Nothing But Grey Skies for Flames

Rick Charlton

March 21st, 2002

When it rains, it pours.

The Calgary Flames couldn't get a break on the road and now find their personal cloud of doom has followed them into their own building with a clear goal disallowed by a local video referee at a critical point in a 4-1 loss to San Jose last night at the Saddledome.

With the Sharks hanging on to a 1-0 lead and Calgary pressing, Flames appeared to have tied the game midway through the second period on a mad scrum in front of San Jose starter Evgeny Nabakov.

Marc Savard, Rob Niedermayer and finally Toni Lydman were all jabbing at a puck that an overhead camera showed to be loose in the legs of Nabakov with Shark defenceman Brad Stuart finally putting his hand on the puck and pulling it out of the net.

But a consultation with referee Brad Pollock and the video goal judge inexplicably waived the goal off - allegedly because the puck failed to cross the line.

It was later revealed the video judge hadn't the same view that thousands of Flames fans watching on television did, a problem that is cropping up far too often around the NHL.

Calgary is now winless in seven and is essentially in next year territory with only 11 games to play and a ten point deficit behind eighth place Dallas in the NHL's Western Conference.

Flames drop three games under .500 for the first time this season, a record of 27-30-10-3 generating 68 points.

The NHL's leading marksman, Jarome Iginla, failed to score for the fifth straight game but still maintains a seven goal lead over second place Mats Sundin. Iginla also leads the NHL's overall points standings with a seven point edge over trailing Markus Naslund of Vancouver.

This game was a microcosm of the Flames woes of late, a snake-bitten Jarome Iginla, too many penalties, a poor penalty kill, a power play that can barely control the zone let alone score and the surrender of grade A scoring opportunities to the opposition.

Don't forget "crappy luck" as a factor, Craig Conroy finding yet another crossbar that might have knotted the game at 2-2 early in the third period.

Sharks opened scoring at 15:38 of the opening frame, defenceman Brad Stuart pinching in from the point all the way to the crease and, with three Flames standing nearby, batting a rebound into an open net on a San Jose powerplay.

Calgary appeared to tie the game on the disputed Lydman marker but eventually did break through when Gary Suter misplayed the puck behind the Shark net at 16:50 of the second, allowing Ronald Petrovicky to pass to an open Jeff Shantz for an easy one-timer at 16:50 of the second.

But San Jose came back to score on the next shift when Adam Graves outmuscled Derek Morris at 17:18 to restore the San Jose lead.

Owen Nolan and Scott Thornton added third period markers to put the game out of reach.

Flames were zero for five on the powerplay while the Sharks scored twice in five opportunities.

Attendance was 16,495.

Next up are the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday night.




San Jose Sharks 4
Calgary Flames 1

Box Score


McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Sloan Savard Begin
Wright Shantz Petrovicky
Berube Nidermayer Clark
Morris Regehr
Gauthier Lydman
Boughner Kravchuk


1 Owen Nolan - toyed with the Calgary defence which had difficulty handling his size. A goal and an assist. 

2 Evegeny Nabakov - Made the big saves at the key moments. 

3 Flames Administration - maybe its time to give the local video judge an overhead view he can use.


Chris Clark charged thirty feet across the ice to ram Matt Bradley against the boards, causing the Shark forward to double up in pain and hobble off the ice.


Late in a five on three situation, Jarome Iginla's pass to a wide open Craig Conroy was slightly off target, allowing Nabakov the crucial second he needed to slide across the crease for a fabulous toe save.


Flames have now allowed a power play goal in six straight games. They've gained only two points out of a possible 12 in a not so subtle coincidence. . . . . . . . The Flames have only five goals in 20 five on three opportunities this year. . . . . . San Jose ends the year 3-0-1 against the Flames . . . . . Flames outhit the Sharks 28-19 on the night with Denis Gauthier leading the way with six for Calgary and Brad Stuart racking up three for San Jose. . . . . . . Conroy was the best Flames faceoff man with 64% while his team was 58% on the night. Mark Smith was 66% for San Jose. . . . . . Derek Morris led the Flames in ice time by a long shot with 28:01 while Mike Rathje put up 21:04 for the Sharks. . . . . . . . .San Jose is 28-5-4-1 when leading after one period.