Was it Benjamin Franklin, or maybe even Roger Millions, who coined the famous quote "Nothing is certain except for death, taxes, and the Flames beating the Red Wings"?
(I’m pretty sure it was Ben Franklin, but I’m willing to admit that I didn’t do the research on that one)
Regardless, it was business as usual for the Flames on this night, as the Flames do what they always do (beat the Red Wings), with the players that have typically been the drivers of their success in the past (Kiprusoff and Begin)
Kipper’s prowess and two pretty goals by Begin were the keys to the game as your Calgary Flames triumphed 3-2 over the Detroit Red Wings Presented By Amway (shoutout to Ryan Lambert), and sent Flames home unhappy, somehow.
Break It Down
This game was a fast paced, tactically solid game with the scoring chances cominZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzZZZZZZZZZZZZzZZZZZZ…
Sorry about that, I have sleep apnea.
Indeed, tonight’s tilt was not one I would describe as one for the ages, certainly not through the first period. The Flames did make things worth staying awake for after some pretty passing by the second best Swiss player in the Flames system, Sven Baertschi (obviously Reto Berra is THE BEST, come on now), who guided a pretty no-look cross ice pass to Flames 4th best defenseman Cory Sarich, who himself returned the favour for bonkers no look passes to a wide open Lee Stempniak, who made no mistake as he buried his 9th of the season (also giving him 29 points on the season, which gives him sole possession of the team lead in points at 29, just in case you’re wondering why the Flames find themselves battling for a Draft Lottery win right now)
(I thought for sure Stajan touched that puck en route to Stemps, robbing him of an assist in his return to the lineup, but hey, who am I to deny Sven a 3 game point streak?)
Chances were 7-6 for Calgary after 1, marking the last time they were controlling the play for this game’s eternity.
The Red Wings tied itt up in the second on a goal by some guy I’ve never heard of, but evidently is supposed to be pretty good despite not having scored in l;ike 800 previous games. So I guess he showed us what’s up on that one, and good for him.
But it was the biggest story of the second period, that being "Detroit doing things". The Wings outshot Calgary 11-2 and outchanced them 6-2 in the second, and it was ugly. If not for Miikka Kiprusoff returning to vintage form, the game could have been over right there. Of note, though, was that the Wings controlling the play were not the usual suspects in Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Franzen. No, it appeared as if the Wings bottom 6 and wherever the hell Dan Cleary slots in on that team that controlled the play over the Flames’ kids, and when I saw Datsyuk cough up the puck midway through the second period, it was the first time I could remember seeing him in the game.
The third period was the Steve Begin Show.
Begin, who was drafted by the Flames all the way back in 1996, and has spent his entire storied career lighting the lamp for your Calgary Flames ever since (but I sure don’t need to tell you fans that, we’ve all been here to witness it!), took over in the third period, as he had newly YMCMB’d Wings goalie Jimmy Howard scratching his head and wondering why he should even bother trying to stop that level of elite offensive skill (which he didn’t).
Begin scored 2 third period markers, both through his patented "Begin Dangle", in which his grit and skill coupled together and created poetry on ice, as he swiftly outbattled the fleet footed Howard behind the net and either let the Wings put the puck in the net for him, or took the honours himself.
They were the standards for which all future goals in this league will be measured against. Good luck, NHL.
Mason Raymond scored on a weak flip shot from outside the zone late, but…..I’m being told Mason Raymond wasn’t playing in the game tonight, nor has he ever played for the Detroit Red Wings. I’m told Franzen scored the goal, but I’m not convinced. Anyway, it was a comically stinky goal, but we should not let us deter that from the effort Kipper put up tonight.
Kiprusoff The Greatest
I wanted to give Begin the player of the game on this one, because the Flames did announce that Kipper would start Friday, and he scored 2 goals, and blah blah blah, Steve Begin is not the player of the game. It’s all out Miikka on this one.
The effort that Kiprusoff gave on this night was classic Miikka, and of course it was, because we all thought it was going to be Kipper’s Last Stand. Here we had an opportunity to maybe send off the best goaltender this franchise has ever known, and he made it worth our while. Sure, the Franzen goal was ugly, but he made 36 saves, and a lot of them were 5 bell scoring chances, and he turned them aside with the grace and poise we had come to know from the Finnish netminder prior to this season.
It really would have been the best way for Kip to leave the scene in Calgary (if he does in fact retire this offseason), but hey, he’s got a chance to do it one more time on Friday, so here’s hoping he’s got another one in him.
Why The Flames Won
Kipper. Begin (as always). Stempniak. Howard. Hockey Gods. Intangibles. Shout out to the Angry Flames Lady.