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Flames Get Short End of the Stick
Jackets 2 - Flames 1 (SO)

D'Arcy McGrath
February 1st, 2006

On a night where Darryl Sutter solved an alleged off ice distraction with his goaltending, the Flames once again lost a game in the NHL's newest on ice attraction.

The shoot out.

The Calgary Flames nemesis, the Cowtown kryptonite. 

After dominating play for the most part despite a less than even split from league officials, the Flames came up empty when for the second time in three nights a less than stellar hockey club used the shoot out to best the locals, this time by a 2-1 final score.

On The Line

Given the compaction of the western conference standings this "On The Line" section is becoming one big fat "ditto". Unless the game is a four pointer, against one of the other big three Northwest Division squads they all mean the same. A chance to move up in the ultra-tight west or a chance to stand still while other gain or pass you by. No different tonight.

The Flow

In a game that was one part full court press by the Flames and another part grind-fest, the Flames, especially when five on five held the territorial edge by a large degree. The Jackets big line of Zherdev, Nash and Fedorov was simply dashing at times, but save for a few chances they were held to the outside by stellar night by the Flames blueline. Given the high end offensive talent of the Jackets, at least in a tight group at the top, you just had a feeling that the Flames had better win this one in overtime because they wouldn't do well in a shoot out. That was the case.

Three Stars

1 Marc Denis. He made the difficult look ordinary in smothering most shots without giving up big rebounds, and came up huge when traffic pushed the matter around his cage. Full marks for the win.

2 Nikolai Zherdev. Just dazzling with the puck, and scored the Jackets goal in the second period to send the game into overtime.

3 Jarome Iginla. Scored Calgary's lone goal, but beyond that, he was more himself, asserting himself on most shifts, taking the puck to the neck, and working things down low.

Big Hit

Calgary rookie Mark Giordano, playing is second NHL game, found a welcome to the NHL matt when he ran smack dab into a charging Rostislav Klesla who was all to willing to put said rookie on his butt.

Big Save

Miika Kiprusoff was simply brilliant twice in the first period, both times stoning the Jackets big line. First he stopped Rick Nash on a one timer from the slot, and then he robbed Sergei Fedorov on a in tight alley oop tip shot that had everyone on the edge of their seats..

The Goat

Can I say Miika Kiprusoff? Is that allowed? I know I've never done it, but you're not going to win many shoot outs if your goalie allows two goals on two shots. Tough position for a goaltender to be in, it's thankless, however Kiprusoff should beat his counterpart in a showdown more times than not, yet he sits as 1-4 in shoot outs thus far this season. Incidently the departed Phil Sauve has a 1-0 record in shoot outs.

Mr. Clutch

Jarome Iginla. A single goal, but a difference maker on most shifts, and this coming from a guy that can often be a critic. I don't need Jarome Iginla to score a hat trick each and every night, to go end to end, or fight twice a period, but he needs to force the issue and make a difference in the outcome. He did that tonight and wasn't rewarded.
Odds and Ends

Very odd game to watch from an officiating standpoint. Two man advantage for the Jackets without a single boo from the crowd. First time I've ever seen that, but then the over the glass rule is a slam dunk. And speaking of that series of calls ... two over the glass calls in five seconds of play? That has to be a new NHL record. Yikes. ... The Jackets lack in terms of depth and overall talent, but when it comes to skill in the upper quarter of their roster they are well on their way to building something. Fedorov won't be around for ever, but in Zherdev and Nash they have some serious building blocks. A shoot out was doom for the Flames. ... Sutter once again protected his team after the game, a common theme all season after being somewhat surly in his first season and a half in Calgary. "I thought our tanks were maybe 1/2 or 3/4 full, and you could see it", he said after the game, "but we outshot them two to one and Denis was the difference". You know what? He's right. The Flames, much like their game in St. Louis, put in the effort but like many a time this season they just can't seem to finish. ... A shout out to the odd guy at the Saddledome that followed my wife and her friend into the girl's washroom, found a stall, and did your business. How drunk do you have to be to do that? Simply odd. ... Jason Wiemer into the lineup and lets play who's missing early in the game. Donovan? Nope he's there. Simon? Nope saw him. Reinprecht! Message? Flue? Nope traded, didn't think of that one between periods. ... Jarome Iginla had seven shots on goal on the night. Seven! ... Good sign to see the City of Calgary fired up over some one point losses, but man are people over reacting to things. The Flames are a gut check team that seems to be short on offensive skill. That can go against you. It's going against them right now. It won't last. ... The difference in the game once again was special teams. The Jackets were one for five while the Flames were ouch for zero on the night. 
Next up The Flames take on the Canucks on Friday night at the Saddledome, a game featured on Sportsnet at 7:00 PM

Amonte Lombardi Iginla
Huselius Langkow Kobasew
Nilson - Yelle - McCarty
Simon - Wiemer Donovan

Leopold - Regehr
Giordano - Phaneuf
Ference - Warrener









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