Your Calgary Flames had been mired in a bit of a record breaking slump as late, having not won a match in regulation inside the "friendly confines" of the Scotiabank Saddledome since the Mesozic Era.
It’s been a long stretch of pretty dismal hockey here in Cowtown, and it’s been 7 games since the faithful has seen the team skate off the ice with 2 points on the board, truly a franchise record we’re all super proud of having been able to witness.
Tonight looked like it may have been another tough task, another storm to weather as the Phoenix Coyotes, THE Phoenix Coyotes who embarrassed the Flames 6-0 in front of nobody in Arizona a couple weeks back, ambled into town looking to push the Flames around.
WOULD THEY DO IT?
Read on past the jump to find out!
(Spoiler alert: no. The Flames won 3-2)
The game started off the most amazing I’ve ever seen, as Sportsnet was experiencing "technical difficulties" that allowed for only rink noise to filter through our screens, with no commentary to be heard. I had no idea if anyone was keeping their feet moving, let’s just leave it at that.
Everything eventually got "fixed", and that was sad, but about 11 minutes into the opening frame, young Sean Monahan, broth of a lad, converted a cross ice pass from TJ Galiardi and slipped it past ‘Yotes keeper Mike Smith, who was either fighting off an injury on the play or just exposing the fact that he’s not a very good goaltender. Possibly both. Either way, that was it for the first period, as Calgary went to the room up 1-0. Phoenix outshot the hometown boys 11-6, but overall it was a pretty even frame. Karri Ramo kinda hauled ass, which makes sense, because that’s what he does. Kevin Westgarth picked up two minors along the way, because he’s a tremendously effective player.
The Flames picked up where they left off to start the second, and, excuse the pun, were on fire. Lance Bouma would score his second goal of the season after some great individual effort and a hell of a pass from TJ Brodie. Nice to see Lance pot one. He deserved it. He’s worked hard. It was an important goal too, as Antoine Vermette would notch a shorthanded goal, which is what Vermette does. But that just set the stage for Matthew Franchise to knock in the eventual game winner off of a puck he absolutely murdered. shots were 15-13 in the middle stanza, and yeah, this was not the typical holy christ I want to die instead of watch this Calgary – Phoenix game.
Shane Doan scored in the third. He had a pretty great game, but no one likes Shane Doan, so we won’t go into it. Ball game. 3-2 Flames. Yeah baby.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Why The Flames Won
The Flames worked an effective breakput for most of the game and actually managed to gain the zone with possession a decent amount in this game, which you better believe is mind blowing. Lance Bouma’s goal was an apt sampling of how crisp some of the passes were tonight.
The Flames also managed to keep Mike Ribeiro in check, which was important, because literally the only think Ribeiro knows how to do is score some bananas winning goal against the Flames that keeps everyone’s heart broken for DAYS. He only had 2 shots tonight, and Ramo Ramo’d them away from the net.
Also, feet moving. I’m led to believe that’s important.
The Red Warrior
Tough choice tonight, but I’m going with Sean "Sean" Monahan. The kid put in a little over 15 minutes of ice in tonight and looked like he was all over the ice whenever he was on. He put 5 shots on goal, second to only Shane Doan for the game. and scored his team leading 14th goal of the season. The Monorail is starting to have his game normalize out, after an incredible hot streak to start the season, followed by the inevitable dropoff, Monahan seems to have finally found his middle ground.I’d say he’s definitely recovered from his injury, so what we see going forward from Monahan might be the purest representation of what the rookie is at this point in his career.
Pretty decent game tonight, I quite enjoyed it. Some nice trends are continuing: Backlund and Hudler each played over 20 minutes again (ironically we’re at a point where Hartley might be overusing Mickis, but it’s better than him being buried on the 4th line), and it’s good to see, because they are clearly the best forwards on the team at this point. Similarly, the 4th line was limited to under 7 minutes, and while we’re nowhere close to seeing a real 4th line starting the games (well…starting might be a possibility now), but at least the team seems aware they’re paperweights most of the time. I’d have switched Blair Jones with Joe Colborne, but that’s probably a bias on my own end. I just think Colborne looks lost out there, but we’ll see if he’s able to turn it around before the season ends.
Ramo was solid again. I think it’s safe to say our collective nightmare is over and Ramo has established himself as the starter on this team, leaving spot starts for Reto Berra going forward, and Eric Francis was hinting at the notion of seeing Joni Ortio on the team before the end of the season, just so the Flames can get a look (I suspect a lot of us want a look at him in a Calgary net; I know I do). Either way, the goalie situation is not resolved, but it’s looking less murky, and that’s a good thing.
The Flames welcome DEVAN DUBNYK HAHAHAHA to the Dome on Friday, and the Predators are another team Calgary would like to get some payback on, after Nashville eked out a victory a little over a week ago. Don’t think we’ve forgotten, Carter Hutton.
Until then, just keep reminding yourself that Billy Arnold is over a point per game player at Boston College, and Johnny Gaudreau is over TWO points per game. Those boys can’t get here fast enough.
Good work good effort!