January 29th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
All or none I guess with this group. Take a seven game home losing streak, end it, and then commence a three game winning streak.
The Flames and Hawks filled the net tonight, something even more odd form a team that was out scored 22-4 in seven losing games on home ice, but yes Calgary scored five times to best the Stanley Cup Champs by a score of 5-4 on Saddedome ice. Wow.
Mikael Backlund continued his march toward maturity with two goals, five shots, a plus one rating and almost 23 minutes of ice time. Amazing this kid was scratched once this season and had a turn on the fourth line for another handful of games. He’s become the Calgary rebuild game breaker.
Lee Stempniak was +2 and had three assists playing the port side with Backlund, can’t hurt his trade value! Smid’s return to the roster shouldn’t go unnoticed as he was +3 as well.
Getting sick of TJ Brodie yet? Not his strongest game, and certainly not the third period performance of the Nashville game, where he was huge in orchestrating a comeback, but the guy continues to find ways to impact games. This time four on four in overtime, he’s the guy behind the Hawk’s cage doing the wraparound for a game winner.
Monahan picked up his first assist in 25 games, and played a solid if not quiet game up and down the ice. He’s just not a flashy player, … just right spot at the right time, putting the puck on net and creating the game winner in this instance.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
The Flames have good timing for three straight wins, and points in four of the last five as other teams are picking up points as well; Buffalo picked up a point last night and Oilers have won two in a row.
Bottom line they sit 28th and drafting third, 5 points up on Edmonton, and 4 points behind the Panthers.
Luckily I couldn’t care less where they finish as long as they stay top 3.
Wonder if the Flames have ever won back to back hockey games in which the starting goaltender failed to reach the end of the game in both? Guessing not. That’s quite a back to back feat. … With Mike Cammalleri nearing his return, it’s a sure bet that trade rumours will ratchet up with he and Matt Moulson being the two most discussed in terms of adding a scoring winger with an expiring contract. I kind of hope Moulson goes first and there’s a huge bidding war, as the bridesmaids may be more desperate in dealing with Burke. … Very quiet contract negotiations with Kris Russell, thought with Stajan signing last week and the rumours of Russell pending that we’d have seen something by now. He’s not big but he’s a valuable piece for this team in the next three years. Imagine if he was 6’2″?! … Reto Berra in trouble? Tough starts in January, and another yank last night added to Ramo being solid in the third period and over time. Have to think Ramo starts tomorrow night for sure. … With Breen up and the team asking the Heat to play the crap out of him you’d have to think he’d be inserted as well, you can’t let him lose his edge not playing. But who do you scratch?