January 25th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
This game story was writing itself …. a typical rebuild night at the Saddledome. Spotty goaltending, a listless shotless period of attack from the homeside, and a two goal loss without a whole lot going on. “At least we didn’t gain on Florida” being uttered by Dome patrons as they walked by cement pillars on the way out of the rink.
Who would have expected an electric third period, a riveting comeback, and a shoot out win on home ice to push a seven game home losing streak to the memory banks, and establishing a new two game home ice win streak.
All that happened in Calgary’s 5-4 shoot out win over Nashville on Friday night.
Easily, TJ Brodie.
The young Flames defenseman was wired in the third period, willing plays into dangerous areas for the home side and making a difference on every single shift. In the end he had 28 minutes of ice time, and only one assist, but had a signature game that everyone buzzing both in the crowd and on the radio for the drive home.
Good to see David Jones scoring twice, he hasn’t lit the lamp as often as the Flames would have liked this season, and suffered a few injuries. His smile was ear to ear on his first marker.
I mentioned TJ Brodie up above. Does pose the question as to what Brodie is when he’s finished polishing up his skill set. He doesn’t have the size and pedigree to be a true number one, but you have to wonder if the guy is going to be a Brian Rafalski when he’s finished. Calgary just needs to find their Lidstrom!
Interesting that Sean Monahan has found his game again when paired with Joe Colborne. His best success of the season came on a line with Sven Baertschi, and now once again he’s getting creative with a young player on his side. Could also be the end of a lingering foot injury, but whatever the cause Monahan is getting more done down low and having effective shifts again. Great on the shoot out.
Colborne didn’t score in the shoot out, but once again was great with his hands and size down low. It’s becoming his game. He protects the puck well, and keeps players away from the puck with his reach, giving him the ability to get the Flames control and offensive chances. I went from excited about his potential, to think he was third line maxed to curious again.
The duo were both -3 on the game.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Both the team below and above the Flames lost last night (Edmonton and Florida respectively), meaning the Flames really look to have left Edmonton in their dust. The Oil have now lost six in a row, and the Flames having 5 points in their last four games have buried them by seven points, and Calgary having a game in hand. Incredible. The Panthers are getting closer, only four points up, Florida has a game in hand.
It’s been suggested that with Berra’s shoot out success, the Flames should pull Ramo regardless of the game he’s having for the contest going forward. Tonight the Flames backed their way into that strategy with Ramo getting yanked in the second after two questionable goals, and Berra standing tall in the come back. It worked as he stopped three of the four Predator shots in the extra time including a crazy leg save to win it. … Eric Nystrom was a great guy in Calgary so you like to see him have success, but would any one have selected “Nystrom” in a poll “what former Flame is most likely to score four goals in a game?” Nope. … To put the Flames and Oilers battle in perspective, should the Flames finish their final 30 games at their current .413 clip, the Oilers would need to go 14-11-4 for .548 in order to catch the Flames and send the tie breaker into season series. Is that likely? Their best chance is if the Flames have a fire sale. … Mike Cammalleri skated with the Flames yesterday, a huge thing if you’re into the trade deadline and asset management. The market is thin, but you can’t trade an injured hockey player. Hopefully he comes back this week and pops two and moves on for a pick and a prospect.
Paul Byron returned to the lineup after missing a game, while McGrattan missed out due to an undetermined injury.
Where Do They Go From Here?
The Flames have three more home games on this five game stand that has started quite well. They now have only six games to go before the Olympic break.