They say hockey teams have to put in a full 60 minute effort to be successful in the uber competitive modern National Hockey League.
This game proved that theory up and down, as the Stars jumped on the Flames for three second period goals in just 61 seconds to turn a tight game into a 5-1 walk.
On The Line
Nobody could fault the Flames, a team picked to finish near the bottom when the season began, for sputtering on a difficult road trip, but if they really want to prove some more naysayers wrong a win in Dallas and a 2-3 road trip would be a great start.
Dallas comes out with some jump, taking it to the Flames and controlling the first five minutes. They get rewarded when the Flames inexplicably leave Ramo by himself on a turn over for any easy early lead. Calgary finds their legs and pushes the puck up the ice towards the middle of the period but were denied by Lehtonen. The period ends with the Flames pushing hard and likely unlucky to not have tied things up.
The Flames continue on in the second, trading chances with the Stars. They tie things up when Wideman chips the puck up to Matt Stajan who does the same to Lee Stempniak who buries one to keep his point streak alive at five games. Calgary comes close again when Cammallari is robbed only to have the puck head up the ice and end up in the back of the net on a brutal Chris Breen giveaway. From there the flood gates open and the Stars strike again when Jamie Benn fills the net on a broken play three on two. If that wasn’t enough the Stars are back again, three goals in a minute on a tip through Ramo’s pads and that was that.
The third period was pretty much academic as the Flames and Stars went through the motions in a three goal game. Jamie Benn adds his second of the night when he catches the Flames d-core and Ramo napping and tucks in a backhander from behind the net.
1.Alex Chiasson: Rookie scores twice and adds an assist.
2.Jamie Benn: Sixth captain in Dallas Star history adds two of his own.
3.Kari Lehtonen: Faced more pucks than you’d think in a lopsided win, turning aside 28 Flames shots.
Easy … Kari Lehtonen stoning Mike Cammallari midway through the second period. Great save, robbery actually, but it also lead to the puck being pushed up the ice and the game winner being scored in the other end.
With the game barely a minute old Dillen caught Lee Stempniak chugging up the boards and dropped the veteran on his butt to set the tone early.
Denis Wideman is my pick, but there were other good options. His drifting away from his man on the first Dallas goal, and no look back pass on their fifth was ample reason to saddle him with the honor.
I liked Mikael Backlund’s game tonight. Yeah he was -2 like many of his teammates but he handled the puck well, a few times on a string, and seemed to always find the open man.
Odds and Ends
Chris Breen had an interesting night, first with a giveaway and then with a spirited fight. The scrap was just the second bout for the Flames all season with the last one in game one in Washington authored by Lance Bouma. … Interesting to watch Monahan play with two vets tonight in Hudler and Cammallari. I thought it pretty interesting early in the season when Hartley pointed out that young players often play better together than with vets because they pay their linemates too much respect. With Baertschi benched it was a chance to watch just that, but the kid was full marks again for generating chances and doing the right thing with the puck. … Speaking of Baertschi, would be nice to hear why exactly the young player was benched. The exec/coaches are making a lot of good decisions of late so I’m going to assume they see something more than I’ve seen, or feel the need to adjust an attitude, because I just haven’t seen benchable play from Baertschi. His game is far from perfect but the effort seemed to be there. … Anyone else concerned that Glencross is on a 16 goal 32 point season and a -49? It’s been ten games Curtis lets get it going! …
The Flames return home to host the Caps on Saturday night, game time 8pm on HNIC.
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
Galiardi – Backlund – Jones
Bouma – Colborne – Jackman
Cammallari – Monahan – Hudler
Butler – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
Breen – O’Brien