Flames Take Care of Business

Good Defence and Finally Some Offense Sinks Yotes

February 29th, 2004

For far too long the word "leap" to Calgary fans was often directed towards frustrated patrons and their desire to toss themselves off the Lion's Gate bridge after playoff-less season after playoff-less season.

In only the second Leap Year day game played by the Flames since coming to Calgary, the other a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins eight years ago, the Flames were able to "leap" up the standings and even their two game home stand at 1-1-0. 

At this time of year there are no points for style or artistic impression, simply put, you just need to keep adding wins to the old win columns.

However, the Flames got the results and the substance in this one, in beating the Coyotes for the second time this season.

First and foremost they were able to limit the Coyote chances against goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff - Phoenix only managed 21 shots on the Calgary nets on the night, but they also got some positive news on other fronts.

Jarome Iginla found the net again, ending a four game goal drought that followed his torrid start to the month of February.

The continued surge by a surprising scoring source as Chuck Kobasew scored for the second straight game, his third goal in his last four games and his fourth in his last nine.

Plus they found offence from their defence with blueline partners Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold both bending the twine.

The tandem offence added up to somewhat of a smorgasbord for the Flames as four goals in one game certainly stands apart from their meager five goals in the their past four encounters.

For the Flames to make the playoffs this season they will have to continue to win the winnable games, and also get lucky and steal a point or two in games they shouldn't.

The Flames came out of the gates in good fashion to do exactly that on the night, giving up only seven first period shots and driving into the lead on a goal by Robyn Regehr.

The news out of town was also favourable as both the Blues and Kings dropped their contests, meaning the Flames move from 8th place to 7th, and put four points between themselves and a slip out of the playoffs.

As the calendar flips to March tomorrow morning and the playoff season starts to appear on the horizon, the Flames are hoping that a prolonged campaign is anything but a leap of faith. 





1) Jordan Leopold - Scores a powerplay goal and adds an assist on Chuck Kobasew's insurance marker. Was +2 on the night. 

2) Shane Doan - Comes out of a drought of his own to score his 22nd of the season. 

3) Steve Reinprecht - Returns to the lineup with two assists and four shots on goal. A key element to the stretch drive.

Things aren't about to get any easier for the Calgary Flames as they set out on a killer road trip that takes them through St. Louis, Detroit, Dallas and Colorado. Clearly the key for Calgary is to open with a win in Missouri putting six points between themselves and a playoff miss. ... Calgary was dominated in the face off circle taking only 40% of the draws on the night. Stephane Yelle continues to struggle after coming back off a knee injury as Calgary's usual sure draw expert won only 34% of his faceoffs. Mike Sillinger was awesome in the circle winning 76% of his faceoffs, a player that could find himself with a new team by next Tuesday. ... Toni Lydman led all Calgary skaters with 21:46 of ice time. The only other player with over 20 minutes was Andrew Ference. Strange to see both Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold out of the 20+ crowd. ... Only five skaters failed to record a shot on net on the night; Denis Gauthier, Chris Clark, Ference, Dean McAmmond and Rhett Warrener. ... The Flames moved back to eight games over .500 or that magical 90 point pace that many target as that magic number to make the playoffs. They sit one point back of Nashville and three back of Dallas, who came back to beat Edmonton in overtime this afternoon. 

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