October 16th, 2013 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
Yes the Flames have lost a game in regulation.
Shocking really that this would happen in October, with so many of of us assuming the team would be 21-0-5 through November, but alas it’s true as the Flames went down 3-2 in Anaheim on Wednesday night.
All kidding aside it was another spirited game for the Flames in a season where Flaming “C” stands for “C”ulture and “C”hange. The Flames were full marks in pushing the play in the final 40 minutes but came up short.
On The Line
Quite a test for a young hockey team that has the hockey world talking — five straight games on a sunbelt road trip against three very menacing hockey clubs. The Flames at 3-0-2 are a surprise, the Flames with a .500 road trip this week and a half? Amazing!
The Ducks are known to start very strong on home ice, and they didn’t disappoint in this one jumping on the Flames for a relatively quick goal despite not generating a lot of shots. Joe Colborne got in on a chipped puck and almost put the Flames up before the Duck goal, but the period continued to slant towards the hosts. A Butler turn over gives the Ducks a two goal lead and the Flames looked cooked. Ironically a stupid Jackman butt-end creates a five minute major and a Flames shorty to make things a lot more interesting.
The Flames had a strong start to the second, showing way more jump but not a whole lot by way of chances. The biggest killer was their ineffective powerplay that took more momentum away that it added. It looked a lot like a one goal game heading to the third until a TJ Brodie gaff in the neutral zone sprung Teemu Selanne for yet another predictable goal by the veteran.
All Calgary in the third which is equally impressive and surprising. They out shot, out hustled and out chanced their hosts significantly, but couldn’t get closer than the one goal deficit created when a bounce off of Jiri Hudler made it a one goal game. Calgary efforts some territory late, but struggles to get much by way of blue chip chances and comes up a goal short.
1.Viktor Fasth: Was a busy busy man with the Flames out shooting the Ducks 28 to 12 in the last forty minutes. The difference, clearly.
2. Jiri Hudler: Veteran really relishing his role as one of the remaining relative grey beards on the team. Scored the Flames second goal to keep his streak alive.
3. Sven Baertschi: No points but really loved his game tonight in all three zones. Playing with way more jam these days, … thank you Mr. Burke!
Saves don’t come much bigger than the backhand to forehand stop that Viktor Fasth made on Lee Stempniak in the third period with ten minutes to go. Great pad stop and amazing timing.
I liked Mark Giordano tracking Cogliano in an angry mob hit in the corner when the Calgary captain caught the Duck trying to put the puck in the empty net.
It would have been easy to look at Chris Butler and TJ Brodie for this one. Both coughed the puck up for quick Ducks goals (the second and third of the night) but I’ll give the nod to veteran Curtis Glencross who did nothing all night and finished -3.
Teemu. Only so many times this writer gets to talk about the guy that’s been around since I had one and only one chest hair on my body. Was Johnny on the spot to collect the puck and deposit the game winner. Classic Teemu.
Odds and Ends
Who had a good feeling about this one? I know I didn’t. I love the fact the Flames have started well and I really appreciate the rebuild, but the Flames without Iginla and Kiprusoff trying to win in Anaheim? But wait! The Flames won their last game in Anaheim without the pair so it should be easy pickings … TSN had a great segment showing how the Flames are protecting Monahan in their own zone by having Sven Baertschi play the center role defensively. Anyone else enjoy the irony in Brian Burke’s “only plays in one of the three zones occasionally” whipping boy being the guy to help the kid out in his own zone? … Have to wonder if Monahan would have buried that Colborne chance in the third on a set up by Hudler and Baertschi. Not sure if the rookie had an injury, he was used pretty sparingly, but that chance reeked of a snipe from a player more apt to pick it up and do something with it. I’m a fan of the Colborne trade, but he’s not first or second line material in my mind. It will however, be interesting to see what Colborne does with his third period boost in ice time. Would love to be proved wrong. … Hate to be a jerk but man you hate to see a quick whistle on a shot that seemed to be floating when it hit Winnik in the back, especially with just 5 seconds to go in a period. … All in all I’m pretty impressed actually. The Flames had enough go wrong in the first period to call it a night but they pushed hard and slowly took the play away from the Ducks on enemy ice. Nothing in that game hurts the Flames early season story. Well done!
A day off in California tomorrow followed by a practice day Friday and a game Saturday night in San Jose, game time 8pm on HNIC.
Glencross – Street – Stempniak
Baertchi – Monahan – Hudler
Jackman – Colborne – McGrattan
Galliardi – Backlund – Bouma
Giordano – Brodie
Russell – Wideman
Butler – O’Brien