Slump Ends in San Jose…Barely
Sharks 3 – Flames 4
February 6, 2006
It seems that when the chips are down, the pressure to keep up with those who are beating down the door on the Northwest division lead, the Flames seem to respond. I wager that if the Vancouver Canucks were playing like more of a powerhouse team that the Flames would be doing even better than they have been so far this year. With the Flames looking to put a three game slide behind them without losing four in a row for the first time this year and the Sharks looking to respond after dropping two straight, one team was bound to break out of mediocrity. Just when you thought the Flames would pound the Sharks on the scoreboard the game got exciting ending with a 4-3 final.
On The Line
Round and round and round I go, when I’ll stop saying staying that the Flames racing with the Canucks and Oilers and Avalanche, nobody knows. With Vancouver winning before the finish of the Flames game, staying tied in points would require that the Flames win tonight’s game. Plus it’s nice to say that you can beat the Sharks with the Mighty Joe Thornton in the line-up.
With my girlfriend talking with her mother over top of the voice of Peter Maher I had a hard time figuring out exactly what was going on for most of the game. I think there was something about the Flames having serrated scissors, but that could have been a crossed line. What I did hear managed to sound like a pretty exciting game. A lot of back and forth action until the third period when the Sharks turned on the jets and forced the issue after being down 4-1 to get within one goal of tying the game, but no further.
1 – Robyn Regehr. Three assists for the Flames rugged rearguard whose jersey hangs from the rafters of my room as much for his surprising offence as his always reliable defence. In fact Rob Kerr just told me that was his first three point night of his career!
2 – Patrick Marleau. Helped out my hockey pool that I have no chance at winning by netting the games first goal and helpers on the remaining two Sharks goals, thanks Patrick!.
3 – Miikka Kiprusoff. 28 saves on 31 shots and he gets the extra little shot to the lower body injury region of the Sharks organization for letting him go. Suckers!
It wasn’t in the Flames game but holy crap was it awesome! As he crossed the blueline Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky’s amazing amount of talent contained within his pinky finger couldn’t escape the wrath of Vitaly Vishnevski as obliterated Hemsky. I dream The Dion Phaneuf will one day do the very same thing...involving more pain…and blood…and Oilers. Heh.
I lost count in the excitement of the final few moments of the third period but the one moment that stood out to me was a save on Tom Preissing midway through the second period to keep the score in favour of the Flames.
I’d almost like to leave this one open since I didn’t get to see the game but when Evgeni Nabokov went for a stroll behind his own net, running into Stephane (because he’s gritty) Yelle who stripped Nabokov of the puck and fed it to Chris Simon making it 3-1.
Miikka Kiprusoff – He’s the reason that the Flames are always in a game and tonight was no different.
Odds and Ends
Lets start with the face-offs. The Sharks thoroughly ravaged the Flames in the face-off dot without even the common courtesy for a reach around. Perhaps the Flames should listen to Ray Ferarro tell them why Jarret Stoll is so good on face-offs, who would EVER think to play to your strength?! Just a little more practice on this issue perhaps. It didn’t cost them the game but let’s wait until there’s 1.9 second left on the clock and the opposition wins the draw in the Flames zone to tie it up. Then it’s important…I’m looking forward to what Brian Boucher can do in the nets, though I’m not sure that we’ll see him before the start of the Olympic break…Not that I thought the trade made last week was a great one, but I’m a heck of a lot more confident in Boucher than Sauve. I like my goaltenders to be tall…and hold some kind of goaltending record…The Flames delivered to me a pre-birthday present with the win tonight. Now I’m hoping that the giving continues as I’m rewarded on my twenty-third with another win and then again with a post-birthday win…It’s worth asking for isn’t it? They’re rich! Money buys everything!
Next up – Back home until the start of the Olympic break to take on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim catch all the exciting action on the Fan 960 or your local pub starting at 7:00 PM.
Leclerc – Lombardi – Iginla
Huselius – Langkow – Amonte
Kobasew - Yelle - McCarty
Simon - Nilson – Donovan
Leopold – Regehr++
Regehr - Phaneuf
Ference - Warrener