Tonight’s game was a fantastic game to watch if you are a Flames fan.
The Oilers would get on the board early in the first but the Flames answered back with 8 unanswered goals.
The Flames brought their hard-working, strong 2 way play that has become a way of life for this team and were rewarded with 8 goals on 25 shots including 4 goals in a 3 minute span in the second period. This would be more than enough to bury the Oilers on this night.
As far as I am concerned any night that ends with Oiler fans booing their team off the ice and more Oiler’s jerseies being tossed on the ice is a good night.
Tonight Mark Giordano, like most nights this season, was the best player on the ice for the Flames. I’m not sure the guys gets the recognition that he deserves. When this team needs a goal he either sets it up or scores it himself. When the Flames start to scramble defensively Giordano grabs the puck and calmly moves the puck out of the zone. The man is a lead by example kind of guy, a top 10 defender in the NHL, and a fantastic Captian. Tonight the Captain finished with a goal, an assist and was a +5!
The line of Byron – Backlund – Cammalleri had a really strong showing. They may not the biggest players on the ice, in fact at any given time they are probably the smallest, but they battle hard for the puck and constantly create turnovers. Tonight they combined for 2 goals, 3 assists and were +7.
Kenny Agostino continues to do the little things right. He’s fast, plays physical, is extremely sound defensively, and moved the puck well offensively. Bob Hartley is going to fall in love with this kid sooner or later. It will be interesting to see if he shows more flashes of offense as the feeling out process starts to end.
Kelly Hrudey put it best tonight when he said “Joe Colborne is a bona fide NHLer.”. He has gotten stronger and more confident as the season has progressed and has shown some very good chemistry with Sean Monahan. Frankly it is just a matter of time until their line has a big game, they just do too many of the little things right. It will be fun to watch them next year when both players are a little stronger and a little more experienced.
I am in complete awe of Tyler Wortherspoon right now. His ability to stay calm under pressure is unheard of for 20 year old defensemen. This young smooth skating defenseman has a knack for making the smart play and doing it quickly. Tonight he logged 17 very solid minutes of ice time and added an assist.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
The Panthers lost a not so close game to the Kings 4-0 and the Hurricanes put a huge dent in the Jets playoff hopes with a big 3-2 win. The Flames win puts them up to 65 points on the season 4 points up on the Islanders, who have a game in hand on the Flames.
A new team has entered this mix! The Ottawa Senators have decided that golf is more important than playoff hockey and have started to free-fall down the standings. They are currently 4 points up on the Flames and they do have a game in hand.
In last night’s game against the Predators, late in the third period Curtis Glencross had the game tying goal on his stick. He hit the side of the net and proceeded to take his frustrations out by taking a stupid penalty right after. Nashville scored on the ensuing PP. Despite Calgary’s best efforts the 2 goal lead was just too much for the Flames to come back from. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Glencross for the loss (although what he did was extremely dumb and almost killed the momentum that guys like Giordano, Cammalleri, and Bouma had provided) but I was very interested to see how Glencross would respond. Glencross’s response? A hat trick. Him and his line-mates looked a little out of sync in the first period but he made some good defensive plays. His goal in the second period was vintage Glencross… It is a shame that the Flames had to send Joni Ortio back down. I would have loved to see him get the start tonight, just to see if he could bounce back after a bad outing. I really wanted to see if he has ice in his veins like a certain former Flames goalie… I really would love to see Mike Cammalleri back in the Flaming C next year. He really has embraced being a veteran leader on this rebuilding team. Right now he is making Burke looking like a genius for not trading him and other GM’s foolish for not going after him harder at the deadline…
With Karri Ramo being activated from the IR for tonight’s game the Flames had no choice but to send down youngster Joni Ortio, since he was the player that replaced Ramo when he went down. Kevin Westgarth also returned to the line-up tonight, taking the place of T.J. Galiardi.
Where Do They Go From Here?
The Flames return home after a quick trip up to Edmonton to welcome the San Jose Sharks to Calgary on Monday night 8PM start. The game can be seen on Sportsnet.