Drop Fourth in a Row
Continues to Sputter in Loss
November 14th, 2002
|All Muck and No Play: The
Flames best forwards continue to be Chris Clark and the other
third and fourth liners.
The well has run dry.
In spite of an opening goal from
snakebit Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames lost a fourth consecutive game to
a backup goaltender last night, falling 2-1 to the New York Rangers in
the opening tilt of a five game homestand.
Flames have scored only twice in their
last four games, a power-outage that is literally killing them, this
time falling victim to Rangers 19 year-old Dan Blackburn for the second
time in a week, the still-wet-behind-the-ears Kootney Ice product
stopping 35 of 36 Calgary shots.
Once ranked ninth in the league
offensively, Calgary has fallen to 20th in the NHL in scarcely a week
and a half.
More ominously, this was probably the
easiest start of the five the Flames will play in the next week and a
half while the loss leaves Calgary with only one win in eight home games
Calgary continues to stall after a fine
start to their recent road trip, now 5-6-3-3 on the season and mired in
10th place in the NHL's Western Conference.
Flames backup Jamie McLennan turned in
another workmanlike performance but received no support from his
Since taking over from injured number
one starter Roman Turek, McLennan has surrendered only 15 goals in seven
starts for a 2.11 GAA - yet he's won only two of those games.
The primary culprit in Calgary's skid
might be it's powerplay which continued to sputter, now on a zero for 23
streak after failing to score on two opportunities. Flames are ranked
28th in a 30 team league with the man advantage.
Just to show it's possible to be worse
than even the statistics might indicate, the powerplay allowed a
critical momentum changing shorthanded goal by Petr Nedved early in the
Iginla opened the scoring with 39
seconds left in the first, finishing off a terrific Jordan Leopold play
by out muscling milquetoast Ranger defenceman Tom Poti in the crease for
an easy tap-in for only his fourth of the season. He had 13 by this time
It was Calgary's first four on four
goal of the season, not a surprise to Flames fans who've seen their team
fall three times in overtime this year.
But the Rangers tied it with a
shorthanded marker at 4:09 of the second period, intercepting a Calgary
breakout pass and turning it over for a Nedved goal amid mass confusion.
Rangers took the lead at 11:22 when
Mikael Samuelsson picked up a bouncer off the boards, wheeled and
surprised McLennan with a quick snap shot through the legs from 25 feet.
From there the Rangers literally threw
a blanket over the game, registering only three third period shots but
allowing the Flames virtually nothing as the minutes wound down to a
final victory, New York's fourth in its last five games.
At least Rico Fata didn't score.
Next up is St. Louis on Saturday night.