Recent memories of the HP Pavillion have not been too fond. The last time the Flames and the Sharks danced, San Jose ripped out the hearts of many Calgarians hoping for another spring to remember. It was game 7 of the Western Conference quarter final last April, and Calgary fell to pieces in the 2nd period of that game, after an impressive and entertaining series.
This was their first chance at redemption. While they would tell you otherwise, you have to know that loss was on the minds of those that played in that game. Even with San Jose leading the Western conference and Calgary sputtering around in 7th, it seemed this game might have something a little extra.
Well, tonight you can spell redemption; F-A-I-L
On The Line
Calgary won their last game, a Tuesday night tilt with the Leafs. But overall, their play has been sparadic. The good news is, nobody in the Northwest division seems to want to claim it as their own, granted – Minnesota does have a few games in hand. A win here, and not only do you serve a dish of revenge to the pesky Sharks, but you keep pace in the ever tight division.
San Jose took the play to Calgary immediately, at one point the shot totals being 14-2 about halfway through the frame. Joe Pavelki opened the scoring at 8:04 on the powerplay, on what Calgary thought should have been a goaltender interference penalty. The Flames were still sulking over the 1st goal when Milan Michalek scored 27 seconds later to really get the party going. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton would add powerplay goals before the period was over to take a 4-0 lead into period 2.
Fittingly, they did a feature on “The Hit” (The Corey Sarich obliteration of Patrick Marleau in game 3 of their series last spring, which lead to a comeback after a 3-0 deficit) No such thing would happen here however, as Milan Michalek added his 2nd of the game and 5th of the year to give the Sharkies a 5-0 lead at intermission. Curtis McElhinney replaced Miikka Kiprusoff in goal during the first intermission.
Calgary amped up their play a bit in the 3rd, or, San jose stopped trying…probably a bit of both. Pavelski was the next to find the scoresheet to make it 6-0, and Cammalleri added a late meaningless goal, nothing if to prevent a Boucher shutout (Ouch, that hurts to say).
- Joe Pavelski: 2 goals and a helper, 7 shots on goal and looked every bit as good as he did in the playoffs. San Jose has a good player here.
- Dan Boyle: 3 assists and a team high 24:32 in icetime.
- Milan Michalek: 2 goals on the night, and looked dangerous the entire time.
For the brief time the score was tied at zero, Miikka Kiprusoff prolonged the inevitable by getting his left pad on a Devin Setoguchi deke attempt. Kept the score close for the time being, and gave Calgary a chance to net the first goal.
Right after the aforementioned save, Robyn Regher smashed Joe Thornton into the boads behind the Flames net, and for short tenure, the Flames appeared to have the momentum.
The whole team. Everything. The players, coaching staff, you name it…none of it was good.
Joe Pavelski. He is turning into the San Jose flame killer.
Odds and Ends
Joe Pavelski is one of those guys I would love to see in a Flames uniform someday. He quietly does it all. San Jose outshot Calgary by an embarrasing 22 shots, 46-24. The Sharks scored 4 PP goals on 9 opportunities. Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 of 26 shots…not too bad. But again, how much did San Jose let off the gas? I have a feeling that if they wanted to, they could have won 10-0. Which I almost wish happened. Maybe the Flames need a good slap in the face to wake them up. Dion Phaneuf led the Flames and the game with 24:51 in icetime. Bertuzzi and Cammalleri paced the team with 4 shots on goal each. That was probably the worst game I’ve ever had to write up, and I’ve done some stinkers. Wow, was that ever painful to watch.
Calgary gets a much needed 4 day break to regroup, as they await the Colorado Avalanche to come to town for a 7:30 tilt, Tuesday at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Maybe some home cooking and a Ryan Smyth mullet is all they need to wake them up. You can catch the game on Sportsnet West and as always, the Fan 960.
Lines (To Start):
Glencross – Iginla – Boyd
Bertuzzi – Langkow – Bourque
Cammalleri- Conroy – Moss
Nystrom – Primeau – Roy
Phaneuf – Pardy
Sarich – Regehr
Giordano – Aucoin