Shuts Out Flames
Pop Two Shorthanded Goals, Rout Flames
October 21st, 2002
|Cujo Shuts Door: Craig
Conroy and the Flames couldn't solve former Leaf stopper Curtis
It was the game the Wings had been waiting for.
A largely indifferent start to the campaign by Curtis Joseph was soon
forgotten behind a 23 save 4-0 whitewashing of the Calgary Flames last
night in Detroit.
Joseph is the high profile replacement for the retired Dominic Hasek
and like all teams with aspirations of championship glory, it will
likely come on the back of the goaltending of Joseph in spite of the
All-Star lineup playing in front of him.
But it was specialty teams which decided this game in embarrassing
fashion for the Flames.
Right from the opening moments this contest was played mostly with
one side or the other on the man advantage.
While the good news saw the Flames limiting the NHL's number one
power play to only one goal, the bad news proved to be pivotal, Calgary
so inept themselves on the man advantage that they surrendered two
critical shorthanded goals in only 94 seconds early in the second
period, essentially sealing their fate.
In total, the Flames went zero for nine on the powerplay this night
with a whopping 18:56 of man advantage time while limiting the Wings to
one goal on eight powerplay chances (13:07 with the extra man).
This was a contest where Detroit's vastly underrated team speed,
hidden by the label of older legs, proved a continual advantage over the
lead-footed Flames both on the power play and killing penalties.
"It was the men playing against the boys tonight," conceded
Flames forward Scott Nichol in a post-game interview on FAN960.
Chris Chelios opened scoring at 2:46 of the second when Chris Drury,
Calgary's power play point man, fell and allowed the Wings to break out
on a three on two break which ended with the veteran Wings defenceman
blasting a shot over Calgary starter Jamie McLennan's shoulder.
On a second power play less than two minutes later, Kirk Maltby
collected his third shorthanded marker of the year, wristing a shot
through Drury and past a screened McLennan at 4:20.
Calgary was handed a golden opportunity to put themselves back into
the game when Kris Draper, who should know all about eating his meals
through a straw after being hit from behind, pushed Robyn Regehr face
first into the boards, resulting in a five minute major penalty.
But the Flames could muster only Chuck Kobasew's opportunity as the
Wings relentless penalty killing ground them down.
Detroit widened their lead to 3-0 at 2:55 of the third period when
Tomas Holmstrom whacked a flutterball out of mid-air past McLennan on a
Darren McCarty finished off the Flames - as if any extra help were
needed - by converting a Maltby pass at 13:33.
McLennan stopped 29 of 33 shots in his first start of the year,
essentially the sacrificial lamb as the Flames hoped to pull out a lucky
one against the superior Wings while saving number one starter Roman
Turek for the real battle against Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Wings jump to 4-2-1 on the year while the Flames drop to 2-3-1 and
had their modest three game undefeated streak snapped.