continue the spiral into oblivion that would
put keep them in the Western Conference Cellar? Hell you might even be so disgruntled by now, that you see the team only needing to pass two more teams before they reach true Nirvana.
Well the Flames came out tonight and decided to tune out the commentary, banter and vitriol coming from all directions. Instead they decided to make a few statements of their own by taking control of this game and never letting it go; despite what Detroit could throw at them. They didn’t just get the win tonight, they took it. Only their second win this season when not scoring the first goal.
After being yanked in one LA game and outright benched in the second, Miikka Kiprusoff was probably a little bitter tonight, and felt like he had something to prove. He didn’t have to wait long to get that chance and was equal to the task as he stopped back-to-back early chances from Filppula and Zetterberg.
However the ever dangerous Pavel Datsyuk would catch the Flames captain a little flat footed at the 3:20 mark, feed the pass to Nik Kronwall, who would in turn hammer the shot from the point over Kipper’s shoulder. Just like that it was 1-0 early for the Wings.
At 5:16 the Flames would get their chance to draw even on the power-play, something they would need to click tonight if they wanted the 2 pts. Alex Tanguay would do just that 40 seconds later as he took a tipped pass up the middle. One quick move on Gustavsson and then roof-daddy… and we were all tied up.
Jay Boumeester would give the Flames the 2-1 lead, taking the lead pass from Lee Stempniak and wristing it passed the Monster. Nice to have you back Lee!
Flames got out-shot 15-6 by Detroit, that’s nothing new, they were also out-chanced 4-2, but managed to come out of the period with the 2-1 lead. Mostly on the back of the strong play of Kipper, Calgary also dominated the physical game as well as the face-off dot.
A pretty low event start to the second. At the 7 min mark Jiri Hudler would have a glorious chance as he intercepted a pass right in front of Gustavsson. Unfortunately when he finally settled the puck, he was already past the goal and the Wings picked off his attempt to center the puck. At the 11 min mark, Curtis Glencross whistled a one-timer off the crossbar. The Flames were pressing with a much better possession game than they had in the first.
When you hear that the Wings haven’t scored a PP goal on the road all year, you just knew that Calgary was going to oblige them as the slumpbuster. Yup, with just over three mins left in the second, Val Filppula, making his way back into the Wings line-up, would tie the game… on the power-play.
On the whole, it was a better period for your Flames. They were out-shot again 12-5 but still controlled the face-off battle. The wings held a slight edge (3-2) on Calgary in scoring chances, which was enough for them to tie it up going into the final frame.
5:37 into the third Lee "Where Have you Been All My Life" Stempniak would take the centering pass from Glencross for the tap into the empty net. Lee must have read my last post-game when I asked,
ONE FINAL THOUGHT…
Remember when Lee Stempniak played for the Flames? What ever happened to that guy?
Lee decided that it wasn’t only Kipper that needed to step his game up. Maybe the whole team was paying attention?
Well at 9:12 Scoreface would get himself in the goal column with one of his own. Missing the previous game with a wrist injury, GlenX looked pretty good as he rifled a laser passed Gustavsson, to give the Flames a two goal lead.
Speaking of lasers, just 48 seconds later, Blake Comeau (Yes, that Blake Comeau) would steal the puck at the Wings blueline, turn and put the puck top shelf over Gustavsson like it had eyes. Suddenly the Flames were up 5-2 on the Wings whilst being out-shot 2-1 (36-16)
They had a chance a couple minutes later to increase the lead, but Mikael Backlund barely missed with the Forsberg-like move when he was awarded a penalty shot. Gustavsson litteraly with the toe save.
Calgary really pressed in the final frame. They narrowed the shot total, only being out-shot 38-22 and they drew even with seven scoring chances apiece. For once the difference maker in the game was Calgary’s finish rather than being finished by the opposition.
Why The Flames Won…
This one is pretty simple.
This is one of those games that you needed to see a full 60 mins out of the Flames; and that’s what you got. Calgary literally played this one til the clock hit zeros. Even once they had the lead, or even a two goal lead, they kept pushing the Wings back, looking for openings and creating chances.
Because despite the fact that both team had seven scoring chances each, Calgary was able to make good on three of them and keep Detroit from capitalizing on any of theirs.
Because this was probably the best third period the Flames have played all year.
Because Kiprusoff had a chip on his shoulder for having to hold a clipboard in the last game and he wanted to make a statement.
Gotta go with Glencross tonight.
Not only did he have a goal and an assist, he hit a couple of posts or else he would have had even more.
Curtis is most effective for this team when he gets a tad surly. It might have been something someone said to him tonight, or he was tired of hitting it off the iron, but whatever it was, he turned it up for the second half of the game.
Steinberg said on the pre-game show that if this team was going to make a last ditch effort at the post season that they would have a better shot with Glencross in the line-up. How true. He definitely put a show on for the fans tonight, and in the end he is one guy that we all know hates lose and just loves to win. No matter where you stand on how the Flames should finish this year, you gotta love the cut of GlenX’s jib.
"He gave us a complete game." – Hartley on Glencross #CGYDET
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 14, 2013
Honourable mention to our favorite Finn. Miikka came out tonight like a world beater. He faced a lot of rubber tonight and some 10-Bell chances from the likes of Datsyuk and Filppula, and came out ahead. Not sure how many were expecting that, but Kipper loves to play in Detroit and it was good to see him finish this game before the "Mule" had a chance to pancake his other knee.
Sum it Up
I’m tempted to leave this section blank because I know that many of you out there have mixed feelings on this win.
Is this a step forward for the team or is it merely another jackpot of fool’s gold? The team played a successful, full sixty minutes tonight and dominated a team that is still within catching in the standings. That should be a good thing on any given night but I’m sure there are many that want this team to continue to lose, thus securing a top draft pick.
Here are my thoughts and how they pertain to the article’s title tonight.
If you know the story of Icarus, then you know it’s about a mans desire to be closer to God, and so he makes a set of wings out of wax and set out on his attempt for the heavens. Unfortunately as he gets higher and higher to where he perceives God to be, the Sun melts the wax wings and he plummets back to earth. See what I’m getting at yet?
Yes the Flames scorched the Wings tonight and the win gets them higher in the standings, but many will wonder how long it will last and are they only setting themselves up for a larger ultimate fall. Personally I want to see this team show an honest effort every night. It sucks watching them lose and it sucks hearing the fans boo.
Am I happy your Calgary Flames won tonight? Yes, and I’m even happier they did it so handedly because I hate the Wings.
I have no idea where this team finishes in the standings and history dictates that even with a surge in the standings, they face a fall of biblical proprtions, but for now, I’m going to take this for what it’s worth; a big win, and a sign that some of these guys still care.
What about you?