Deja Vu Flames Blow Lead to Stars

Roman Turek's Return Spoiled    

January 17th, 2004

Welcome back!

I'm sure Roman Turek wasn't expecting lavish gifts, tear jerking speeches, or even noise makers and party streamers from fellow teammates upon his return to the Calgary nets from a 4 month sabbatical due to an knee injury.

But I am certain he was hoping for much more than he received in a 3-2 heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Stars.

The Flames did little to help their "large" goaltender shake off the barnacles from his stay in dry dock, only putting in a half game of effort and suddenly finding old form in defensive zone coverage gaffs leading to back busting goals.

The game itself was eerily like the only other hook up this season between the two clubs, a game that features a 3-1 Calgary lead into the third period resulting in a 4-3 overtime loss.

This time there were no loser points, however.

The loss to a bubble team in the west was made much worse when captain and offensive life line Jarome Iginla left the game with a leg injury late in the second period.

He came back to the bench early in the third but then left again without seeing the ice, with word to officially follow from the Flames tomorrow.

This writer is no doctor, but I would optimistically assume that an injury that can have a player come out in the third and try can't be all too serious but with this team's injury bug, one can never tell.

After carrying the majority of the scoring chances through the first period, the Stars finally solved Roman Turek with just under two minutes left to play.

Star winger Brendan Morrow was able to elude his check, Oleg Saprykin, and tip a deft pass from Mike Modano over the shoulder of Turek.

Turek's first period since mid October featured nine shots and just the one goal. He didn't appear to have any trouble getting up and down with his recovering knee ligaments.

The gaff on Oleg Saprykin's part resulted in more tough love from coach Sutter, as the young Russian found his bust tied to the bench for much of the remainder of the evening.

The Flames took over the game when the puck was dropped in the second, pretty much owning the puck through the period and halfway into the third.

The home side managed two middle frame goals off the sticks of Chris Clark, on a two man advantage, and Martin Gelinas with a mid air tip to head to the third up a goal.

Everything was going swimmingly for the Flames until the 12 minute mark when Jere Lehtinen took a great pass from Pierre Turgeon and beat a helpless Roman Turek.

A few minutes later the Stars struck for the game winner when Jason Arnott pounced on a greasy rebound and slid the puck through Roman Turek's legs.

The most disturbing element of the two quick goals was the shoddy defensive zone coverage by the Calgary defence pairings and center with nary a Star covered with live pucks down low.

You'd hate to think the squad has decided to let up with Jamie McLennan out of the nets, but that's clearly not the way to re-break in a rusty goaltender.

The loss moves the Flames back to seven games over .500 and slips them in the standings to 7th place, a point back of Nashville.

The team will need to regroup and find that stingy game again for their two game road trip to California, starting Monday in Anaheim.





1) Jason Arnott - Great timing ... pounces on loose puck to score game winner.

2) Chris Clark - Feisty Flame did the work on the boards, and scored a powerplay goal.

3) Brendan Morrow - Typical road game for sandpaper Morrow, added first period goal.

With the Flames still up 2-1 early in the third period, Dean McAmmond had a glorious chance but was foiled short side by Marty Turco.

Early in the third period Chris Clark lit up Sergei Zubov behind the Dallas net, leaving the talent Russian lying on the ice for a moment or two.

With all the injuries suffered in Calgary, surely the Hockey Gods wouldn't see fit to take Jarome Iginla from the Flames. The club has battled through many personnel setbacks, but could they handle losing their captain? Not the January version. ... I've said it before, I'll likely say it again. Josh Green is not a NHL hockey player. Lynn Loyns is. ... Counting all the times I shuddered when the fourth line was on the ice I was somewhat surprised to see Oliwa only played 6:11 of ice. Maybe fourth line time just moves slower. ... For the second straight home game Calgary fans targeted a visiting player and road him, this time the target being Mike Modano. Modano was clipped by a high stick resulting in a double minor to Martin Gelinas. I couldn't find a replay that didn't have me thinking the stick actually came from a Dallas player. Either way, great crowd noise from a quiet building. ... During the third period HNIC analyst Glen Healy pointed out that Dallas was having trouble with the Calgary trap. Very ironic comment since it was the Stars that had four guys back and one fore-checker all night, not the Calgary side. I guess all those years on the bench didn't help Mr. Healy become a student of the game. ... Steve Reinprecht is Calgary's smoothest hockey player, he can always make something out of nothing. Have to wonder how long Sutter will tie his can to a rookie and a ham handed third line winger. ... Not surprising to see the Flames come out and throw somewhat of a dud tonight. A strange travel schedule and the in and out revolving injury door has to mess with a team's "feel". ... The Flames have now gone three games without a win, a mild slump that could turn into a foundation cracking skid if they don't find some points in California this week. Don't count them out, they are too well coached to slip that far off their game plan.

  Back to
Read other Stories
Talk About it!