Carry Flames to Win
Season Acquisitions Huge in Upset Victory
November 5th, 2002
|Now Take That: Jordan
Leopold gets up close and personal with Meadowland ice.
It's like a different team.
Who's that in goal turning aside 30
shots for his second win in as many nights, you ask? Why it's Jamie
McLennan, acquired from the Minnesota Wild for a late round draft pick
this past summer.
Who's that plucky fourth liner with the
salon goatee and the funky side burns, that has managed to score two
goals in as many games? Why it's Mattias Johansson, a Flames draft pick
from almost ten years ago, finally signed this summer.
Ok, then who's that guy wearing Jeff
Shantz's number that seems to win every face off and chip in with timely
offensive contributions when most needed? That's Stephane Yelle, the
throw in from the Derek Morris trade just over a month ago.
Don't even get me started on #37, #4,
and that presence that seems to have taken over Rob Niedermayer's body.
It would only make sense that with
different personnel you'd get different outcomes, which is exactly what
we've seen on this road trip.
The Flames have been awful in back to
back games in the past several seasons. Didn't matter if the easy touch
was first, or second, the Flames were pretty much a lock to drop the
So with the table set, the rested and
dominant Devils set to feast, a tired backup goaltender making the start
and the team captain on the sidelines, a fan could be forgiven if they
had already counted this one a loss.
Just don't tell the Flames.
On the back of a stellar goaltending
performance by Jamie McLennan and a trio of goals from three new
forwards the Flames turned back the Devils on Tuesday night by a score
The Devils opened the scoring in the
first period on a goal by Mike Danton - McLennan having no chance as he
was screened by rookie Jordan Leopold.
In the second period the Flames tied it
and then went ahead on goals by Mattias Johansson and Stephane Yelle.
Johansson's goal was a defection on a
Leopold point shot, while Yelle banged his home out front after taking a
good pass from Marc Savard.
The lead didn't last - the Devil's
Colin White tied the score less than a minute later setting up the exact
same situation the Flames faced on Long Island - third period, score
tied at two.
Queue the Chris Drury heroics.
"I just happened to the right guy
in the right spot the last two nights,'' Drury said. "I was just
able to grab this one, get it down and up in a hurry.''
Drury, just as he had done a night
earlier, scored the game winner just three minutes into the third
period, but that's where the similarities end.
Against the Islanders the goal gave the
Flames another step as they took the game to the home side, and then
found insurance with a goal by Chuck Kobasew.
Against New Jersey the Flames were
forced to hang on for their lives in a period that would see the Devil's
out shoot Calgary by a frightening count of 19-5
"New Jersey came at us hard in the
third, especially after the go-ahead goal,'' said Flames coach Greg
Gilbert. "They were throwing pucks from everywhere. Jamie stood
tall again tonight and made the big saves when we needed them.''
The Flames did manage to hang on
however, moving their road trip record to 2-0-0 with the Rangers,
Panthers and Thrashers still to go on the trek.
The team shouldn't count their chickens
as they say, but to most on lookers the two toughest games on this sojourn
appeared to come at the front, giving the Flames a great opportunity at
a tremendous road trip.
The Flames play the Rangers at Madison
Square Garden on Thursday night. The Rangers will be coming off a
convincing victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Three minutes into the third period in
that one, you may want to pay attention, that 37 guy may be on the