Another Western Conference powerhouse another tight down to the wire finish leaving the Saddledome cheering and meandering to their cars in good moods despite a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
The show up, the put out, and they send the fans home happy almost every single night. Gone is the memory of the seven game losing streak on home ice and their inability to score a goal. Quite a story.
Kari Ramo owned the second period. Owned it. Brings me to wondering who this guy actually is. I honestly felt the Flames European experimentation this season was filler, two guys in Berra and Ramo to come in and fill the gap until Jon Gillies or some as of yet named future goaltender was ready to take the reigns. The guys is giving panelists pause now though. Solid goaltending, and young enough to be part of the mix going forward.
Thought tonight was another example of Joe Colborne and Sean Monahan deserved better based on their play down low, scoring chances and jam shift to shift. They just haven’t been rewarded for their efforts and chances but you have to think that will change. Great to see two young player continuing to make things happen on the ice. The duo along with Lance Bouma did end up -2 however in a tight game.
Hard not to notice Tyler Wotherspoon on the point again tonight. So much poise and positioning in his own zone, and picked up another assist; albeit fluky on Brian McGrattan’s second period goal. And then on the other side he lost his man on the Duck’s game winner. The guy is going to be a player, what a great opportunity to get a 20 year old up and tested late in the season. Was on the ice for both of the Duck third period goals, but ended the night even for his solid work through two periods.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Not a big night in the NHL when it comes to schedule with only three games on tap and only the Flames game having any impact on the Flames playoff spot. The loss gives the Islanders a game in hand which is interesting with the club just two points behind the Flames.
I honestly don’t care if they draft fourth, fifth or sixth to be honest, but its still fun to watch.
Lots of talk about the Smid on Jackman hit in the first period. I was annoyed if it was boarding or hitting from behind, but happier that it was a head shot call as he did make head contact. I’m with the TSN panel though as why does a 6’3″ guy need to tuck his head down that far as he tries to avoid a hit. Tough call I know. … Pretty nice feed by Lady Smid to Hudler on that second goal. What a great transaction for Calgary. How much fun do you think he had last weekend in Edmonton? … TSN panel talking about how the Flames were always the least exciting of the Canadian teams in their telecasts. They had Iginla and not much else. Now they’re the opposite. Less names but way more fun to watch night to night. Such a good sign. … Good to see the vet line pop a goal tonight when Hudler put them up. Glencross’s hat trick aside they just haven’t been in the top two lines in any night I’ve seen over the past few games. Too much passing? Lots of unforced turnovers. They had their best shift in weeks however in the third however, and should have been rewarded. … Was good to see Mikael Backlund have some chances late with the puck as he was largely invisible for 55 minutes. The guy has been so solid this season, but tonight despite being solid in his own zone just didn’t have his usual jump. … I love Lance Bouma, but would rather see a guy like Agostino patrolling the left side of a Colborne, Monahan line. Better development.
Kenny Agostino takes his first turn in the pres box after suiting up for three games to star his career. thought his best game was his effort against Edmonton, hopefully he gets back on the ice soon.
Where Do They Go From Here?
Great East West game on Friday night with the New York Rangers in town to take on the Flames. Rangers in a battle for playoff positioning, so should be an interesting game.