Same Old Same Old

Flames Carry Play But Come Up Empty in Nashville

November 13th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Rivalries are often born from history and/or geography.

Past playoff series that have seared into the minds of the players a general dislike or close proximity of cities ensuring a fan base that has programmed its players to carry the community torch.

But sometimes, they creep up from seemingly nowhere.

An unlikely Western Conference rivalry continued on Thursday night when the Nashville Predators turned back the road weary Flames by a 4-1 count.

Reinprecht Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Lombardi Clark
McAmmond Yelle Donovan
Oliwa Betts Kobasew
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener

Now don't get me wrong ... I'm not talking a traditional NHL rivalry.

The games generally don't mean a whole lot.

Heck more often than not when these two teams get together the contests aren't particularly entertaining.

What they lack in importance and seat edging they have always made up for in the bizarre and controversial.

And that was the case again tonight in Nashville.

A very basic, somewhat mundane hockey game was coming to a close when pint sized goaltender Tomas Vokoun left his crease and went after the dormant Flame sniper Jarome Iginla.

The move must have been a ripple from the sizeable splash made late in a game at the Saddledome last year when Vokoun and Iginla tangled late in yet another contest ... a game that came to a close with Jamie McLennan skating 193 feet and dropping the mitts with Vokoun himself.

A year earlier another incident at the Saddledome had a turtling Cliff Ronning acting like he was set to retire after a phantom slash by Dean McAmmond only to return 10 seconds later and set up a game winning powerplay goal.

On this night, before the late game hysterics, it was a familiar tune for the Flames.

The team carried the majority of the play, out shooting the Predators by a 30-22 margin, but came up short once again due to special team work and an inequity in net.

"You've got to score on one of those opportunities," said Calgary coach Darryl Sutter about the club's inability to convert any of their six powerplay chances.

The Predators were two for five on the night, essentially the difference in the hockey game.

The Flames opened the scoring when Jarome Iginla found a streaking Toni Lydman for a one timer in the slot.

Then the Flames got in penalty trouble, finally giving up a goal on the Preds third attempt of the period, with just over 30 seconds to play when Zidlicky continued his hot ways by slapping home a bouncing rebound to tie the score.

The Predators went ahead in the second period when Vlad Orszagh backhanded a rebound off a harmless point shot to make the score 2-1.

The Flames out shot the home side 11-4 in the third, but it was the Predators that converted twice to salt things away.

The Flames move on to Edmonton to complete this four game road trip, looking to win to even their junket mark at two and two.

It's too early for a must win tag on a game, but winning in Edmonton might just be a good idea.





1) David Legwand - '98 drat pick finally rounding into form. Picks up a goal and an assist.

2) Tomas "Killer" Vokoun - Tiny stopper stops 29 shots and gives the game some later flair.

3) Scott Hartnell - Former Raider captain finds two assists.

Vokoun had to be solid early in the second period when he was forced to turn aside a tipped point shot by Blair Betts and the close in rebound by Chuck Kobasew.  

Just have to give the hit of the game to the somewhat mental, but interesting Tomas Vokoun in his attack on Iginla.  

The Flames are now two games under .500, showing just how critical that win in Chicago was last night. Imagine four games under at this point? ... The Flames through three games on this road trip have equaled their opponents in scoring with ten apiece. Meanwhile they've out shot the opposition by a margin of 108 - 83. ... Jarome Iginla picked up a point on the Toni Lydman goal, moving him back into a tie for the club lead in points with nine along with rookie Matthew Lombardi and linemate Steve Reinprecht. ... Craig Conroy is still stuck on four points, now after 15 games putting him on a dazzling pace for 21 points by season's end. Wasn't he supposed to score 21 goals and chip in the odd assist? The Flames number one line of Conroy, Iginla and to a lesser extent Reinprecht simply have to get it going. How many games into a season is still considered "early"? They could play themselves out of a playoff spot soon if the first line doesn't become a first line. Very typical of recent Flame history to find secondary scoring support at the same time the primary source goes AWOL. ... Dany Sabourin had another somewhat puzzling night in his young NHL career. He looked good at times and technically sound, but just didn't get the job done considering the lack of action he faced ... Krzysztof Oliwa fought for the seventh time tonight when he took on former Devil Jim McKenzie. For Oliwa that's seven scraps in 12 games this season putting him on pace for 46 if he plays the remainder of the games. Craig Berube, last season's resident tough guy had 12 fights in total during the 2002-03 season. ... Look for Oleg Saprykin to get back into the lineup in Edmonton. The Flames lack of offence in reason enough for Sutter to make some changes. 

  Back to
Read other Stories
Talk About it!