Stanely Cup Preview? I’ll Take That Result!
Senators 1 - Flames 2

Daniel Lemmon
December 10, 2005

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Many a Vancouver media personnel/fan made the statement that Friday nights game between the Canucks and the Senators very well could be a preview of the Stanley Cup final. What’s that Calgary? You think you’re in that class too? Well so do I. Clearly when a battle takes place between the top team in the NHL and anyone even remotely close to them you have a potential preview for the eventual series for the big shiny thing.

Welcome to the West Ottawa and the top scoring line in the NHL. How do you like our game? The key for the Flames to find success in this game clearly starts with shutting down the trio of Dany Heatly – Jason Spezza – Daniel Alfredson. The line has combined for 125 points so far this season and if you can keep that group off the score sheet you have a good chance to win. Good thing the Flames pay attention to these little details.

On The Line

Regaining the lead in the Northwest division from the idle Vancouver Canucks heading into a week long break and the chance to show what they are made of when it comes to facing off against the NHL elite is all on the minds of the Flames on this night.

The Flow

Memo to the NHL... We like to watch hockey. Hockey involves some degree of hooking and placing your stick near a players body, that doesn’t mean it ALWAYS has to be a penalty. Watch that first period and someone tell me if any of that was really all that fun to watch. Not even the Flames getting a power play made it any more interesting. The first period had the potential for the Flames to continue their scoring ways after leaving New Jersey on Wednesday night until the penalty parade started, then it became the Senators game. The second period saw a lot more flow to the game with the Senators generally maintaining puck possession but the Flames defence limiting the chances. The third was all Calgary extending into overtime.

Three Stars

1 – Tony Amonte.  Yes Tony... that pass from Donovan WAS amazing. Tony’s 400th career goal couldn’t have come at a better time letting the Flames take this one to OT.
2 – Daymond Langkow. Say what you will about the much criticized forward but he was stellar defensively and banged in the OT winner to boot.
3 – Zdeno Chara. Being 7 feet tall gives you the right to be third star... Well if you have the reach of Chara. Many a Flames rush was thwarted by the swinging stick of the Senator giant.

Big Hit

Jarome Iginla leveling Calgary native, Dany Heatly midway through the first period as Heatly tried to cross the Flames blueline comes close, but this one goes to Ottawa forward Chris Niel who demolished Daymond Langkow in the Flames zone in the middle of the third frame.

Big Save

The battle between these two titans didn’t actually generate a lot of high quality save opportunities aside from Miikka Kiprusoff stoning Jason Spezza alone in the slot late in the first period. However.. this one I’m going to give to Bryan Marchment. In the second period the rugged Flames blueliner corralled a lose puck at the side of the net and adeptly fired it behind the Flames cage away from any danger.

The Goat

In a game that was pretty much a typical Flames game there wasn’t a lot to pick out for this wonderful award unless you go with the Flames predicable power play. Okay.. lemme guess! On this one they’re going to try and set up Phaneuf for the one timer!

Mr. Clutch

Tony Amonte… Sitting at the side of the net and all of a sudden there’s a puck on his stick. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? Well most Flame players initial reaction would be to fire it right through the crease thereby making sure that those pesky GOAL things are still hard to come by.. but not Tony Amonte. He puts those in the back of the net. Where they belong..
Odds and Ends

The first thing I want to know… why are Bob Cole and Harry Neale split up for CBC telecasts? Is it an effort by the CBC to help the Leafs or something? I actually won’t complain about it because I much prefer Neale to Millen. The next thing on my list of questions has to be about the penalties. Either the Flames figured out that stick infractions are a bad thing or the refs were told to ease off on the whole penalty thing. With the mess in Vancouver on Friday night providing 21 penalties and the same referees for the Flames and Senators tilt someone might just have said.. HEY LET THEM PLAY! Some interesting things of note: First Kelly Hrudy likes to draw on the TV while doing behind the mask, which is vastly superior to Coaches Corner in my humble opinion. Next, Harry Neale mentioned something about the Flames generating the most opposition icing calls in the entire league… Perhaps that forecheck is working. Speaking of the famous Flames forecheck.. it seems to me that whatever team the Flames are playing must have paid close attention to the Flames style of play. More and more I’m seeing teams that are trying to play the Flames game.. luckily it’s the Flames game and not the oppositions! One more thing of note… Can the Flames coaching staff please encourage Jordan Leopold to shoot? The one time I actually noticed him shoot when it was a good time to shoot was on the play that led to Daymond Langkow’s goal. I might venture a guess that the formerly offensive defenceman is experiencing scoring woes from his lack of shooting.

Next up – The Bruins next Saturday.. yes a week with no Flames action! Catch it on the Fan 960 starting at 8PM

Lines –
Huselius- Langkow - Iginla
Amonte – Reinprecht - Kobasew
Nilson - Yelle- McCarty
Simon - Ritchie – Donovan







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