By my estimation it's a little late to play for
draft positions, but that hasn't stopped the Calgary Flames from continuing
their eight game death spiral on Saturday night in Edmonton.
Not for lack of effort of course.
Like a paint by numbers portrait the Flames predictably
fell into a very similar rut in Edmonton; a hot opposing goaltender and
an anemic powerplay, to give the Oilers' playoff hopes a boost, and
their own a complete extinction.
Tommy Salo was very much not his Belarus self in
this one, turning aside 34 of the 35 shots he faced, including 12 for 12
in the second period alone.
But the Flames powerplay was the true culprit.
The Flames ... ahem .. powerplay went a ghastly
oh for nine on the night, including a two minute section with a full two
man advantage. Clearly that was the difference in the game since the
Oilers managed one powerplay goal on seven chances, while the teams
traded short handed goals.
By Calgarypuck.com's estimation the failed two
minute two man advantage, plus another smaller advantage later in the
contest moves the Flames seasonal record to five for 21 with two
additional skaters on the ice.
The Oilers opened the scoring early when Denis
Gauthier was sent off the ice for roughing, just 28 seconds in. The
newly acquired Mike York converted his first goal as an Oiler by taking
a Mike Comrie pass and firing a high shot that hit Roman Turek in the
shoulder before catching the corner.
Midway through the first period the Oilers
doubled their lead when Mike Grier caught Derek Morris and Igor Kravchuk
flatfooted and out raced them to the puck for a short handed marker.
The Flames finally caught a break five minutes
later when a 3-0 deficit turned into a 2-1 deficit on a video review.
Rob Niedermayer clearly scored his fifth of the season shorthanded but
the officials and goal judge missed it, sending the puck the other way.
The Oilers scored a powerplay goal less than ten minutes later that was
later wiped out once the Niedermayer goal was proven.
The Oilers went back ahead by two less than two
minutes later when Eric Brewer's harmless shot beat Turek from the line,
ending Turek's evening.
The Flames out shot the Oilers by a margin of
16-10 in the first period.
The second and third periods were scoreless
thanks to the all world goaltending by Salo, and some effective mop up
work by Calgary back up Mike Vernon.
The loss drops the Flames four games below .500
for the first time this season.
Tommy Salo -
A tough night by
Roman Turek coupled
with a stellar night
by Salo sealed this
Janne Niinimaa -
logged plenty of
ice, and garnered
Mike Vernon - Kept
an early two goal deficit
at two goals giving
his team a chance to
come up in the final
OF THE GAME
Boughner took Brian
Swanson heavily into
the boards behind
Vernon in the third
period, but was
roughing on the
OF THE GAME
the Flames on one of
Salo out lasted Marc
Savard by staying on
his feat then
flipping his glove
hand up behind his
ear to grab a
labeled high corner
that last year's
point total is a
mark that the team
should be aiming for
but with ten games
left the Flames sit
five points behind
last year's pace.
Two weeks ago it
looked like they
were set to march by
this value by a fair
margin, now? ...
Flames did very well
on the night; out
hitting, and winning
more face offs than
they lost. The
course told another
story. ... The The
only Flames center
with a losing rate
in the dot on the
night was Rob
Niedermayer with a
45% win rate. The
others were all 50%
or greater including
Marc Savard at 69%. Todd
at only 33%. ...
Hockey Night in
Canada host Ron
Maclean attempted to
put Craig Button
through the wringer
prior to the game.
Maclean brought up
topics like Lowry's
captaincy and the
Vernon fiasco of two
weeks ago and
pursued further when