Sleeping Giant Wakes Up

Flames Fall to Another Western Dynamo

November 3rd, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

You wouldn't know it on this night, but the Flames continued a positive trend on Tuesday in dropping a 3-0 decision to the Detroit Red Wings.

The club has beaten all the clubs they need to beat in order to fight it out for a playoff spot this spring, but have fallen each and every time they have faced one of the Western powers.

Reinprecht Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Lombardi Kobasew
Saprykin Yelle Donovan
Oliwa Betts Clark
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Montador

The club dropped a decisive battle to the Vancouver Canucks to open their season, before coming up short in close matches to the Blues, Avalanche and Stars before their encounter with Detroit tonight.

The first period was less than exciting for the Saddledome fans, but a successful for the Flames as they held the high octane Red Wings in a strangle hold and wrestled their way to a scoreless tie.

The momentum shifted late in the period when the referee tandem handed out the games first penalty when Chuck Kobasew was sent off for interfering with Wing legend Steve Yzerman.

The Flames escaped the period, but gave up a quick powerplay goal to Brendan Shanahan to star the second - the Wings never looked back.

A few minutes later the Wings doubled their lead when Darren McCarty took advantage of a sloppy Jarome Iginla play and walked in alone to beat Jamie McLennan.

Down two to a veteran, playoff battled club like the Wings is essentially climbing Mount Everest, and the Flames predictably didn't even come close the summit.

Darryl Sutter tried to jolt them into action by pulling starter Jamie McLennan after two periods - despite the fact that the margin of deficit clearly wasn't the stopper's fault - and replacing him with rookie Dany Sabourin.

It was the Wings however, that scored the only goal of the third stanza in rounding out the scoring when Shanahan scored his second of the night.

The game itself was devoid of any impact plays from any of the Flames impact players. Jarome Iginla was virtually invisible and the rest of the clubs' top line was held not only scoreless but essentially chance less on the night.

The Flames round out their three game homestand on Friday night when the resurgent and fully staffed Minnesota Wild come a calling.

The Wild are a team that the Flames must beat in order to stay ahead or with the pack, though as we mentioned earlier, they seem to have these games covered. 

For now anyway.






1) Brendan Shanahan - Veteran Wing had a funk nixing night by scoring twice.

2) Chris Chelios - Wily vet played well and played alot in keeping the Flame marksmen at bay.

3) Curtis Joseph - The vet wasn't tested much on this won but he pitched a shut out and heck, he's had a tough season.

Flame tough-guy Krzysztof Oliwa tried to get something going in the third period when he rammed veteran Nik Lidstrom hard into the boards. The hit caused a puck to quirt loose to Chris Clark but the shot sailed wide.

Dany Sabourin absolutely stoned the Wings Boyd Devereaux when he wrapped his glove around his head in classic Grant Fuhr style to take a sure goal away.

It wasn't the team's veteran players that led the way against the highly experienced Detroit Red Wings as Iginla, Conroy, Lydman and others had less than memorable nights. The Flames most noticeable players were Chuck Kobasew, Oleg Saprykin (both good and bad as in his third period give away), and Andrew Ference. ... Stat hounds may be interested to know that Dany Sabourin improved his goals against average from 3.93 to 3.70 by only giving up one goal in the third period. The move was designed to shake the team out of funk, but it can only help to settle the young tender. ... The Flames slipped in the 20 shot against category tonight, yielding 25 to the Wings. ... The Wings edged the usually dominant Calgary squad in the face off circle taking 52% on the night. Matthew Lombardi won all nine of his draws however. ... The game marked the first time since the Blues came a calling almost two weeks ago that a Calgary game finished without a fight. ... The result may put the Motor City knives back in their sheathes as some questioned Dave Lewis' coaching future before the game.

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