Win one, lose one. This seems to be the mantra of the Calgary Flames. Quite honestly I’m not even sure what to say about this game other than is wasn’t very entertaining. Just another all around inconsistent effort from the Flames tonight. Calgary basically let the Coyotes play their game and didn’t have an answer for it. Thankfully the Flames don’t have time to dwell on this loss. They just have to move on and focus on putting up a better effort in their next game against the Kings.
On The Line
Once again the Flames have a chance to move above .500. More importantly they have a chance to get 2 points against a team they will probably be battling with for a playoff spot.
It didn’t take long for the Coyotes to get on the board. Right from the first face-off the the Flames were hemmed in their own zone and 41 seconds into the game former Flame David Moss would find a streaking Keith Yandle in the slot, who would make no mistake finding the twine for his 2nd of the season. The Flames would eventually settle down and start to establish a physical game. The Flames started to find their game and were able to get some sustained pressure on the Coyotes. Lee Stempniak fired a bad angle shot from about the goal line that bounced off the inside of the post and back out. The play would start to go back an forth with both teams getting some sustained pressure before the first period would end.
The second period looked a lot like the first. The Flames were finishing all of their checks but had issues with their breakout passes. Both teams would exchange chances, although very few of them, and both goaltenders were solid as the Flames and Coyotes started to buckle down defensively. Not a whole lot happened this period.
The third period started out with a bang for the Coyotes. 30 seconds in Ekman-Larsson ripped a slapshot wide, it bounced off the back boards and lands right on the stick of Mikeal Boedker who, at about the goal line, banked the puck off of Danny Taylor and into the net. Mid way through the period the Coyotes would put the game away off a mad scramble in the crease, the puck would lay around for a while before finally finding it’s way into the back of the net. Anotione Vermette would get credit for the goal. The Flames would finally get some pressure this period from their 4th line, only to be denied by Mike Smith and have the Coyotes march back the other way and get a goal off of the stick of Raffi Torres.
1.Mike Smith: Hard to argue with the shutout. He didn’t do anything spectacular but he did what he needed to do to help his team get the win.
2.Keith Yandle: The Coyote’s top defenseman logged over 25 minutes, got the game winning goal, and shut down the Flames top players.
3.Antoine Vermette: His 2 third period points helped put this game away for the Coyotes. Also had a good night in the face-off dot.
With Steve Sullivan buzzing around the front of the net, Danny Taylor makes one save then slides across the crease to stop Sullivan on the rebound with his pad and keep the score at 1-0 mid way through the first.
Early in the second period the Flames start buzzing in the Coyote zone looking for the equalizer. Rostislav Klesla absolutely staples Matt Stajan against the boards and throws him on the ice for good measure. Interference? Yes. Big hit? Also yes.
Got to go with the starting forwards and defensemen for the Flames. They were not ready to start the game and left Danny Taylor out to dry on the first goal. The Flames had to play catch up 41 seconds in.
Tim Jackman had his best game of the season and was one of only a handful of Flames players to get anything going tonight. The Flames tough guy had a fight with Bissonnette, finished all of his checks, drove the net hard, and even had a nice play at the blueline while covering for Bouwmeester who had pinched down low.
Odds and Ends
Martin Hanzel protects the puck extremely well. He is a very under-rated hockey player, the Flames could use a center like him….Gotta give props to Hartley for his sweet blue suit. The man knows hockey and style…Once again Calgary got dominated in the face-off circle. This goes beyond guys like Blair Jones. The Flames lack a center who can play against other teams top players…The Flames have really struggled to get out of their zone the last few weeks. If they plan on making the playoffs they are going to have to figure that out…This team has had a serious mental block trying get above .500 for a couple years now. One has to imagine that management isn’t going to sit idly by for very long. Especially if the goal in this shortened season is to make the playoffs…
The Flames return home for a clash with the Kings Wednesday night at 8pm on TSN.
Glencross – Tanguay – Iginla
Cervenka – Horak – Hudler
Cammalleri – Stajan – Stempniak
Begin – Comeau – Jackman
Giordano – Bouwmeester
Brodie – Wideman
Butler – Sarich