Ends with a Tie
September 30, 2001
Chuck Kobasew continues to make himself a
welcome problem for the Calgary Flames, notching his fifth of the
pre-season last night in a 3-3 tie against the Oilers.
The Flames finish the pre-season with a
3-2-2 record which might buy them a cup of coffee at the corner store
after the real shooting starts on Wednesday at the Saddledome against
the same Oil.
Still the news was generally good for the
Flames in their final pre-season encounter. Lost in Kobasew's dramatic
lunge for a roster spot was the fact that Calgary's three goals all came
from wingers, including Jeff Cowan and Chris Clark.
If there is a black hole that may yet
swallow the Flames this season, both wings figure to be the source
unless, as GM Craig Button is banking on, emerging talents like Clark
and Cowan can up their offensive numbers.
Night's Game Story: Flames 2 Oilers 1
But the story of the pre-season remains
Kobasew. Rare is the newly drafted 19 year-old able to stick with an NHL
team and make an impact. It's not impossible but Kobasew has certainly
made a case for himself. A decision on his status is now only days away.
Kobasew was the right wing on a line with
centre Rob Niedermayer and left wing Dean McAmmond. The first line was
Marc Savard - who actually got in a fight with Oilers pest Todd Marchant
- and Jukka Hentunen on left wing. Hentunen had several quality chances
but wasn't able to convert.
Calgary opened scoring at 3:10 when Jeff
Cowan took advantage of a brain cramp by Oiler starting netminder Marc
Lamothe, corralling a clearing attempt and stuffing it early for a 1-0
Flames Chris Clark upped the count to 2-0
just 31 seconds later but Josh Green brought the Oilers back within one
Kobasew then put the Flames up 3-1 at
13:05 in the second period, taking a neat pass from centre Rob
Niedermayer and whipping a quick shot past Jussi Markkanen who had
Coach Greg Gilbert surprised by starting
Kay Whitmore in the third period after Roman Turek had been solid
Ryan Smith was allowed to come out from
behind the Flames net to feed a clever cross-crease pass to Shawn
Horcoff to draw the Oilers to within one at 2:20, well before Whitmore
had time to work up a sweat.
Mike Comrie then deflected a Green pass
between Whitmore's legs just 55 seconds later to tie the score at 3-3
with his first goal of the pre-season and only his second point.
Jarome Iginla and Horcoff exchanged
goalposts later in the third and Mike Grier failed to cash in on an open
net in overtime.
Turek faced 15 shots for the Flames over
two periods while Whitmore handled 15 shots through the third period and
The Oilers out-shot the Flames 30-22.
Calgary was perfect in killing four
Edmonton power plays. The Flames gave up only two goals in 31 power
plays this pre-season, which, if carried through to the regular season,
would put the team a long way towards a playoff spot.