Flames Survive Rally and Win Sixth Straight
Flames 5 - Colorado 3

D'Arcy McGrath
November 12, 2005

Good teams ... contending teams, perhaps championship teams find a way to win.

Not every game plays out as poetry in motion, by the script, as designed in those cinderblock mind-centers that exits in every NHL arena. The Calgary Flames won a game that looked at one point easy to win, then clear to lose, and then finally safely put away as they disposed of division rival Colorado Avalanche by a score of 5-3 on Saturday night.

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On The Line

The usual drum beating reasons have pretty much been put aside. Rectify tough start ... check. Establish season by playing well at home ... check. Prove to the world that an early skid doesn't mean the "contender" status should be shed and dispatched with the morning trash ... check. However, the night did offer a good opportunity to catch the Canucks for a share of first place in the west, albeit the games in hand situation would still put the Lotus Land rivals in control.

The Flow

Hard to judge ... downhill towards the Colorado cage for about 13 minutes of the first. Sloping mercilessly against the Flames in the second, and then back to Denver in the third in a game that has NEW NHL written all over it. A real thriller as it turned out.

Three Stars

1 –Jarome Iginla Can't argue against this guy not matter how easy his selection seems to be. Big first period goal, big third period assist ... they guy just keeps on rolling in November.
2 – Andrew Ference
The hidden gem on the Flames blueline, big goal and a big assist, both factors in a very important Flames win.
3 – Alex Tanguay 
Debatable whether or not the guy should have had a penalty shot in the first place, but man did he make it count. Two goals on the night for the talented vet.

Big Hit

The game was literally a no hitter. Out of respect for the Calgarypuck.com award we'll just take a pass and give the winner in the next game a "double word" score!

Big Save

Many to choose from in this wild encounter, including Peter Budaj on Darren McCarty on a third period powerplay. However, we'll give the nod to Miikka Kiprusoff when he dragged his left pad back to snare a Joe Sakic redirection with the game on the line in the third period. Huge save.

The Goat

Perhaps Darryl Sutter for not calling a time out an settling down the troops in the second period when things were going from back to worse for the Flames? I would think a trip over to the boards with a reminder of the style of play that the Flaming "C" likes to put forward might have been a good idea.

Mr. Clutch

Roman Hamrlik. The Czech defender continues to amaze me in just how good a defenceman, all around, he actually is, compared to the powerplay specialist handle that brought him to Calgary. Led the team in ice time, was a plus two, and picked up two assists. 

Odds and Ends

Well that's now three Saturday night game two HNIC telecasts where Calgary players were featured as After Hours guests. Remember the days when the Flames sucked and an Oiler or Canuck player was the guest in the Saddledome? Man that ticked me off. ... What in the hell kind of program does the CBSSportline.com website have running to toss Hnat Domenichelli back into the Flames lineup on their official game sheet? Apparently old Hnat had a shot on goal. Did anyone see that? ... Does anyone have a new player they want me to pick on? I've been riding Steven Reinprecht for about two weeks, but now the guy has amassed seven points in three games, putting him 2nd in scoring behind Iginla. Any suggestions? ... Interesting to see Regehr's fifth game back had him fourth in ice time for blueliners behind Hamrlik, Jordan Leopold and Rhett Warrener. Once again, Sutter had Phaneuf with the least ice at 17.5, though clearly all six blueliners are getting their share. ... Which brings me to Andrew Ference. Man is this guy playing well given a tough start to the season. A goal and an assist tonight give Andrew 10 points on the season when his career best is 16 as a Flame during the 2003-04 season. There are plenty of headline grabbing blueliners on the Flames, but keep an eye on the solid contribution coming from #21. ... Chris Simon had his first game back since an abdominal injury sustained in Los Angeles. Couldn't honestly see the guy until the third period when he finished up a good shift with a bad penalty. Had to admit the four lines seemed a little more balanced however. ... I've been hard on Greg Millen in the past, but I have to admit he was pretty pro-Flame tonight. Maybe he looks at market size of Canadian teams playing when picking his spots? ... Anyone else feel quite differently with the Flames up 5-3 compared to 4-2? Worlds apart. ... Great to see Tony Amonte find the twine after numerous games where he was quite affective despite his end of game stats. The guy is prone to break out large. ... This six game win streak is the longest the Flames have enjoyed since February of 1994. That's a real long time. ... Quite humorous, Hockey Night in Canada had a great after hours question "name the best Pat in Flames History?" with Quinn, Conacher, Ribble and Riggin as choices. I believe Quinn won, though I think I'd pick Riggin. ... An interesting quote from Tony Amonte on his fight in the Minnesota Wild game last week, "the guys think it might have changed the whole season around". Hmmm ... The Flames went 16 games failing to score four goals in a game but have gone four, four and five since. ... With the win the Flames now sit tied for fourth in the west, though everyone but Phoenix has games in hand.

Next up – At home against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.

Lines -

Amonte-Langkow- McCarty




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