Calgary Flames 4 Toronto Maple Leafs 1

Flames Upend Leafs on HNIC

Rick Charlton

October 20th, 2001

"Safety in movement" was the mantra of famed World War II tank commanders like Guderian, Patton and Zhukov.

It also looks to be the mantra of the 2001-2002 Calgary Flames.

With their jets noticeably absent through 20 minutes and Toronto all over them, the Flames must have chugged some high octane kerosene at the first intermission, going into hyper drive through the remaining two periods and tearing through the startled Leafs like a warm knife through butter.

The final 4-1 score probably flattered the Buds as the Flames wowed their first sell-out of the season, 17,279, at the Pengrowth Saddledome, mercifully clamming up the usual strong Toronto bleacher contingent in the process.

Calgary's great strength this year, one of the decisive differences in their play, has been their team speed which has overwhelmed opponents in pushing the Flames to an amazing 6-1-0-1 start.

Others might call it hard work. Don't be fooled. Hard work is part of it but the Flames have worked hard in past years as well. Speed combined with hard work, however, is a deadly combination.

It was only when Calgary kicked into their game of strength through movement that the Leafs began to be spectators rather than participants.

It is the first time since 1984-85 Calgary has started a season with six wins in its first eight games.

Although Roman Turek had to be strong through the first period, he was rarely tested thereafter, or certainly not until the game was well in hand for Calgary. Toronto held an 10-4 shot advantage after the first period but the final count after three was 23-23.

Flames continue to surprise with unexpected offence, particularly considering they are missing their first and second line centres, Marc Savard and Rob Niedermayer.

Craig Conroy picked up the slack, turning in another strong game, a monotonously regular occurrence, with two crisp assists on goals by Jarome Iginla and Dean McAmmond. In the first, seconds into a Calgary powerplay, Igor Kravchuk snapped an outlet pass to Conroy outside the Flame blueline and the centre immediately fired it to Iginla streaking across the Leaf blueline. Iginla deked Cujo and lobbed a backhand high to the short side for a 1-0 Flame lead.

Dmitri Yushkevich put Toronto on the board with McAmmond off for holding at 12:21 of the first, pounding a point shot past a screened Turek.

After being noticeably outplayed through the opening 20 minutes, the Flames racked up six chances to the Leafs one by the halfway mark of the second, Conroy hitting McAmmond who found the seam through the Toronto defence and wristed a blistering shot high to Joseph's glove side at 1:58.

Calgary took a 3-1 advantage and basically put the game out of reach with Dave Lowry's second of the year at 15:15, finishing off a two on one break with Jukka Hentunen who had probably his strongest game as a Flame.

Jamie Wright, called up to the NHL for the 19th time in his short career, finished the Leafs off at 1:17 of the third while standing alone in the slot and one timing a Ron Petrovicky pass.

Both teams were one for five on the power play.

Flames have only surrendered 10 goals in eight games, leading the NHL.


Box Score


1) CRAIG CONROY - two sharp, pinpoint passes to streaking teammates. Two goals. And continued strong defensive play. 

2) JAROME IGINLA - tough on the wall and a great move on Cujo on a first period breakaway to give his team the lead. 

3) JAMIE WRIGHT - This guy looked great in training camp and aside from his goal left Leaf defenceman Bryan McCabe holding his shorts on a close chance late in the game. Led the Flames with four shots on the night.


Travis Green had a great chance for the Leafs in the first and was physically involved all night. One of the few Leafs able to keep up.


"This (Calgary) is the most exciting club in the NHL." - Don Cherry on the TEAM960 post-game show. What happened to that comment from Coaches Corner last week where he congratulated the Flames on their fast shot but said they wouldn't make the playoffs?


Green knocked Denis Gauthier into a linesman who went into the player bench. Six ball off the four ball into the side pocket. 


Wasn't even made by a goaltender. With Curtis Joseph coughing up the puck behind the Toronto net, the puck squirted to Clark Wilm in the slot who rifled a wrister at what seemed like an open net. But Green slid across to block what should have been a certain goal. Wright managed to score seconds later on another chance. 


The hit count was 26-24 in favour of the Flames with Denis Gauthier writing a cheque for $150 to his favourite charity on five of the Flames total. Chris Clark had four for the Flames while Gary Roberts and Darcy Tucker had three each for Toronto . . . . . . After a 27 minute night against Florida, Conroy's ice time slipped to a more normal 19:12. Derek Morris played 22:34 in leading the Flames while McCabe led Toronto with 24:01. . . . . . . Scott Nichol had a 57% faceoff percentage for the Flames although Iginla won all three of the draws he took. In spite of the outcome, Sundin and Green tore up the Flames in the face-off circle with winning percentages of 68% and 56%. . . . . Toni Lydman played a strong game, assisting on the first goal and leading the Flames with three blocked shots.