It’s probably bad news that the new NHL re-alignment has the Flames in the same division (or conference I guess?) as the Ducks. There must be something in the water in Anaheim because the team hasn’t even accidentally stumbled into a win in the Honda center since 2004 and tonight was no different.
Another solid effort, another loss. The Flames showed up to play, but their finish was no where to be found. You have to credit the Ducks though. Anaheim did not play their best game but they took advantage of their scoring chances and put the game in lock down when they needed too. Basically the Ducks showed tonight why they are 17-3-3, while the Flames showed why they have been struggling with the .500 mark all season.
On The Line
The Flames have finally, after what has seemed like an endless battle, gotten above the .500 mark and the Flames will want to build off that momentum. Also a 3 game road trip through California isn’t easy for any hockey team right now, so for the Flames, getting a win to start things off would just add to the momentum.
The game got off to a very good start if you are a Ducks fan. With the game barely a minute old Daniel Winnik pots his 6th goal of the season, 3rd against the Flames. Calgary did not look deterred though. The Flames kept the pressure on and controlled the rest of the period, unfortunately they were unable to convert on any of their chances.
The second period both teams started to loosen up a bit defensively. Calgary would get a couple chances but fail to convert on them. With 7 minutes left in the second Corey Perry would make a nice pass out to Bobby Ryan who would put the Ducks up 2-0. Moments later Sheldon Souray is able to fire a monster slap shot past Kipper to make it 3-0 for the Ducks.
The Ducks would put things on lock down in the third period and wait out the Flames. Eventually, late in the third, Ryan Getzlaf would finish it off for the Ducks on the Flames when the puck would take a funny bounce, off a Luca Sbisa shot, and find its right onto Getzlaf’s stick. He would make no mistake and make it 4-0, sending the Flames right back to .500.
1.Victor Fasth: It’s hard to argue against the shutout for the #1 star. Fasth was very solid for the Ducks tonight. You can see why he already has 10 wins.
2.Ryan Getzlaf: Celebrates his contract extension by getting his 500th point with an assist on the Bobby Ryan goal. Added a late goal to finish it off for the Ducks.
3.Daniel Winnik: The guy must really like playing against the Calgary Flames. Adds another goal tonight, bringing his total up to 3 in 2 games against the Flames so far.
In the second period, with the Flames down 1, Roman Cervenka would tip a high T.J. Brodie point shot on net. In calm, cool, and collected fashion Viktor Fasth fires out the left pad to kick the puck away. Not the sexiest save ever made, but tips are never an easy save for a goalie, and it kept the game at 1-0 for the Ducks. Not long after this save the Ducks would make it 2-0.
There was some physcial play tonight, but I didn’t notice any thunderous hits. Perhaps Alex Tanguay’s skate gets the nod for clipping Brad Staubitz in the face.
I hate to put Jarome Iginla in here because he has played very good recently, but the Captain fired a grand total of 0 shots on net tonight. I’m not sure much more needs to be said about that.
Roman Cervenka was very crafty in this game. He went to the net hard and got a couple of tips. He played with a lot of energy and seems to be adjusting to the center position pretty well.
Odds and Ends
The first 2 Ducks goals came from passes behind the net to players left all alone in the slot. The Flames defensemen have to do a better job of blocking off that passing lane or tying the guy in the slot up. Kiprusoff didn’t have a chance on either of those goals…It will be interesting to see how the Flames respond to this game. If they have a similar effort tonight it should, at least, be an entertaining game…I would not be surprised to see Baertschi draw into the LA game tomorrow night. The Flames need a spark, lets hope Baertschi can provide it…A grand total of 2 penalties called tonight. Both of them interference against the Ducks…The fourth line saw a lot of minutes tonight. They were also the only line that didn’t get scored on…Roman Cervenka has some ridiculous hand eye co-ordination. He made a couple of very good tips tonight. He was unlucky one didn’t end up in the back of the net…It is hard to be mad at the Flames for the loss tonight. They didn’t play all that bad. But it is long past the point of moral victories. This team has to start finding a way to win and if they can’t, then it’s up to the General Manager to find a player or 2 who will help them win…I’m impressed Bob Hartley can still be positive about all of this…It has been said numerous times, and I hate to beat the dead horse, but this team is really missing a center who can make an impact. Backlund coming back soon should help but the team really needs a center who will be a difference maker if they plan on competing for a playoff spot this year and beyond…8.25 million a season for 8 years is a hefty price tag to pay for the Ducks to keep Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim. You’ve got to assume Corey Perry will want the same kind of deal over 7 years from whoever signs him this off-season.
The Flames finish back to back games Saturday night, against the Los Angeles Kings at 8 PM on CBC.
Hudler – Cervenka – Iginla
Tanguay – Camallerri – Comeau
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
McGratton – Begin – Jackman
Giordano – Bouwmeester
Brodie – Wideman
Butler – Sarich