Fast Start Turns to Slow Finish 

Flames Fall 4-1 in Music City

February 20th, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

Drury Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Johansson Saprykin
Niedermayer Yelle Clark
Begin Nichol Sloan
Gauthier Boughner
Lydman Regehr
Leopold Ference

Losing hockey teams are quite often plagued by inconsistency.

The Calgary Flames, however, have proven to be consistent in two areas over the past several seasons.

They consistently miss the playoffs.

They consistently pull a Jekyll and Hyde act when it comes to the level of their opponent.

On most nights when they line up against a tough opponent, a Stanley Cup contender ... heck even a Stanley Cup winner, they bring forward a strong and balanced effort, and quite often come home with a win.

However, when a fellow struggling opponent, a roommate in the cellar is on the slab, the Flames always seem to lay an egg, and leave easy points behind in not so difficult cities.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
2 Atlanta Marc Andre Fleury
3 Calgary Eric Stall
4 Carolina Nathan Horton
5 Columbus Milan Michalek
*ranking: McKeen's 2/13/03

Just 24 hours removed from a gut check physical battle in Dallas - a 1-1 draw with the current best team in hockey - the Flames struggled their way to a 4-1 loss to the "never been to the playoffs" Nashville Predators.

The Flames got off to another strong start; a new facet of their game that they've put on display in each of their last four games, but came up empty in a scoreless first period.

The Flames held a territorial edge through the frame, out shooting the Predators by a 13-5 margin, but they couldn't get a puck by Tomas Voukon.

The two clubs traded goals in the first half of the second period with Nashville opening the scoring on a goal by Scott Hartnell, which was answered by a Calgary marker by Steve Begin.

From there it was all Nashville.

A pair of goals by Denis Arkhipov sent to the Predators to their dressing room with a 3-1 lead, leaving Rem Murray to salt things away with a third period goal.

The loss has the Flames winless in their last seven games, and with only one win in their last 12.

The win gives the Predators a sparkling 5-1-1 record in the month of February, and moves the club to within eight points of Edmonton for the final playoff spot.

The Flames remain 28th overall, just two points up on Atlanta and four up on Buffalo in the race for the #1 pick. Atlanta has three games in hand, Buffalo has four.

Get Your Calgarypuck Gear!




Nashville Predators 4
Calgary Flames 1

1 Denis Arkhipov - His two second period goals made the difference, setting up a Nashville win. 

2 Tomas Vokoun - Pred's goalie was huge in the first giving his team time to find their legs. 

3 Steve Begin - Charlie Hustle lights the lamp with his third goal of the season.

The game featured two starting goalies that were featured in a Saddledome goalie fight earlier this season. After the game back in January Vokoun offered "Their goalie jumped me from behind, he was lucky the refs came in and pulled us apart because I was really mad." Uh huh. ... Amazing that the schedule makers have the Flames playing three and four more games than Atlanta and Buffalo respectively up to February 20th. It really makes the race to the finish interesting. ... The Flames won 59% of the face offs on the night, with Craig Conroy (15-8, 65%) and Stephane Yelle (9-6, 60%) leading the way. ... Jarome Iginla had his point streak snapped but not without a fight, he had eight shots to lead all shooters on the night. ... Darryl Sutter's on again off again relationship with rookie Jordan Leopold was on again this evening, even though he played over 27 minutes last night in Dallas, Leopold logged in excess of 23 more in Nashvillle. ... Oleg Saprykin, last night's lone goal scorer had his ice time double to over 11 minutes. ... Jamie McLennan took the loss for Calgary and remains stuck at Mike Vernon's two win total of last season. McLennan had both wins back to back way back in late October suggesting a season where he'd blow Mike's mark away.
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