Upend Leafs on HNIC
"Safety in movement" was the
mantra of famed World War II tank commanders like Guderian, Patton and
It also looks to be the mantra of the
2001-2002 Calgary Flames.
With their jets noticeably absent through
20 minutes and Toronto all over them, the Flames must have chugged some
high octane kerosene at the first intermission, going into hyper drive
through the remaining two periods and tearing through the startled Leafs
like a warm knife through butter.
The final 4-1 score probably flattered
the Buds as the Flames wowed their first sell-out of the season, 17,279,
at the Pengrowth Saddledome, mercifully clamming up the usual strong
Toronto bleacher contingent in the process.
Calgary's great strength this year, one
of the decisive differences in their play, has been their team speed
which has overwhelmed opponents in pushing the Flames to an amazing
Others might call it hard work. Don't be
fooled. Hard work is part of it but the Flames have worked hard in past
years as well. Speed combined with hard work, however, is a deadly
It was only when Calgary kicked into
their game of strength through movement that the Leafs began to be
spectators rather than participants.
It is the first time since 1984-85
Calgary has started a season with six wins in its first eight games.
Although Roman Turek had to be strong
through the first period, he was rarely tested thereafter, or certainly
not until the game was well in hand for Calgary. Toronto held an 10-4
shot advantage after the first period but the final count after three
Flames continue to surprise with
unexpected offence, particularly considering they are missing their
first and second line centres, Marc Savard and Rob Niedermayer.
Craig Conroy picked up the slack, turning
in another strong game, a monotonously regular occurrence, with two
crisp assists on goals by Jarome Iginla and Dean McAmmond. In the first,
seconds into a Calgary powerplay, Igor Kravchuk snapped an outlet pass
to Conroy outside the Flame blueline and the centre immediately fired it
to Iginla streaking across the Leaf blueline. Iginla deked Cujo and
lobbed a backhand high to the short side for a 1-0 Flame lead.
Dmitri Yushkevich put Toronto on the
board with McAmmond off for holding at 12:21 of the first, pounding a
point shot past a screened Turek.
After being noticeably outplayed through
the opening 20 minutes, the Flames racked up six chances to the Leafs
one by the halfway mark of the second, Conroy hitting McAmmond who found
the seam through the Toronto defence and wristed a blistering shot high
to Joseph's glove side at 1:58.
Calgary took a 3-1 advantage and
basically put the game out of reach with Dave Lowry's second of the year
at 15:15, finishing off a two on one break with Jukka Hentunen who had
probably his strongest game as a Flame.
Jamie Wright, called up to the NHL for
the 19th time in his short career, finished the Leafs off at 1:17 of the
third while standing alone in the slot and one timing a Ron Petrovicky
Both teams were one for five on the power
Flames have only surrendered 10 goals in
eight games, leading the NHL.