For Iginla; Flames Lose
As the final moments tick off on another year without a post-season,
it seems the final score in many of these waning games has become
irrelevant for the Calgary Flames.
The focus instead is the mesmerizing watch of Jarome Iginla's pursuit
of the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophies.
Iginla didn't disappoint last night, striking twice for his 50th and
51st goals of the season in a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Black Hawks
in Chicago. It was the 11th time this season Iginla has scored two or
Iginla becomes only the seventh Flame in Calgary's 22 year history to
score 50 or more goals, joining luminaries Lanny McDonald, Haken Loob,
Joey Mullen, Theo Fleury, Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts.
With only three games left and an 11 goal lead over Boston's Bill
Guerin, it is a pretty safe assumption that Iginla will be the runaway
winner of the NHL's Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's premier goal
The two points also give Iginla a fairly imposing lead over
Vancouver's Markus Naslund for the Art Ross Trophy for the NHL's points
championship. Iginla, with 51 goals, 43 assists for 94 points, now has a
10 point lead over Naslund (who had two points early in his game last
night), the latter with only four games left to play.
The loss dropped the Flames to 31-33-12-3 on the season for 77 points
and 11th spot in the NHL's Western Conference. Calgary would need to go
2-0-1 at the very least in their final three games to finish with a .500
record on the season.
The victory was the 400th of Brian Sutter's coaching career. The loss
was the sixth straight on the road for the Flames and the ninth game in
a row without a win outside the Saddledome.
Calgary was fortunate to be even close in this game after being
thoroughly outplayed in the first period, down 3-0 at one point before
closing the gap to make things interesting.
In a moment eerily reminiscent of last year - in fact, the night
before - Iginla lost the puck to Tony Amonte who tossed to Alex Zhamnov
for the one-timer on Calgary starter Mike Vernon. Amonte stuffed the
rebound from beside the net.
The Flames surrendered 10 first shot goals last season - many by
Vernon - and while technically the second shot in this game the effect
was still the same.
Roman Turek gave up Nashville's opening marker the previous night
scarcely a minute into that game as well.
Another Chicago odd man rush was cashed by Steve Sullivan on a
deflection of a Steve Poapst, putting the Flames down 2-0 only 5:50 in.
The shifty Michael Nylander was inexplicably left alone with Vernon
at 17:45, deking the veteran Flames netminder out of his shorts before
lifting a backhand into the net for a crippling 3-0 Chicago lead.
Then it was Iginla at 19:41, rocketing down the wing and blowing a
classic power play slapper over Thibault's shoulder, popping the water
bottle for his 50th of the season.
Iginla added his 51st while on his back, dragging the rebound of his
original shot under his body and into the net at 5:51 of the second
It was only Calgary's seventh shot of the game.
Iginla had several chances the rest of the way but Thibault was equal
to the challenge.
Flames were one for five on the power play while Chicago was zero for
Hawks outshot the Flames 33-17.
Attendance was 17,009.
Next up is Phoenix at the Saddledome Tuesday night.
Jarome Iginla -
two goals and
probably cinched the
Michael Nylander -
goal and an assist
and a great
Steve Sullivan -
goal and an assist
and buzzing all
OF THE GAME
in the second
period, Nylander was
caught with his head
down by Bob
the Chicago winger
amid gasps from the
OF THE GAME
McAmmond on a power
play nearly brought
the Flames back to a
2-1 deficit but a
quick glove hand
Thibault left the
Flames shaking their
Montador was the
latest call-up from
Saint John. . . . .
. . .Iginla played
6:58 of the first,
8:02 of the second
and 8:37 in the
third. . . . .
Chicago entered the
third period leading
with the knowledge
they were 30-0-3 in
year. . . . . . .
Flames entered the
game 4-1-1 in their
last six against
Chicago but the loss
gave the season
series to Chicago
2-1-1. . . . . .
.Scott Nichol was
75% in the faceoff
circle while the
Flames were 54%
overall. One of the
worst nights of the
season for Conroy at
36%. Alex Zhamnov
and Sullivan were
both 66%. . . . . .
. Nichol and Chris
Clark led the Flames
with five hits each
while the Flames had
25 on the night.
Hawks were led by
Poapst with six hits
and had 27 on the
night. . . . . .
Vernon had four
giveaways on the
night - half the
Flames total. . . .
. . . Regehr had
four blocked shots.