Average Just Won't Cut It

Rick Charlton

March 13th, 2002

Average just doesn't cut it.

The Flames have turned up a decent record to date on this epic nine game road trip, now at 2-2-2 through six games after a 3-3 tie with the Panthers last night in Florida.

But "respectable" and "average" for a team that still hasn't advanced a single point closer to a playoff spot since the Olympic break simply won't cut it when the bean counters pull out their abacus in early April.

For the third time on this trip Calgary blew a single point in the latter stages of a game, allowing a weak Panther team to return from a 3-1 deficit in what could only be described as a must win situation for the Flames.

The tie left Calgary at 27-26-10-3 on the season, good for 68 points, ranking two points behind Edmonton and a single point behind idle Vancouver in the NHL's Western Conference.

Calgary trails St. Louis and Dallas for the seventh and eighth playoff spots by five points with a rapidly dwindling 15 games left to play. The Stars have two games in hand on the Flames and the Blues have three.

The NHL's leader in points and goals, Jarome Iginla, was shutout for the first time in seven games.

Face Offs Hits
Powerplay Chances Shots on Goal

Flames opened scoring at 4:31 of the first on a floating wrister from the slot by Jamie Wright which found its way past Florida starter Roberto Luongo, screened effectively by Calgary's Ronald Petrovicky.

But Florida tied it early in the second on the power play when Robert Svehla, a former Calgary draft, pinched in from the point and blew a Byron Ritchie past through Turek at 2:26 of the second period.

Flames charged ahead when Rob Niedermayer used his size to drive to the net, generating a rebound for Wright who backhanded his second of the game past Luongo at 9:57.

Calgary built a two goal margin when Dean McAmmond lifted a rocket past Luongo's outstretched glove on the powerplay at 18:17 of the second period.

It was a Calgary connection, however, bringing the Panthers to within one with former Flame Jason Wiemer deflecting a Val Bure shot at 10:55 of the third period.

Only 45 seconds later, Pavel Bure tied the game by bolting towards the net and cherry-picking a rebound past a disoriented Turek.

The Flames appeared to be in danger of unravelling completely from there with Petrovicky penalized on a bad offensive zone faux pas and Turek shooting a rolling puck over the glass, giving the Panthers a 1:42 two-man advantage late in the third period.

But Turek stood on his head in holding the Panthers off and Luongo did the same during a subsequent Florida penalty and through a strong overtime period for the Flames.

Iginla almost put the game away for Calgary with a minute left in overtime, rattling a shot off the post past Luongo.

The tie was also a costly one for the injury plagued Flames, who lost both Petr Buzek (knee) and Chris Clark (ribs) during the game.

Calgary outshot Florida 49-34 on the night and were one for two chances of the power play while the Panthers were one for three.

Attendance was 13,868



Calgary Flames 3
Florida Panthers 3

Box Score


Savard Conroy Iginla
McAmmond Savard Clark
Wright Begin Petrovicky
-- Shantz Berube
Morris Buzek
Gauthier Lydman
Boughner Kravchuk


1) Roberto Luongo - 46 saves on the night. 

2) Jamie Wright - Six shots, two goals and, if you looked it up, 11 points in 25 games this year for a guy who is supposed to be a career minor leaguer. 

3) Robert Svehla - the primary guy keeping Iginla off the scoresheet had 12 hits on the night and also chipped in a goal and an assist


Early in the first period, Robyn Regehr caught resident monster Peter Worrell lazing through centre ice with a stiff check that sent the Panther forward sprawling.


Tied late in the third period and the Panthers on the powerplay, Turek made three saves in rapid succession to keep his team in it, including a point blank opportunity from Pavel Bure.


The buzz in Florida centered around Pavel Bure after Ranger forward Mike York was held out of a game tonight. The presumption was the Bure would be a Ranger by the stroke of midnight. Turned out York was simply sick with the flu . . . . . .Panther defenceman Lance Ward was put out of action at the tail end of the first period by a Robyn Regehr hit. . . . . . An unlikely John Wayne-like duke-out between Marcus Nilsson and Toni Lydman closed out the second period. . . . . . Val Bure had an energetic and upbeat interview on the Team960 prior to the game - you'd never know he was on one of the worst teams in the league. Two points in the game and a minus one for Bure. . . . . . According to the Calgarypuck hit survey from January, this game was destined to have one of the highest hit counts this season and we weren't disappointed. It ended 40-32 in favour of the Panthers. Robyn Regehr led the Flames with six. Svehla had an incredible 12. . . . . .Flames were 60% in the faceoff circle led by Niedermayer and Craig Conroy at 68% each . . . . .Hands up if you said at the start of the season that Craig Conroy would have as many points as Jaromir Jagr with the season almost gone. . . . . Iginla paced the Flames with 25:53 in ice time while Sandis Ozolnish did more than his fair share with 32:12.