Please don’t leave me, I promise this will still be good despite the tough start.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and there’s been a lot of talk about love today, and what it means. What it’s about. In short, it is a day to reflect about who you love, and what you love about them.
In my case, I think I love the Vancouver Canucks, and I do so because there is really just nothing greater than when they lose to your Calgary Flames.
(please note: I hate the Vancouver Canucks)
Anyway, the Canucks lost to the Flames on this night, and I loved every second of that. All this and a Linden Vey pun that makes me want to move to Pluto and never talk to people ever again in tonight’s recap!
This, Citizens, was one hell of a hockey game. I like to think the action started early on in the day when we learned Brandon Bollig was not going to be in the lineup.
Flames really missing Bollig tonight. #notreally
— Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) February 15, 2015
It was the start of what would turn out to be some freewheeling and back and forth action, and quite frankly, a game where the Flames held their share of possession.
Karri Ramo got his first taste of starting action since before the lockout, and Eddie Lack continued to not exist, and without Bollig in the lineup, Joe Colborne decided to try to drop the gloves with Luca Sbisa. It was HILARIOUS. I want to see Joe Colborne fights become a first period tradition for the balance of the season, because I really just love a good laugh. Calgary, with the benefit of a few early undisciplined Vancouver penalties, earned because they are cowards who lack honour, generated a lot of offense and held sustained pressure in Vancouver’s end. Ultimately the period ended with a Canucks 1-0 lead, as Ramo let in a downright Dan Cloutier-esque goal on an off the wing blast by Ronalds Kenins. I have no idea what that is either, but apparently it’s allowed to play on an NHL hockey team.
But it was not one without the Flames earning their chances, outshooting the Canucks 11-8, and getting some decent goaltending from Ryan Miller, who did not look like St. Louis Ryan Miller, which is sad.
The second stanza was banana pants. The boys in red tied it up just under 7 minutes in as Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau danced alleged T.J. Brodie comparable (¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Chris Tanev to the point where Tanev was slamming his own face into the net, leaving an idling puck and a gaping net for Sean Monahan to poke it home.
As you’re about to find out, the Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler line was so good in this game that I tried to get a little bit creative with the future of this line, but the fun police at the NHL were just not having it:
— Bread Frathwaite (@bookofloob) February 15, 2015
I will have my way.
Hudreaunahan would strike again mere minutes later, with Sean tucking away his second of the game after some pretty hands by Hudler, and wouldn’t you know it, the Flames had themselves a lead.
It was somewhat short lived, after a Ramo rebound and a pretty erroneous attempt at tracking a rebound by captain Mark Giordano left a wide open Linden Vey with two opportunities to cash a tying goal. Which he did. Real fitting that on Valentine’s Day we got ourselves 50 Shades Of Vey oh god, please fire me from this site and take away any internet ready device I will ever own.
Shots were 14-13 (!!!) in favour of Calgary in the second, and man, is it ever fun to watch games where you can roll 4 lines. This was so much fun.
The third period was the Mikael Backlund/Lance Bouma show. Homies were BUZZIN’ in the Canucks zone all period, and it was naturally the two of them hooking up when
Backlund David Jones spotted a lurking Boums in the slot, the latter of who made no mistake burying it past a bewildered and muddled Ryan Miller, who will never be the same after feeling the awesome force of Lance Bouma, Top 6 forward.
It was Bouma’s tenth goal of the season, and while he’s riding a pretty high and most certainly unsustainable shooting percentage this season, he is undoubtedly making the most of being asked to play a more offensive role with a far better centerman than of which he is more familiar with. The tic-tac-toe-ness of Bouma’s goal was so smooth I’m trying to box it up and market it as a must have for your boring couple game nights. Lance Bouma will spice up your entire romantic life, however dull it may be.
Lance Bouma blocks shots and is probably a tender lover.
— Mike FAIL (@mikeFAIL) February 15, 2015
And let me tell you, Backlund was a goddamn beast in this one too. I would like, oh, let’s say UNNAMED RADIO STATION to stop suggesting the team trade him because they have too much center depth. You are wrong.
So, more timely third period scoring, against all odds, again, somehow, coupled with some pretty timely goaltending from Karri Ramo, against all odds, again, somehow, and bingo bango, you can put it in the win column, the Flames dominance within their own division continues, and it is the greatest.
Why The Flames Won
Shots, Zone entries, goaltending, shot blocking, and LOVE.
The Red Warrior
It’s been a while since the last time I wrote a post game report, and I’m willing to bet the last time I did one, I chose Mikael Backlund.
So don’t be too surprised, I’m doing it again. Yeah, Monahan had two goals and is amazing and had perfect hair you wish you could propose to on the Saddledome Energy Board (can you imagine if some idiot really tried to propose at the Saddledome in front of everyone? WHAT WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE AND WOULD IT BE NOT ANNOYING? We’ll never know), and Monahan’s line were flying all night, but Backlund was Backlund and then some tonight. He was in the face of every Canucks defenseman on the night, and whenever he had the puck, he had it in the offensive zone almost immediately.
Let’s not even begin to talk about how pretty his play was, helping set up the play for Lance on the game winner. Backlund is all world.
I’ll say this: If Backlund is the center, then yes, Bouma is a top 6 forward. That was pretty.
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) February 15, 2015
He was so good on this night, he even managed to get people from Sportsnet to talk about how effective he was as a hockey player. On live TV! I’ve never seen it before, so I thought it was very noteworthy.
In the End
What a terrific hockey game, and exactly the kind of effort you’d imagine Rogers was hoping to get on a high profile night like Hockey Day in Canada. After the Oilers – Sens game played out as ugly as you’d expect it to, they might have been pretty nervous, but the Habs and Leafs set the pins up for this game, and the Western rivals knocked ’em all down.
From the Flames perspective, obviously a huge win. After booting one the other night against the Kings, they needed to get rick back up on that horse and ride it into the W column again, because the Kings are getting hot, there’s going to be another team in the mix who goes on a tear down the stretch, and the Flames need to keep swimming or treading water, but drowning is not an option if they want to see the playoffs again for the first time since the Carboniferous Era.
And it’s not about to get easier, either, with dates against the Bruins, Ducks, Rangers, and Islanders on the horizon, there are not a lot of easy outs for Calgary in the next little while. They were given a (truly rather unfortunate) gift, as a long term injury to Tyler Seguin looks like it’s going to put Dallas into a bit of a tailspin, but the Kings are rolling (like you would expect them to at this point of the season), while Minnesota and Colorado are not bowing out of the race just yet.
Beyond anything, it’s just always fun to beat the Canucks. They are all a bunch of Millhouses, and terrible things deserve to happen to them on and on ad infinitum, and here’s hoping that they do, because that would be hilarious.
Who doesn’t love to laugh?
Oh right, Canucks fans.
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