You know what, I’ll give the game this…it was the most interesting Flames vs. Wild game I have seen in a while. I mean, that isn’t saying much, but it is a step in the right direction. The Flames responded to their coaches criticism with increased effort and intensity. It wasn’t the most beautiful game, and the Flames still have much to work on but it’s nice to see them pull out a much deserved win after a rough week.
On The Line
A chance to silence the critics for at least one night, and show their coach that they can play with some grit. This team could really use 2 points right about now.
It didn’t take long for the home team to get on the board. 1:40 into period Bouwmeester fires a pass down the ice to a wide open Tanguay who goes in on the breakaway,out waits a sprawled out Backstrom, and puts it right over him to put the Flames up 1-0. After that though the Wild started to take over the period. 8:54 into the first Charlie Coyle would finish off a nice passing play by deflecting a Pierre-Marc Bouchard pass past Flames netminder Joey MacDonald to tie the game up at 1-1. From there the game would degrade into a normal Flames Wild game, not much else to see here.
So many things happened in the second period…
The third started off a lot like the second with both teams playing cautious. 7 minutes in Chris Butler puts the puck on net which leads to a mad scramble in front of the Wild net, where Matt Stajan out battles everyone to slide the puck just over the goal line giving the Flames a 2-1 lead. The Flames wouldn’t look back as Matt Stajan would get his second goal of the game on an empty net to give the Flames a 3-1 win.
1.Matt Stajan: Played on the top line and doesn’t disappoint. Not only did Stajan score 2 goals but he played with a lot of energy and poise.
2.Joey MacDonald: Kept his team in it in the first and made some big stops when the Flames needed him too.
3.Jay Bouwmeester: Bouwmeester was all over the ice tonight. He shut down the other teams top players and was a catalyst offensively for the Flames.
Early in the second with the Wild killing a penalty, Minnesota forward Matt Cullen takes the puck deep into the Flames zone and fires a spin pass to Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak seemingly has the whole net to shoot at, only to be denied by a sprawling Joey MacDonald.
Curtis Glencross responds to a Jason Zucker scoring chance moments later by running Zucker over while he tried to skate the puck out of his own zone.
A Flames win means no goat in this game.
Lots of players to pick from tonight. MacDonald was big, Stajan had 2 goals including the game winner, Baertschi had a lot of energy and creativity tonight.
Odds and Ends
How many times are Flames goalies going to get run before someone goes for retribution? I know the Flames don’t want to take a bad penalty in a 1 goal game but they have to respond some how. Zucker running our goalie was the second game in a row an opposing player has, untouched, just run over the goalie. Someone on the Flames need to step up and take some liberties, otherwise their goalies will keep getting run all year…Joey MacDonald might be the best backup this team has had since Curtis Joseph. He seems to make a couple saves every game that he just has no business making…The Flames definitely missed Sven Baertschi. He brings so much energy and enthusiasm, plus his creativity creates a lot of space for his linemates…I’m starting to feel bad for Blake Comeau. He is working so hard and going to all the dirty area’s, he just can’t get anything going. I’m not so sure it’s a case of Blake Comeau being a terrible hockey player. He’s obviously got his deficiencies, I just think some of this is bad luck. He just needs to get a couple goals and get some confidence back…I was expecting more from Akim Aliu tonight. I was hoping he would show up and be the pest this team hasn’t had since Ville Nieminen departed. I guess he gets a pass though since it was his first game in the NHL this year.
The Flames finish off their back to back home games with a visit from the Phoenix Coyotes at 6 PM on Sportsnet.
Tanguay – Stajan – Iginla
Glencross – Cammalleri – Stempniak
Beartschi – Comeau – Hudler
Aliu – Begin – Jackman
Giordano – Bouwmeester
Brodie – Wideman
Butler – Smith