Kobasew Leads the Way in Win Over Oilers
Flames 3 - Oilers 1 

D'Arcy McGrath
October 20th, 2005

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No that wasn't pretty either.

But you know what? The Calgary Flames found a way to beat their provincial rivals for the second time in five days, turning back their foes by a 3-1 margin on Thursday night at the Saddledome.

Picture perfect? Far from it. Sixty solid minutes of work? Nope. The result however is good enough for now as the Flames continue to struggle to find their mark on this still relatively new NHL season.

On The Line

The difference between an average four game homestand and a very stinky four game homestand. Win this one and the Flames could claim a 2-1-1 record in an attempt to turn around a bad start. Lose the thing and it's 1-2-1 and a boatload of doubt, concern and second guessing. Beyond that a great chance to grab the first two games of the Battle of Alberta, an eight game set that could go a long way in determining the standings this season.

The Flow

The Flames burst out of the gate well, but rolled over and gave the visitors the key to the city for the game's first 25 minutes. The home side regained the momentum midway through the second period and had their way with things for the most part the rest of the way.

Three Stars

1 - Chuck Kobasew. The kid is showing that touch that made him a star in the American Hockey League last season, scoring twice to now lead the Flames in goals on the season. A great confidence builder for a guy that could have a lot to say in the team's need for secondary scoring..

2 - Miikka Kiprusoff. Solid in the first 25 minutes of the game as he continued to creep into the collective head of the Edmonton shooter.

3 - Ethan Moreau. A guy that Oiler faithful has penciled in for at least 20 finally scores his first of the season. Led the way for the visitors with 6 shots on goal.

Big Hit

Once again ... Mr. Phaneuf. This time a thundering 2nd period hit on the largest Oiler, Georges Laraque behing the Calgary goal. Phaneuf continues his solid, physical play, shying away from no one.

Big Save

Big saves are big any time of the game, but on this night Kiprusoff turned the contest on its ear midway through the second period. The Calgary stopper was forced to come up huge when the Flames anemic powerplay gave up a breakaway down 1-0 in the second period. Kiprusoff stoned Radek Dvorak, turning the puck back up the ice where the Flames scored, soon to go ahead and move the game toward a Calgary victory.

The Goat

Mr. Consistency. The Flames have yet to put in a full 60 minutes on the season a plague that might write the patient off if not administered to soon. All four lines had moments, but couldn't bring the same effort on a shift to shift basis. Darryl Sutter must get this team on the same page and right the ship before the season gets away somewhat.

Mr. Clutch

Chuck Kobasew, going to the net on each and every shift. Not always successful in his efforts on this homestand, but tonight it paid off with two active stick goals in and around the net. Something this team needs in spades.

Odds and Ends

One Calgary powerplay goal on five chances is a huge step forward for this club. Is it flashy? Dazzling? Not in the least, but in the world of baby steps it just might be the tonic needed to turn things around. In this case the goal came at a game turning moment, something that likely means more than the actual percentage. How did it happen? An Iginla shot from behind the goal line setting up a rebound. You just knew it wouldn't be pretty, didn't you? ... Dion Phaneuf once again led the team in ice time with just over 24 minutes of time. He was joined by Roman Hamrlik and Jordan Leopold with +23 minutes, all paling to the Oiler's Chris Pronger who exceeded the 30 minute mark. The Calgary troika makes leads you one to wonder how things will settle when Robyn Regher returns from injury. Just how much ice will the first two pairings (Hamrlik-Phaneuf and Leopold-Regehr) gobble up now that the team now seems to have four huge ice blueliners? This writer has to admit that #3 has exceeded my personal expectations to this point. Let him loose, he's already an above average NHL defenceman. ... A good sign? The Flames killed all six Oiler powerplays on the night. The Flames penalty killing percentage after their four game road trip? 56% The Flames penalty killing record in their four home games? 88%. Just might be the difference huh? Take a bow Mr. Kiprusoff. ...  New insert, Byron Ritchie had some good zip on the night, centering an affective fourth line. ... Bryan Marchment had another solid game in Calgary silks suggesting poor Steve Montador is likely done in a Calgary uniform giving Regehr's return in the next two weeks and the existing waiver rules. ... Chuck Kobasew came in at almost 14 minutes tonight, not a shock for a guy that netted two goals, but a big leap up from Darryl Sutter given his season average. Trust building? Only six Calgary forwards had more ice time. ... Andrew Ference enjoyed his best night on the season, making a few key 2nd period plays and leading the club with a +2 rating. ... The Flames out shot the Oilers 21-16 on the night according to NHL statistics. ... The mental game is huge in hockey, just how much doubt do you figuere Oiler shooters now have in these two games against Kiprusoff in the Saddledome this week? Could pay dividends throughout the season.

Next up - Dallas Stars, Saturday Oct. 22nd






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