Vancouer Canucks 4 Calgary Flames 2

Flames Blow Another Lead in Vancouver 

D'Arcy McGrath

December 27th, 2001

There are two distinctly different things a hockey team can do with an outstanding start to it's NHL schedule.

One ... use the start as a spring board to a very successful season, return to the playoffs, renew enthusiasm within the team's city, and build on a season ticket base.

Or ... completely collapse a seemingly insurmountable lead, leaving yourself out of the playoffs once again, the fans with an even worse taste in their collective mouth.

The Flames seem hell bent on following the latter course.

For the second time in two nights the Flames found a way to lose in a game set up for a win. Add the two defeats to last week's debacle in Phoenix and you have a hockey team with a very shaky psyche.

The team still holds down a playoff position, but must return to their winning ways soon or risk wasting a great start.

The Flames once again struggled on the special teams, something not very new in recent weeks, coming up empty once again on the powerplay.

Added to the old stand by however was shaky goaltending, and shoddy defensive coverage, as the team essentially gift wrapped a late Christmas present for their Northwest division foes.

The Flames opened the scoring in the game's second minute when Craig Conroy pounced on a Jarome Iginla rebound and banked the puck off a fallen Dan Cloutier for his 12th of the season.

That lead wouldn't last.

Just over a minute later the Canucks rebounded when Markus Naslund caught Roman Turek flat footed sliding the puck along the ice, beating Turek short side.

In the second period the Flames took the lead back again when a newly formed line struck for a picturesque goal. Marc Savard blocked a Ed Jovanovski point shot and fired a pass to a streaking Chris Clark. Clark using his speed to keep ahead of the Vancouver defenceman fed a perfect pass to Dean McAmmond who notched his 10th of the season.

Once again the lead didn't last.

Less than a minute later Denis Gauthier let his man, Todd Bertuzzi get away in the corner, and then had the centering pass slide through his legs. Bertuzzi one timed the pass past Turek to notch the score at two.

From there the Canucks took the game over, as the fragile Flames totally fell apart.

With just over three minutes left in the period Trevor Linden tipped a point shot past a startled Turek after winning the face off from Craig Conroy.

Exactly two minutes later the Canucks doubled their lead when Andrew Cassels converted a two on one to make the score 4-2.

The third period featured numerous powerplays but little by way of chances for the Flames, as the Canucks once again carried the play.

If not for some late game heroics by Turek the game could have gotten out of hand.


Box Score


Nichol Conroy  Iginla
McAmmond Savard Clark
Lowry Niedermayer Hentunen
Petrovicky Wilm Begin
Gauthier Boughner
Buzek Regehr
Allison Kravchuk


1 - Jan Hlavac - Two big assists, solid all night 

2 - Andrew Cassels - Scored big second period goal, added an assist.

3 - Markus Naslund - Team captain gets goal and an assist in winning effort.


Roman Turek stacked the pads on a late Canuck powerplay to take away a sure goal from Andrew Cassels.


Craig Conroy caught Andrew Cassels on a third period powerplay sending the Canuck's pivot hobbling to the bench. Runner up ... Henrik Sedin creamed Jukka Hentunen on a hit that appeared to hurt Hentunen's knee. He didn't return.


In what had to be considered a very bizarre occurence, the Canucks were called for three third period penalties for having too many men on the ice. The Flames powerplay ... of course, came up empty. ... More on the powerplay. The Flames once again came up empty, going oh for six on the night, but not for lack of trying. Coach Gilbert tried Marc Savard on the point to attempt to get something going, and his head for offence seemed to generate chances. Earlier in the day it was learned that powerplay QB Derek Morris will be lost for four weeks healing from wrist surgery. ... At least the penalty killing worked on the night, killing all four Canuck chances. ... The Canucks won 52% of the face offs, led by Andrew Cassels with 60%. The Flames Rob Niedermayer won 66% of his draws before leaving early with an undisclosed injury. ... The Flames out hit the Canucks by a margin of 28-21 on the night. Bob Boughner led the way with four.



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