Calgary Flames 3 Edmonton Oilers  3

Preseason Ends with a Tie

Rick Charlton

September 30, 2001

What now?

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.

See Last 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 lead.

Flames Chris Clark upped the count to 2-0 just 31 seconds later but Josh Green brought the Oilers back within one at 11:47.

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 relieved Lamothe.

Coach Greg Gilbert surprised by starting Kay Whitmore in the third period after Roman Turek had been solid through two.

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 overtime.

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.


1. Ryan Smyth - His usual pestilential self

2. Jason Smith - Couldn't make the Leafs but now he's the very deserving captain of the Oilers

3. Chuck Kobasew - Putting the heat on Flames coach Greg Gilbert and GM Button. 


Craig Berube with a forearm shiver to the head of Jason Smith, a provocation the Oiler captain could hardly ignore as the two wrestled to the ice.


Dany Heatley has three in the pre-season for Atlanta while Ilya Kovalchuk has six. It might be a long year for Atlanta but you have to like the Thrashers down the road with Patrik Stefan, Heatley and Kovalchuk as their top three forwards. . . . . . . . Oiler GM Kevin Lowe credited the Flames with having more speed this season but attributed it not only to better wheels but better confidence in Calgary as well. . . . . . Val Bure had a goal and an assist in Florida's win over Tampa.

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