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Kiprusoff Brilliant in Flames Win
Flames 1 Stars 0

D'Arcy McGrath
March 9, 2006

Where was Jason Wiemer when you needed him?

OK, I jest, a little poke at the Flames lack of activity at the NHL Trade Deadline, but in a way a point was well proven on Thursday night in a Calgary 1-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

If the opposition only scores nuttin, you only need to score one.

Goal scoring issue solved. Right?

Well maybe that's stretching things a bit, yet the Flames were once again full marks in fighting off the West's hottest team and perhaps some creative officiating in using their style to win their fourth in five attempts on a key home stand, setting up a pretty interesting stretch drive.


On The Line

Yadda yadda yadda ... every game is key, the West is a gong show of team pile upon team, you can't take a night off, every game is a key two points, can't afford to look ahead. Got it? Me too. This one had the added intrigue of a game played the day of a very inactive trade deadline with a club looking to either make their coach and GM look bad, or pay him back for showing faith in a room that he thinks has what it takes to make some noise.

The Flow

A very odd game to watch at the old 'dome. A typically flat second period, sandwiched by some pretty good five on five play and some rather odd Dallas man advantage situations. In a word, not a good night for league officials as the Stars received almost twice the powerplays despite some rather odd calls.

Three Stars

1 Miikka Kiprusoff.   Two facts in this performance. One ... the guy was flawless. In position, in the zone in terms of concentration. Might be the world's best goaltende with a little Maui sun ironing out the hip issue and improving his movement. And two ... the Flames let him see everything and didn't give up a rebound on the night.

2 Marty Turco.   This thing was a lot closer than the shot clock would have indicated, and Turco was key in keeping the Stars close as Kiprusoff wove his magic from the other side.

3 Dion Phaneuf.  Easy to toss the third star to Daymond Langkow as he scored the only goal in the game, but Phaneuf's perfect shot set said goal up, and the Calgary rookie was at his best again taking the line, laying out hits, and making his presence known.

Big Hit

This one could have gone to Robyn Regehr, or Dion Phaneuf as both had huge hits on Niklas Hagman and Brendan Morrow respectively. But the staple of the night goes to Chuck Kobasew when he humbled Stephane Robidas just inside the Flames blueline in the third period turning the puck over and sending it the other way.

Big Save

Loved Marty Turco's leather swipe on Shean Donovan in the third period, but Miikka Kiprusoff's split legged glove stab on Mike Modano with the Stars on two man advantage in the third was a classic, though Kiprusoff said he didn't see it and it was lucky after the game. Right.

The Goat

The officiating on this night. It wasn't what they called, it was what they didn't call. Hard to judge them on any of the calls made against the home side tonight, but their general lack of inconsistency the other way was simply brutal.

Mr. Clutch

Darryl Sutter. The man knows his team and knows his job security enough to hold tight to his current team and his short term team building plans and leave it be when it comes to a trade deadline where everyone wanted a new player or two to digest. Great to see a situation in Calgary where a team executive can make moves that he thinks is best for the organization without fear of having his plan ended with a firing. Welcome to stability Calgarians.

Odds and Ends

OK, this is going to seem a little petty, but man did that stop gap number one goaltender in Edmonton ever turn the tide for our Northern neighbors tonight, huh? The Oil fell 5-2 to the Sharks in San Jose. The Oilers and Roloson were outshot 31-21 however. I guess they loosened up the old defence with a brick wall behind them. ... Things might be a little tense in old Cowtown for a week until Roman Hamrlik comes back. Had to notice the lack of stability on the old blueline with 2/3 of the defence pairing holding a non top six defender. Cale Hulse and Bryan Marchment aren't supposed to be heros, but they are also not the players they are replacing. If you want the ice totals, Hulse bested Marchment by five minutes on the night. ... The Flames led the way in the face off circle with a 53/47 split, but it wasn't Stephane Yelle leading the way. Yelle was 5/11 for 45% while Marcus Nilson was 10 for 13, good for 76%. ... The win keeps the Flames one point up on the Avalanche who won in Chicago tonight, and nine points up on the Anaheim Ducks much to the chagrin of two pundits on a local radio station that apparently saw hail stones in the local forecast. Look it up, teams that sit 17 games over .500 with only twenty games left don't miss the playoffs. Calgary could finish the season 9-11-0 and still have 97 points, which would mean the 9th place Ducks would have to go 12-6-3 in order to force a tie. ... The Flames next venture on to a home and home with their 2nd place rival Avalanche before departing on a key seven game road trip while the World Figuere Skating Championships take over the dome.

Next up The Flames are in Denver on Sunday night at 7pm on Sportsnet

Lines -

Leclerc - Langkow - Iginla

Amonte - Lombardi - McCarty

Huselius - Yelle - Kobasew

Simon - Nilson - Donovan

Regehr - Leopold
Phaneuf - Marchment



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