The Flames are looking for their first 3 game winning streak and the Wild are looking to break out of the funk they have been in for the last 2 weeks and put together a winning streak of their own. The Flames got another solid effort from their youngsters and would almost come back from a 4-1 deficit, but alas the team fell short and once again the 3 game winning streak remains just out of reach.
The Game Skinny
It wouldn’t be a Flames game without a goal being scored in the first 5 minutes. Tonight the Flames were on the wrong end of it as Koivu would get about 3 chances from the slot to put it past MacDonald. Pominville would score half way through the second to give the Wild a 2 goal lead. Hudler would get the Flames within 1 in the third but the Wild struck back with 2 goals in just over a minute to take a 4-1 lead. The Flames would try and mount a comeback late but would fall just short, getting tallies from Hanowski and Baertschi.
A pretty entertaining finish, with a lot of positives for the Flames to take from this. The exact type of loss that should keep Flames fans happy.
Yesterday Nashville lost to Detroit and Tampa Bay lost to Buffalo. Nashville continues their slide down the standings with a second loss in as many nights, this time at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. Colorado grabs a point in an OT loss against Columbus. The Flames are still tied with Carolina for 28th/27th spot (Carolina has more wins so I think the Flames hold 28th spot at the moment), 2 points behind Nashville, and 1 point up on Colorado.
Young Player Barometer
Sven Baertschi – Baertschi was very shifty tonight. His speed drew a couple of penalties and he had some nice quick little passes to set up his line-mates. Scored his second goal in as many games. All in all another good outing from Baertschi.
Max Reinhart – Another night with a lot of hustle from the Flames young center. He is showing some chemistry with Baertschi. Reinhart got robbed a couple times in the first period and got dominated in the face-off circle, but that tends to happen to young players.
Roman Horak – Uncharacteristic start from the Flames youngster. Had a rough start to the night. Had a couple passes intercepted and was getting pushed around a little bit. Got better as the game wore on and made a nice play to set up Hudler for the Flames first goal.
Mikael Backlund – Backlund just will not stop putting the puck on net, finishing the night with 5 shots, and it leading to chances. Setup Hanowski for his first NHL and had a good night in the face-off circle. Logged the most minutes of any Flames center.
TJ Brodie – Kind of lost himself on the second Wild goal, but otherwise had another solid outing. Showed no fear jumping in the rush and trying to create things offensively.
Ben Hanowski – Had some jitters in the first period, but also had a glorious opportunity which he was robbed on. Wouldn’t be denied in the third period though as he scores his first career NHL goal. As good of a game as you could expect from the kid, definitely didn’t look out of place.
Hanowski’s skating was better than I thought it would be, awkward but he seems to be able to keep up. He also worked the boards really well. I’m not sure if he is NHL ready quite yet but he certainly doesn’t look out of place. Loves the smarts and the willingness to go into the dirty areas. Definitely needs to play with a more physical edge. Good first game from the kid…Hopefully Sarich isn’t too badly injured. On the bright side it means we will probably see what Cundari is all about. At this point I would rather Sarich be healthy and send Carson back to the AHL and bring up Cundari. Sarich has looked very good playing with the young kids…The most impressive thing I have seen from the Flames young players is their willingness to back-check and try and play defense. It forces the veterans to do the same…I’m not sure if anything has been said to Jackman but he has gone into beast mode lately. The guy has been throwing his weight around these last few weeks and has been going to the net hard.