October 30th, 2013 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
Have to say it; love a team that just shows up and up and up.
The Flames through everything they had at the visiting swarm of blue infestation tonight, but were thwarted by ham hands around the net and solid goaltending by Bernier, as they dropped a 4-2 decision to Toronto.
The game was 5-2 Calgary on effort, scoring chances and territory; another bonus night for fans in the seat that didn’t expect much to cheer for this season.
On The Line
The Flames surprised many by jumping on the Caps and winning fairly easily on Saturday night, their first game home since a five game roader that essentially gave back their hot start. Will they continue and push back to two games over .500 or give another back?
The Flames jumped on the Leafs hard early, much like their encounter with Ovechkin’s crew. This time they couldn’t find the back of the net however, despite a huge press for five minutes and a 7-0 shot lead early. The Leafs hit the scoreboard first when Raymond found a rebound, Calgary presses again, but a back breaking shortie late in the first makes the game an uphill battle.
Calgary actually adds to the domination controlling the play even more so in the second, including a 20-8 shot advantage and a Matt Stajan goal to make things close. The game set up well for an interesting third period.
The Leafs put more forward in the third, find the two goal bulge again making it difficult for Calgary. A late Jones tip in sets up a dramatic finish but the Leafs find the twine with an empty netter to put things away.
1.Jonathan Bernier: The former King showed why the Leafs doubted their goaltending in the offseason, easily out classing his counter part in the Calgary zone.
2.Mason Raymond: A guy that Calgary looked at in the off season, Raymond scored the opener, and had four shots on the night.
3.Matt Stajan: Plays a hard minute role in Calgary this season, scores his first of the season to make the third interesting.
Bernier in the third robbing Sean Monahan with a point blank chance in the third with the score 3-2 and Calgary pressing. The puck was a one timer through traffic at a time that goaltenders can win or lose a game. He won it.
Have to give it to Ashton on Derrek Smith in the second period, the hit from behind face planted the Calgary Dman into the boards and escaped penalty.
Hate picking on goaltenders, especially in a rebuild with a guy trying to replace Miikka Kiprusoff but Ramo just wasn’t the guy tonight. The first and third goals were not his fault but the back breaking second goal simply has to be saved.
Joel Colborne was solid tonight despite his -2 tag. A career high 24 minutes as the lanky massive center continues to evolve and prove the Flames were brilliant in yielding a 4th round pick to acquire “future”.
Odds and Ends
I get that the Leafs are high on truculence but benching Mikael Backlund for Jackman? Backlund may not be producing but he’s a far shot from the team’s best 5th best center. … What to make of the Colborne usage tonight? I like the kids and I think he’s getting better and better but have we seen a Calgary prospect get this much rope ever in the last ten years? Is it because he’s a Burke acquisition? Is it because they see they can mold the kid into the potential that he had when he was drafted by the Bruins? Either way, it was pretty ironic to see him playing 24 minutes on a night when Backlund was scratched. … Wideman and Russell were both -2 tonight after going +5 on Saturday against Washington … Thought Butler was pretty solid again tonight, though I love defending a CP whipping boy; you think I’d understand traffic generation by now. … How did Ashton not get a penalty on stapling Smith into the boards? … Thought Sven Baertschi had another great hands game; he may have deficiencies in his game but with skill like that he really should remain in the lineup. My caveat to that is the fact that the Flames certainly had a “generation” of skill players not being good in their own zone and those teams certainly didn’t go anywhere, so maybe they’re on to something.
Friday night the Detroit Red Wings come a visiting; game time 7pm on Sportsnet.
Cammalleri – Colborne – Galiardi
Glencross – Stajan – Jones
Baertschi – Monahan – Hudler
Jackman – Bouma- McGrattan
Russell – Wideman
Butler – Brodie
Smith – O’Brien