Chicago Blackhawks 6 Calgary Flames 3

Flames Crash Down to Earth at United Center

Rick Charlton

October 23th, 2001

If the Flames needed a reminder of what life used to be like before they were number one, last night's dust-off at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks should have been enough.

A Hawk goal on the first chance of the game, two goals on the first three shots, penalty trouble that gave the opposition an early lead and, the clincher, the best hit of the game when two Flames rubbed each other out.

It was a long night in a 6-3 Flames loss, dropping Calgary to 7-2-0-1.

Alexei Zhamnov, putting lie to the disbelievers, appears to have arisen from a multi-year slumber, registering a goal and two assists for an early season 100 point pace.

While you can't put this one completely at the feet of starter Mike Vernon, the Flames appeared to be a different team when the customary big saves, so prevalent with Roman Turek between the pipes, failed to materialize early on.

With Toni Lydman penalized in the opening minute, the Hawks jumped to an early 1-0 lead when Kyle Calder batted a flying rebound past Vernon only 1:17 in.

Zhamnov added to the lead before Vernon had a chance to blink at 4:27 on yet another Lydman induced power-play.

Jarome Iginla scored in the final second of the first period to bring the count to 2-1 Hawks, banging a slapper past Chicago goaltender Jocelyn Thibault from the right faceoff dot.

From there it was all Hawks as first Tony Amonte and then Mark Bell took advantage of Flames mistakes for a 4-1 Hawk lead by the time the second had ended.

Vernon had allowed four goals on only 19 shots through 40 minutes and six goals on 29 shots overall. The Flames directed 29 shots on Thibault as well.

Eric Daze added to the lead after running through a disinterested Igor Kravchuk early in the third. Seconds later Calder with his second bumped the lead to 6-1.

Craig Berube added a couple of meaningless, yet pretty goals later in the third with the Hawks having the contest well in hand.

Iginla now has 13 points in his first 10 games.

After a huge, hard fought, win in St. Louis the night before, the Flames were due for a let-down and it came in spades in Chicago.

If anything, getting brutally humiliated in Chicago might have some residual benefit for the Flames, a team that needs to be on top of its game every night to have a chance. If they were a little full of themselves before meeting the Hawks, a healthy dose of reality might have been what they need occasionally to maintain their place in the standings.


Box Score


1) KYLE CALDER - two goals and driving to the net all night 

2) ALEXEI ZHAMNOV - hey, this guy has a pulse. Big news in Chicago which has been waiting for Zhamnov to arrive since trading for him six years ago. 

3) MARK BELL - Fought Derek Morris in the opening minutes, added a goal and an assist later on.


Phil Housley - I've spent a lot of time running him down but he came up with three assists for the Hawks in sticking it to his former team.


Toni Lydman and Jukka Hentunen flattened each other in the second after both made a run at a Hawk who managed to vacate the area just as the two eager beavers arrived. It was that kind of night for the Flames.


Thibault stoned Hentunen in close in the second on a nice set-up by Toni Lydman.


Craig Conroy and Clarke Wilm led the Flames in the faceoff circle winning 52% and 50% of their draws respectively. Pascal Rheaume was 62% for the Hawks while Igor Koralev got bombed at only 35%. . . . . . Hawks led the Flames with 25 hits to Calgary's 23. Scott Nichol had four hits for the Flames and Berube and Conroy had three each. Which means the rest of the team had 13 between them. Not good enough. . . . . John Klemm had seven hits for the Hawks and Boris Mironov had five in a strong game for him. . . . . . Flames had eight giveaways, the Hawks only three