March 17th, 2012 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
Be honest; we all saw this coming.
Second night of back to backs in Edmonton after compiling a 5 game win streak primarily against teams that the Flames had to beat followed by a gimme against a provincial rival. Predictably the Flames came out flat, stayed flat and coughed up two points in a 3-1 setback in the provincial capital.
On The Line
A playoff spot within reach if the team can eradicate their longest rival. Bottom line the team needs to just keep winning and winning and winning. The script is the same every night, and it will be until someone tells them to stop.
The Flames started well, had the pressure and the play in the Edmonton zone. A Taylor Hall hit and game exit seemed to sway the game towards Edmonton as the hit left the Oilers charged and the Flames somewhat tentative. Two goals for the homeside followed; all they’d need for the night.
The second was a non starter for both teams with very little happening. The Flames scored a fluke goal to make things closer despite very little going on either way.
The Flames looked tired in the third period, they offered very little by way of push to get the game tied; yielding the clincher to the Oilers and limping away. Opportunity lost.
- Jordan Eberle: Best player on the ice by a long shot, kid is special. Goal and two assists.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Youngster has quick hands in tight; scores twice.
- Devan Dubnyk: Had a pretty easy night, but was good early when the game was up for grabs.
Leland Irving slid across and made a circus save on Belanger in the 2nd period; Mike Palmateer like.
Cory Sarich made three massive hits in this one, but his demolition of Hall in the first period was highlight reel due to how hard he hit him, and Hall going down just before Sarich arrived.
Jay Bouwmeester was simply terrible in this game, weak on the puck, no vision when passing up ice, and he kept losing coverage to the young Oilers in his zone. Rough week for him; pressing with a playoff spot on the line?
Matt Stajan. Just continues to roll, adding a goal tonight for points in five straight games since moving up the roster and finding his long lost mojo.
Odds and Ends
Back to back games or doubt from the last spanking handed out by Edmonton? The Flames were simply flat and awful, at least after the Sarich hit. Not sure if the Oilers used it to come on, or the Flames just lost it. … Quiet game from Baertschi, which is certainly expected. At 19 it’s not going to happen every game. … Did the Flames blow it in starting Leland Irving in this one? He was good, but gave up two in the first which really set the tone for the game. If the Flames make the playoffs they’ll be glad they gave Kiprusoff some nights off, but if they don’t make it … Had a guy in my office say something like “you know if they beat the teams leading up to that weekend who cares if they lose to Edmonton and Columbus” I think the loss was his fault. … Flames still a point out of a playoff spot with a giant glut of teams. No real damage done if they beat the Jackets on Sunday. …
Lines (To Start):
Tanguay – Stajan – Iginla
Glencross – Jokinen – Moss
Kostopolous – Nemisz – Baertschi
Comeau- Horak – Desbiens
Bouwmeester – Sarich
Giordano – Hannan
Babchuk – Smith