March 24th, 2013 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
In the modern era home ice just doesn’t mean as much as it used to.
A decade or so ago good teams would win 70% of their contests on home ice, but struggle to win just 40% of their games on the road. But in today’s game parity and the salary cap have made almost every game close, and most teams hover around .500 regardless of what silks they don.
Don’t tell the Flames that! After three more crushing defeats away from Saddledome ice, the Flames walked out and handed the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 setback on home ice, giving the Flames seven straight victories on Calgary soil
On The Line
Honestly? Nothing. With the road losing skid the Flames are now 3 games under .500 and needing a minor miracle to make the playoffs. A home date with the Blues doesn’t set up as a likely victory for the Flames but they have won six in a row on home ice.
A very tepid start to this one as neither team do a heck of a lot to force the play or generate scoring chances. The two teams only combined for 12 first period shots, and just five for the Flames, but it was Calgary that had the only goal in the period, a Cervenka wrister to the top corner.
All St. Louis in the second with the Flames lucky as hell to go up 2-0 and escape the period with a 2-1 lead in the end. Most of the stanza was played deep in the Flames zone with Kiprusoff simply amazing.
A better third for the Flames as they almost as many shots and chances in the third as they had in the previous two periods combined. The Blues tie the game setting up the perfect ending; a Jarome Iginla partial break and then lucky break for the winner.
1. Miikka KiprusoffAbsolutely unconscious in the second period, and solid in both the first and third. The Flames had no business winning or being in this hockey game without their legendary goaltender.
2. Roman Cervenka:He wasn’t all that noticeable to be honest, but got the puck on his stick with a scoring chance and buried both. The man has good hands.
3. T.J. Oshie:A goal, an assist, and a few other golden chances, easily the most noticeable Blue.
So many second period shots for the Blues that were just labeled, it’s almost hard to pick one. A glove swat on Oshie stood out, but the one that showed the most athleticism was an innocent point shot that hit Cory Sarich’s foot and was heading in until Kiprusoff got across and butter-flied it away.
Near the end of a first period Blue’s powerplay, Curtis Glencross took the opportunity to step into T.J. Oshie and flatten him behind the Flames net.
Thought Matt Stajan had a rare tough night at the Dome, coughing up the puck on a few occasions and handling the puck like a hand grenade on most others. The man has been steady as they come all season so we’ll give him a pass.
Jay Bouwmeester. How many games this season could this guy be picked for this spot? Huge bounce back season for the former WHL star. Minus one, but almost 30 minutes of ice time and four blocked shots.
Odds and Ends
Was that the last home game for Jarome Iginla? If so it was pretty nice to see the captain score in the third period, the game winner to give the Flames a win. Overall a good game for Iginla, setting up Tanguay in the first for what should have been a goal, and having a few chances hiimself. … Was interesting to hear his agent Meehan deny that the player has submitted a list of four teams to the Flames just 20 hours after the hockey world went mad passing just that information around as fact. The truth? So hard to say. Stay tuned! … Quite a different feeling around the Saddledome tonight. Partially due to the 6pm start and spring like sun shining outside, but mostly due to the season being essentially all but over much sooner that we are used to in these parts. Even the most ardent optimist was going through the motions from the seats. …
The Flames hope to snap a lengthy road losing streak against the circuit’s finest team in Chicago, game time 630pm on Sportsnet.
Tanguay – Cammalleri – Iginla
Hudler – Backlund – Cervenka
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
Comeau – Begin – Jackman
Brodie – Bouwmeester
Giordano – Wideman
Butler – Sarich