Blow Another Lead in Vancouver
There are two distinctly different things a
hockey team can do with an outstanding start to it's NHL schedule.
One ... use the start as a spring board to a
very successful season, return to the playoffs, renew enthusiasm within
the team's city, and build on a season ticket base.
Or ... completely collapse a seemingly
insurmountable lead, leaving yourself out of the playoffs once again,
the fans with an even worse taste in their collective mouth.
The Flames seem hell bent on following the
For the second time in two nights the Flames
found a way to lose in a game set up for a win. Add the two defeats to
last week's debacle in Phoenix and you have a hockey team with a very
The team still holds down a playoff position,
but must return to their winning ways soon or risk wasting a great
The Flames once again struggled on the special
teams, something not very new in recent weeks, coming up empty once
again on the powerplay.
Added to the old stand by however was shaky
goaltending, and shoddy defensive coverage, as the team essentially gift
wrapped a late Christmas present for their Northwest division foes.
The Flames opened the scoring in the game's
second minute when Craig Conroy pounced on a Jarome Iginla rebound and
banked the puck off a fallen Dan Cloutier for his 12th of the season.
That lead wouldn't last.
Just over a minute later the Canucks rebounded
when Markus Naslund caught Roman Turek flat footed sliding the puck
along the ice, beating Turek short side.
In the second period the Flames took the lead
back again when a newly formed line struck for a picturesque goal. Marc
Savard blocked a Ed Jovanovski point shot and fired a pass to a
streaking Chris Clark. Clark using his speed to keep ahead of the
Vancouver defenceman fed a perfect pass to Dean McAmmond who notched his
10th of the season.
Once again the lead didn't last.
Less than a minute later Denis Gauthier let his
man, Todd Bertuzzi get away in the corner, and then had the centering
pass slide through his legs. Bertuzzi one timed the pass past Turek to
notch the score at two.
From there the Canucks took the game over, as
the fragile Flames totally fell apart.
With just over three minutes left in the period
Trevor Linden tipped a point shot past a startled Turek after winning
the face off from Craig Conroy.
Exactly two minutes later the Canucks doubled
their lead when Andrew Cassels converted a two on one to make the score
The third period featured numerous powerplays
but little by way of chances for the Flames, as the Canucks once again
carried the play.
If not for some late game heroics by Turek the
game could have gotten out of hand.
- Jan Hlavac -
Two big assists,
- Andrew Cassels
goal, added an
- Markus Naslund
gets goal and an
OF THE GAME
Turek stacked the
pads on a late
Canuck powerplay to
take away a sure
goal from Andrew
OF THE GAME
Conroy caught Andrew
Cassels on a third
sending the Canuck's
pivot hobbling to
the bench. Runner up
... Henrik Sedin
Hentunen on a hit
that appeared to
knee. He didn't
what had to be
considered a very
the Canucks were
called for three
penalties for having
too many men on the
ice. The Flames
powerplay ... of
course, came up
empty. ... More on
the powerplay. The
Flames once again
came up empty, going
oh for six on the
night, but not for
lack of trying.
Coach Gilbert tried
Marc Savard on the
point to attempt to
get something going,
and his head for
offence seemed to
Earlier in the day
it was learned that
powerplay QB Derek
Morris will be lost
for four weeks
healing from wrist
surgery. ... At
least the penalty
killing worked on
the night, killing
all four Canuck
chances. ... The
Canucks won 52% of
the face offs, led
by Andrew Cassels
with 60%. The Flames
Rob Niedermayer won
66% of his draws
before leaving early
with an undisclosed
injury. ... The Flames
out hit the Canucks
by a margin of 28-21
on the night. Bob
Boughner led the way