Last April, the Calgary Flames season
came to an uninspired finish when the playoff bound Vancouver Canucks
put the final nail in the Southern Alberta coffin.
Some things never change.
|For Real: Good finish to
exhibition season means little in home opener with Canucks.
When the Flames lifted the curtains on
a greatly altered squad it was the visitors that showed up for the
regular season premier. The home side has yet to be seen.
Can you say "tight"?
Teams have a core. The Calgary Flames
core consists of Roman Turek, Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy, Chris Drury,
Marc Savard, Martin Gelinas, Denis Gauthier, Toni Lydman and maybe a few
None of the above showed up to work on
Sadly, things could have gone a
The Flames began the night with back to
back powerplays, a golden horseshoe from the officiating staff, almost
daring the Flames to come out with a great start.
Instead it was the Canucks that took
the game and ran.
Brendan Morrison opened the scoring
midway through the period when he jumped on a Micki Dupont miscue and
moved in alone, beating Roman Turek between the wickets.
Four minutes later Bryan Allen fired a
shot over a diving Calgary defenceman, short side high on Turek to put
the BC natives up by a score of 2-0.
Before the end of the period the
Canucks basically salted things away when Markus Naslund popped a
powerplay goal to make the score three nil.
That was all she wrote.
The two teams slept through an
uneventful second period, barely hitting the double digits in shots ...
combined, before settling into an equally blasť third period.
When the dust settled the all deserving
Canucks coasted to a 3-0 victory to open the 2002-03 season on the right
"The guy came out hyper
active", opined head coach Greg Gilbert. "Through the final
few games of the preseason the guys played within the system, with
disipline. Tonight they were running around".
And around and around.
The club's top two lines were nearly
invisible, shooting themselves in the foot at every turn. The third and
fourth lines actually had all the chances, but lacked the finish to get
It's only one game ... and the Flames,
though clearly smacked by a more game opponent, basically beat
themselves. Their best foot has yet to be put forward.
They'd better put that sucker forward
on Saturday night.
The West is set to be a battle ...
early jitters can equal an early exit.
Brendan Morrison -
Pivot looking to
prove last season
was a sign of things
to come did exactly
that ... two point
Markus Naslund -
Not that successful
diving all night,
but handled the puck
well and added the
Rob Niedermayer - Held
the dubious honour
of "Best of the
Flames" on the
night. Didn't get a
lot done, but cycled
the puck well and
had a lot of
OF THE GAME
in the third period
Canuck goalie Dan
Cloutier came up
large on four
to keep the score at
3-0, including a
dandy to Marc
OF THE GAME
Boughner played the
body hard all night,
but his best hit was
in the second period
when he laid out
Trent Klatt behind
the Calgary cage.
of the best lines in
hockey took the ice
on Thursday night
... but only one
could be found. The
Flames trio of
Iginla, Conroy and
Drury had a
and Morrison looked
to be in mid season
form. ... The final
shots read 36-16
Vancouver, so one
could hardly fault
Roman Turek for the
loss. But on closer
inspection the first
likely stacked at
5-3 for Vancouver so
a 3-0 cushion was as
much to do about
imbalance as skater
Rookie watch: Chuck
Kobasew looked as
as his linemates,
but still didn't
have a great night.
Early in the first
for a powerplay one
timer that narrowly
missed, showing the
kid's potential for
Micki Dupont looked
a little over his
head when it came to