So far the Flames hard work has kept them close and given them an opportunity to win in every game they have played this year. If the Flames plan on walking out of San Jose tonight with 2 points they will need much of the same. The Flames are coming off a hard fought loss against division rivals the Anaheim Ducks, an effort undone by a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of their net. Tonight the Flames will have to show more resilience and a stronger defensive effort against one of the the top teams in this young NHL season.
It didn’t take long for San Jose to get on the board. Less than a minute into the game Joe Pavelski checks Kris Russell into the boards, stealing the puck and feeding Brent Burns, who is all alone in the slot for a 1-0 San Jose lead. Minutes later Burns would split the defense and go in for a breakaway, only to be hooked by Brodie and awarded a penalty shot. The most exciting play in hockey would end anti-climatically as Burns would miss the net. The first period would end much like it began, this time former Flame Scott Hannan would deposit the puck behind Kari Ramo to give San Jose the 2-0 lead.
Early in the Second period Tommy Wingels would get called for hooking, on the ensuing power play Sven Baertschi would find Sean Monahan in the slot. Monahan would make no mistake notching his 5th goal of the season, getting Calgary to within 1 goal. Calgary would continue to spend their time in the penalty box and it would cost them. This time, with Stempniak in the box for holding, Patrick Marleau would fire a shot that would bounce of Joe Pevelski and into the back of the net, restoring the 2 goal lead. Towards the end of the period, and a couple of Flames penalties later, Marleau would convert on a power-play goal of his own giving the Sharks a 4-1 lead heading into the third.
The Flames would continue the march to the box in the third period. This time, however, it was to their favour as Mikeal Backlund would score a short handed goal to get the Flames within 2. Minutes later Sean Monahan would feed Jiri Hudler in the slot, and he would rip the puck top shelf to get the Flames back within 1. That was as close as the Flames would get on this night though, as Pavelski would add another power-play goal and Logan Couture would put the game out of reach with an empty net goal to give San Jose a 6-3 win.
1.Joe Pavelski: Everything was going right for this guy tonight. Had the puck bounce off him for one of his 2 goals on the night and added 2 assists.
2.Patrick Marleau: Converting to the wing has made him even more effective. Scored the game winning goal and added an assist.
3.Sean Monahan: Another strong game for the Flames youngster. A goal and an assist to go along with solid play away from the puck.
Was there one? I didn’t think either goalie had a strong game tonight.
If we are counting illegal hits, then Jackman’s head shot in the middle of the second frame. If we aren’t counting illegal hits then I got nothing.
Going with Ramo here. He hasn’t played since game 1 and I was curious to see how he would respond. I won’t blame the loss on Ramo because the Sharks were just better than the Flames tonight, but he also didn’t make the big save and give the team a chance for a win.
Brent Burns and his epic beard get put in this spot tonight. Helped San Jose get off to a quick lead, one that they never looked back on, and used his body to draw penalties and play an effective 13 minutes.
Odds and Ends
Sean Monahan is making it hard to management to send him back to juniors. The kid has done nothing but produce since he has been in the NHL, but is playing in the NHL best for his development? Tough call. I do not envy management… Ramo didn’t cost the team anything tonight but he also didn’t help the team win the game. It seems like Hartley is going to ride the hot hand but I, personally, would like to see Ramo in net next game. I just want to see how he responds after a game like tonight… The Flames took far to many penalties. It was their Achilles heel tonight and San Jose jumped all over it… I know there is a big hate on for Butler but for some reason, one that I am completely unable to explain, I like the way he plays. The guy makes his mistakes and he is far from perfect (honestly the guy makes me pull my hair out sometimes), but he plays hard and does the little things. Blocking shots in the last minute of a 6-3 game is stupid and I admire that… I’m starting to wonder where Brian McGrattan is. 7 games in and he doesn’t even have a single penalty… Brent Burns has the most fantastical beard in the history of beards. He is a pretty good hockey player too…
The Flames continue their road trip by heading to Los Angeles to play the Kings Monday October 21 at 830pm MST. This game can be seen on Sportsnet.
Baertschi – Monahan – Hudler
Glencross – Backlund – Stempniak
Bouma – Colbourne – Galiardi
Jackman – Street – McGrattan
Giordano – Brodie
Wideman – Russel
Butler – O’Brien