January 23rd, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: Ryan Laurie
The Flames haven’t been out of many games this season but the 6-0 loss to the Coyotes 2 weeks ago was one of those games, so you would have to think the Flames would have revenge on their mind tonight and they got it. The Flames were able to turn their fortunes around against the Coyotes by returning to their ‘identity’.
Tonight’s win was a hard fought battle against a team higher than them in the standings and the Flames needed it, if only to build up some confidence at home. The Flames got some timely goaltending from Karri Ramo, a couple of goals from youngsters Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma, and a game winning goal late in the the second from recently re-signed Matt Stajan to walk away with 2 points and a big win.
Karri Ramo was the biggest difference maker tonight. He had a couple of big saves after the Monahan goal off of Ribeiro and Michalek, respectively, that kept the game 1-0 and helped the Flames keep momentum. He also came up big in the last few minutes of the game when Phoenix was pressing for the tying goal, making a couple more key saves including one off a mad scramble in front of the crease.
I thought Lance Bouma had a really good night, scoring a goal and being a nuisance in front of Mike Smith. Sean Monahan also had a strong game scoring a goal and firing 5 shots on net. Mikael Backlund had a big night in the dot tonight winning 69% of his face-offs. Everyone else was solid, if unspectacular.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Carolina beat Philadelphia 3-2. The Flames win means the Flames stay 10 points back of the Hurricanes. No other draft implications on this night.
The Flames remain in 28th spot, 5 points up on the Oilers for 29th and 6 points back of the Panthers for 27th.
I know T.J. Galiardi has become some what of a whipping boy around these parts, and the Flames coaches seem to have him firmly placed in the doghouse, but I thought he played a really good game tonight. I’ve developed a soft spot for him having watched him go to the Memorial Cup with the Hitmen but Galiardi is a much better player than he has shown this year. Hopefully he can get himself in the line-up for the Nashville game and build some more momentum… While must of us would like to see the Flames win games the important thing is seeing how the players on this team progress. It’s not just the kids either, it’s some of the older players too. Matt Stajan for instance has turned around a horrible start in Calgary and become quite the leader for this rebuilding team. I haven’t always been Stajan’s biggest fan but I’m glad he was able to turn it around and it’s nice to see him rewarded for it with a nice contract extension… Another ‘older’ player who’s shown a lot of progress this year is Karri Ramo. I wasn’t a big fan of his early this season, he looked shaky to me, but he has turned it around and is far and away the Flames best goalie right now…
The only line-up change for the Flames tonight was T.J. Galiardi drawing in to replace the injured Paul Byron.
Where Do They Go From Here?
The team gets to stay in Calgary for almost 2 weeks. The team welcomes Nashville to town Friday night with a 7pm game. The Flames then have a nice 3 day break to rest up and heal their bruises before playing the defending cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Note the 7:30pm start time.