Flames Not Rewarded In Motown

Gutsy Effort Doesn't Show on Scoreboard

December 1st, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

AP Photo

Out of Touch: Jarome Iginla foiled on a first period breakaway.

A return to defence.

A return to close low scoring hockey.

And a return, or a stay the course, on the eventual outcome.

A loss in Detroit on Sunday night.

The Flames did a whole lot more right in Joe Louis Arena then they've managed to do right in their past three games.

They had a solid forecheck, leading to numerous Wing bobbles and good chances.

They out chanced the Wings for the most part of the game.

Take away the Flames woeful 10 losses in 11 games slide and a lot of positives could be taken away from an effort like the one put on display tonight.

Play that same game each and every night and the team would win it's share of games. 

But with the need to win paramount it simply wasn't enough.

The Wings opened the scoring, when Shanahan fired a low shot through both Toni Lydman and Roman Turek's legs on a Wing powerplay.

The goal was typical of Flame luck of late as the shot wasn't a quality chance per say, but found it's way to the back of the net.

Less than a minute later the Flames looked to tie the score when Jarome Iginla intercepted a pass and went in alone on Curtis Joseph. Iginla, usually a demon on breaks, looked lost on the play, stuck between the shot and deke option, and did little but tuck the puck harmlessly into Josephs' pads.

The shot tally for the first period read Calgary 10 and Detroit seven.

The Flames carried the play for the first 13 minutes of the second period as well, but just couldn't solve Joseph - at one point holding a 8-1 margin in shots on goal.

Finally, captain Craig Conroy jumped on a rebound and fired a shot past Joseph to tie the score.

The knot didn't last.

Less than a minute later the Wings jumped on a fortuitous bounce and went back up by a score of 2-1. On the play, newly acquired Jason Wooley fired a shot from the point that deflected off of a shot blocking Stephane Yelle wide of the Calgary cage. The puck bounced wildly off the boards, through Roman Turek's legs and right out to Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, who didn't miss.

The third period started well for Calgary, with a few good chances on net.

The Wings however, struck for the period's most important goal, putting the home side up two with less than ten minutes left when Sean Avery jumped on an errant Calgary pass and went in alone, scoring his first of the season.

The Flames moved back to within one goal when Jarome Ignila scored a powerplay goal with just under 90 seconds left to play.

The Flamed didn't threaten again and were sent home with yet another loss when Sergei Fedorov hit the empty net to salt things away.




Detroit Red Wings 4
Calgary Flames 2

Saprykin Conroy Iginla
Niedermayer Drury Nichol
Gelinas Yelle Clark
Sloan Johansson Begin
Lydman Regehr
Montador Gauthier
Buzek Dupont

1 Curtis Joseph - The Wing stopper may have lost his shut out string to the Flames, but was still the difference. 

2 Scott Nichol - Feisty forward was rewarded for his edgy play by moving up to the top tow lines. Calgary's best player. 

3 Sean Avery - Fourth liner scored the winning goal on a night when Detroit's stars were invisible.

Steve Begin got the better of Maxim Kuznetsov with an fierce open ice hit in the second period. Kuznetsov retaliated by pulling Begin down.

On a second period powerplay Jarome Iginla fired a slap shot towards the Detroit cage that was kicked out by Curtis Joseph. The rebound bounced to Martin Gelinas who was stoned by Joseph as well.

One of the prettiest plays of the night featured Jarome Iginla slipping a back hand pass across the crease to a streaking Chris Drury. Drury redirected the pass just wide of the net, coming up empty. The play was reminiscent of a goal post by Drury in Madison Square Garden four weeks ago, a play that marked the beginning of the Flames November to forget ... The Flames won a whopping 64% of the face offs on the night, with Stephane Yelle leading the way at 78%. Mattias Johansson and Craig Conroy were both good for 64% of their draws. Not a single Wing pivot topped the 50% barrier. ... The Flames out shot the Stanley Cup Champions by the large margin of 33-18, including period by period margins of 10-7, 10-3 and 13-8. ... The Flames are now 9 points out of a playoff spot, and will have to climb over six teams to get back to 8th. Assuming the 90 point mark is the team's target, they'll need to secure 72 points in their last 57 games which works out to an approximate record something like 32-17-8, a .631 wining percentage. Uh huh.


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