February 20th, 2013 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
The L.A. Kings are emerging from an almost predictable slow start after a cup win and a lock out, so there’s no shame in dropping a 3-1 decision to the guys from Hollywood.
However the way they went down was disappointing again, in a season where you have to wonder if the Flames are starting to think they won’t make the playoffs much earlier than when that realization usually settles in. The buzz word all week in Calgary was consistency, and in this one you’d have to say they were very consistently out played.
On The Line
After a listless game in Phoenix the Flames simply have to show more sand paper in games with Kiprusoff out. Can they bounce back to .500 again and set up a weekend to possibly climb above that massively elusive mark? Need to get back to that mark to find out.
Simply a terrible start for the Flames as they come out flat and put all kinds of pressure on Joey MacDonald making his first start for Calgary on home ice. The game’s first five shots come his way and he turns them all away until Brown is left all alone for a gimme in front of the Flame’s cage. The Flames tie it up as they gain their feet and dominate the second half of the period. Iginla finds Brodie sneaking in from the point and boom tie game. Sadly it only lasted 30 second before Trevor Lewis put the Kings back up.
The second period was the opposite. Calgary looking good early and pushing the shot clock to even but turned away by Bernier. The woosh … the team’s momentum is lost and the Flames rely on MacDonald and luck the rest of the way getting out played badly and happy to be heading to the third down only one goal.
Close game through half of the third period but with very little from the Flames in terms of pressure, chances, or shots on goal. The Kings are happy to grind out a third against their listless hosts and gain all the control they need when Carter hits the twine to essentially put things away.
1. Jeff Carter: Early assist coupled with a late goal and two points for the Blue Jacket refugee.
2. Rob Scuderi: Rob Scuderi is a cup magnet, winning the championship in both Pittsburgh and L.A.. Tonight he had two assists and a solid shut down game.
3. Joey MacDonald: Three goals against, but it could have been much worse. Good waiver wire pickup for the Flames as the ex-Wings backup has a win, and now another solid effort.
He already had two great saves on Kopitar in the second, but his post to post save in the third on captain Brown was play of the night material for sports networks.
Loved that bump slash thrown down on Downey by Iginla early in the second period. Showed a fierceness and a level of strength that has always made Iginla special.
The Flames are playing the cup champs and hung in, so it would be easy to just say no goat on this one, but I won’t. Flames skill had a tough time tonight with another listless game from the upper half forwards. I didn’t like Glencross, Hudler, Tanguay, but my pick for goat is Mike Cammalleri who was just brutal with the puck tonight killing many chances with bad reads and a lack of hockey sense.
It was a toss up for me as to a Flame’s star between Joey MacDonald and Jarome Iginla. Since I went with MacDonald above I’ll give Iginla props here. Great game for the captain. Lots of shots and effort which is all anyone needs.
Odds and Ends
I’ve been pretty critical of Jarome Iginla through the years, something I’ve very conscious of. The city if filled with people that love the guy, and I’m trying to be more aware of that for two reasons. 1) I’m a fan too, always have been, just disappointed when he doesn’t play the way the man can play; so I say it. 2) There’s enough hardship being a Flames fan without the guy that owns the local busy web site being a captain basher. So tonight I’ll point out that Iginla was very good. Great assist on the Brodie goal, and loved his jam all night. His best shift for me though? That early point in the second when he bowled over Downey not once but twice, and almost a third time. Love it. Just keep playing that way … Great TSN stat tonight; the Flames have yet to win a game this season when they haven’t scored four goals. Wow! … Anyone else think that Matt Stajan play when he dove to poke the puck out on a second period penalty kill epitomizes his season this year in Calgary? Simply a joy to watch his daily level of consistency and try. Wish the guy was making 1.5M on a three year deal and had never heard of a “Dion” so he wouldn’t be a lightning rod. …
Saturday night the Flames host the Wild for game two on HNIC at 8pm.
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
Cammalleri – Tanguay – Iginla
Cervenka – Horak – Hudler
Comeau – Begin – Jackman
Giordano – Bouwmeester
Brodie – Wideman
Butler – Smith