Flames 6 – Kings 2
With an insufferable loss against one of the top teams in the league on Saturday night, the out of the playoff picture Los Angeles Kings were likely just what the doctor ordered for the Flames to get back on the winning side of things. Add to the fact that the Kings came into Calgary going 0-9 against the North West division, and in particular being dominated by the Flames of late. Indeed the Flames were eager to please those searching for a win, and did so in a big way.
On The Line
With teams creaping up on the Flames from behind and leaders climbing away, the Flames were really in need of a win to keep pace with everyone else around them.
For the first period, the Flames found themselves facing a team that a few actually realized the Kings could be. Chances were traded back and forth with both teams using their speed and skill for a very entertaining five on five game until the Flames would eventually score a pair of goals with Mike Cammalleri and Rene Bourque lighting the lamp for the Flames.
As the second period started the Kings got into penalty trouble after Micheal Handzus fired a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty that gave the Flames nearly a full 2 minutes with a two man advantage. The Kings never recovered from the goal that Jarome Iginla scored with 20 some odd seconds remaining on the first minor. Calgary would add one more in the second to chase starting goaltender Erik Ersberg, who the Kings hoped might be a solution to their woes against the Flames. Calgary would appear to score one more in the second, but Eric Nystrom deflected the puck in with a high-stick and the second period exited with the Flames up by four.
At the start of the third period, the Flames almost looked like they wanted to sit back and cruise for a bit, but a power-play chance turned sour as the Kings would break Miikka Kiprusoff’s bid for a shutout on an absolutely brutal defensive breakdown that saw the short-handed Kings lead a 3 on 2 into the Flames zone where Dustin Brown slipped a lazy shot past Kiprusoff. Calgary would answer right back on the same powerplay as David Moss was Jonny on the spot for a rebound in front of the net. Rene Bourque would add one more on a beautiful pass from Craig Conroy while former Flames defenceman Denis Gauthier must have been checking out a hot chick in the crowd leaving Bourque amazingly open to receive the pass. The Kings would pocket one more goal before the end of the game, but far too little, far too late.
1. Rene Bourque: Both of Bourque’s goals were pretty and he was effective using his speed all night long.
2. Matthew Lombardi: Didn’t look at all out of place playing with Mike Cammalleri and Jarome Iginla, his speed was especially noticeable.
3. Curtis Glencross: Was in the right place at the right time for his goal, but he was very visible on the ice tonight making solid plays.
I had my first opportunity to see a game from the lower bowl tonight, unfortunately it was the Miikka Kiprusoff end of things, so if there was a big save, I can’t say I saw it.
Definitely Cory Sarich’s hit on Raitis Ivanans in the third period. It got a somewhat bored sounding fanbase charged up. Sarich was especially good tonight since that was one of the few times he made it known that he was on the ice. Always a good sign for him..
This one I have to hand to Micheal Handzus. If he doesn’t flip the puck out of play in the second period, the Kings probably would have remained in the game, but because he put his penalty led to the Flames third goal, it was effectively regicide.
Robyn Regehr is a name that might not be considered clutch on most nights, but on a night where the Flames scoring was well spread out he had a shift I found especially good in the third period. With Dion Phaneuf stuck out on the ice and making a couple of bone headed decisions with the puck, Regehr helped to settle things down and ensure that the Flames got the puck out of the zone. Just another day at the office, but something I wanted to recognize.
Odds and Ends
I’d like to start off by thanking all of the other writers on this forum for stepping up and helping me out in particular since I couldn’t catch most of the games in November..
It’s great that the Flames got the win, and it was almost a forgone conclusion before the puck even dropped, but I can’t help but be disappointed that yet again a chance to start Curtis McElhinney goes by the wayside. I’m a big fan of the kid and would love it if this team actually gave him a chance to show what he can do instead of playing him once in a blue moon while the team in front of him leaves him completely out to dry. Given how the Flames played once the puck dropped it seems even more suitable for McElhinney to have started, since he wouldn’t have been overly tested and it could give him, and his franchise some confidence in his abilities.
Oddly enough, the regular King assassin Daymond Langkow had what has to be considered a poor effort. He usually demolishes the Kings in spectacular fashion, but tonight was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t alone on his line as Dustin Boyd only appeared to be on the ice from time to time and Bertuzzi was largely forgettable as well. But it clearly didn’t matter as the rest of the Flames stepped up to take the axe to the neck of the Kings.
Calgary heads into Vancouver on Thursday night starting at 8PM. Catch the action on Sportsnet West or Sportsnet Pacific in HD if you’re lucky enough to be in the Canucks region, well not quite LUCKY..
Lines (To Start):
Cammalleri – Lombardi – Iginla
Boyd – Langkow – Bertuzzi
Glencross – Conroy – Bourque
Moss – Primeau – Nystrom
Phaneuf – Giordano
Regehr – Aucoin
Sarich – Pardy