December 17th, 2013 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
My guess is regardless of where the game is played, it will be a special night to watch Jarome Iginla suit up against his former mates in National Hockey League action.
Two weeks ago, the game may have featured more emotion, cheering, videos, and post game laps, but the former captain came up empty on the score sheet. Tonight however, he notched two powerplay assists and helped the Bruins to a 2-0 home victory against the Flames.
On The Line
The Flames have took a pretty impressive December record East on a nasty five game road trip, and have done quite well to surprise even further this month with a win and an overtime loss in two games. Tonight a chance to guarantee a .500 trip against the Eastern Conference’s best Boston Bruins. Not sure rebuilding teams need measuring sticks, but this one is surely that.
A great first period for the Flames, about as good a start as one could imagine in one of the circuit’s most difficult barns. Led by the pugnacious forechecking of Mikael Backlund’s line the Flames generated a few chances, hit everything and had the Bruins pretty bottled up through 20 minutes.
The pace continued in the second for Calgary, but they let the Bruins back in it when Lance Bouma took a four minute high sticking penalty, resulting in the Bruins first and only needed goal on the night. From there on the Flames had trouble generating much in the rest of the second or third, but held on to take the game to a tight 2-0 loss.
- Zdeno Chara: Great game for the Bruin’s captain, as he scored twice on powerplays and neither from the blueline as he moved around and caused chaos. Great player.
- Tukko Rask: Nice of the Bruins to ignore the fact that the Flames are in a rebuild and start the league’s best goaltender twice against them in two weeks. Pitched a shut out tonight.
- Jarome Iginla: His third star ranking in Calgary was more about emotion and theatre, but tonight he had two assists and deserved the nod.
The Bruins powerplay can be devastating with their myriad of skill, creativity, and movement. To kill a penalty you need great goaltending. The Bruins managed two powerplay goals on the night by Chara, but Berra stoned Patrice Bergeron on a second period one timer a minute before Big Z’s first goal.
Ever since the word truculence became as common as “the” in Calgary sports media last week Lance Bouma has been delivering the boom, and finally showing some of that sandpaper that we were hoping for when he came up through the ranks. In the first period he hammered Johnson behind the Bruins net, a hit similar to his hits in Buffalo and NYC.
Lance Bouma again! His aggression can get the best of him however, as not once but twice his aggressive forechecking style resulted in high sticking penalties and eventually Bruin goals. In a 2-0 loss that’s ample reason to fasten the goat horns to his head.
Mikael Backlund. Was tempted to give the nod to Berra for a pretty solid road performance, but Backlund deserves some love for his consistent play of late. No points of course, but had the puck more than any other Flame and was generally dangerous whenever he was on the ice. (Yes I’m aware he didn’t get the puck out on the Bruin’s first goal).
Odds and Ends
Fun stat, Jarome Iginla may have scored two points against the Flames tonight, but the Dallas first round pick only has those two points against Calgary in his entire NHL Career! No it’s true. His output against Calgary is his most futile output when compared to the rest of the circuit. … The guys on 960 this week offered the idea that Chara is the most successful free agent signing in NHL history, and I have to admit it’s hard to argue. A true impact player in all three zones, great player to build around. The Senators thought Redden was the better player? For a comparison, the Bleacher Report had him #2 behind Scott Stevens . … The Flames have now gone three game in Boston without scoring a goal. Yikes! … Calgary signed Morgan Klimchuk to a three year entry level deal today. Not really news worthy in that it was expected, but you never want top draft picks to go late into the window without getting signed, plus with Brian Burke at the helm that certainly suggests he’s liked by the go forward Calgary management. The Calgary native has had a tough go with injuries this season in Regina. …
The Flames roady continues in Detroit on Thursday night, game time 530 pm on Sportsnet.
Lines (To Start):
D. Jones – Stajan – Stempniak
Glencross – Monohan – Hudler
Bouma – Colborne- McGrattan
Byron – Backlund – B. Jones
Russell – Brodie
Giordano – Smid
Butler – O’Brien