Leads Flames Past Oilers
September 29, 2001
preseason is a time to pare down a team's roster, get used to new
teammates, and, with any luck, put a system in place that can be affective
in the regular season.
One of the principal
aims for the Flames in getting ready for the season to start on
Wednesday is to cut down their goals against average.
Defence will have to be the Flames bread and butter this season
if they have any chance of landing back in the playoffs for the first
time in six years.
the second time in two games the Calgary Flames managed to only allow
one goal in defeating the Edmonton Oilers by a score of two to one at
the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday night.
first period was scoreless with the Flames directing only three shots
toward Oiler netminder Tommy Salo.
Conroy opened the scoring on a second period powerplay, with the assists
going to Dean McAmmond and Igor Kravchuk.
Oilers tied the affair when Shawn Horcoff beat Mike Vernon with his
second of the preseason. Vernon had no chance on the goal.
the third period preseason phenom Chuck Kobasew netted the game winner,
also on a powerplay.
doing so the Flames managed
varying degrees of success in their aforementioned "to do"
list in preseason tasks.
Used to Teammates - Flames lines are starting to gel, defence
pairings are starting to form, and Mike Vernon showed he can still get
the job done, and provide quality goaltending for a team that needs in
night in and night out.
the System - The one goal against would suggest that once again the
Flames managed to put defence first on their priority list and in doing
so limit the opposition to few quality chances.
the preseason the Flames have managed a 3-2-1 record with one game
remaining in Edmonton this evening. The Flames are guaranteed at least a
.500 record in the preseason for the third straight season.
they take that game to the "real" season however?
One good signal is the type of game they are playing. Often in the
preseason the noticeable lack of veterans in the lineup leads to higher
scoring games. There are more mistakes and with them more goals, leading
to a false sense of security for teams that are sure to struggle in the
This fall the
Flames have come to camp and gone straight into the game plan. Through
six games the Flames have averaged exactly 2.00 goals against, on an
average of only 21 shots a night. Both good signs for a team that will
need to rely on defence to win.
Paring down the
Roster - Settling the roster could be the sticking point for coach
Greg Gilbert as players like Chuck Kobasew refuse to go quietly into the
Depending on injuries there are still
anywhere from four to six more cuts that will need to be made, and
nobody is going down without a fight.
It will be
interesting to see if the Flames think long term and assign Kobasew to
Kelowna or go strictly with the merit system that would see the
youngster make the team.