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Flames Sweep Key Weekend 
Flames 4 Oilers 1

D'Arcy McGrath
April 1, 2006

Can one write a game story on April 1st reporting the Flames winning the second game in a row in a back to back night situation and be taken seriously?

I'll guess we'll see.

But wait there's more ... what if I told you the club backed up a three goal win on Friday night with a three goal win by the tune of 4-1 on Saturday night in Edmonton? Crazy huh?

No matter what the buy in level the standings will reflect reality. A solid and somewhat unexpected weekend from the injury riddled Calgary Flames have the club in really good shape heading towards the playoffs.


On The Line

With two mamoth points in their hip pocket against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night a date in Edmonton 21 hours later really can't be called gravy though the texture, smell and taste sure leads you to believe you could smother it over some red meat. Dare to dream? A Calgary sweep of the weekend would all but sew up a playoff spot and likely put them in really good stead to take home the division as well. A loss and you could honestly say it was still a good weekend of hockey.

The Flow

As expected the rested Oilers put the pedal to the medal and almost ran the Flames out of the building in the first twenty minutes of the contest. The visitors recovered however, and then found their game and even managed to score the game's first goal. In the second a calm Calgary squad seemed to wait out Oiler mistakes and build a lead. The third period featured the Flames masterfully shutting down the Oilers to the point where very little happened.

Three Stars

1 Kristian Huselius  Old small melon buried two to move to 18 goals on the season, increasing his chances to follow teammate Chuck Kobasew into the 20 goal club. He'd be the fourth guy to that mark on the club.

2 Daymond Langkow  A goal and an assist on the night to follow up a similar effort against Colorado. Trying to fill the jersey and spot of a popular ex Flame like Craig Conroy isn't easy, but Langkow has had a solid season.

3 Miikka Kiprusoff.  Didn't have to steal this one as his club showed up to play, but his ever steady work between the iron was key to surviving the game's first ten minutes.

Big Hit

Tough call. Dion Phaneuf in open ice against Ethan Moreau? Mike Peca laying out Daymond Langkow? Both worthy picks on most nights but the nod goes to the wily vet Bryan Marchment taking out Sergei Samsanov in open ice in the first period. Great collision and he didn't even use his knee!

Big Save

Another tough call. Dwayne Roloson's extended pad save on Shean Donovan was huge in keeping the hockey game 3-1 Calgary heading into the third period, but Miikka Kiprusoff flashing leather on a Mike Peca breakaway shortly after Calgary made it 3-0 was the game's best.

The Goat

The Oilers in their own zone. They essentially gift wrapped this game by coughing the puck up behind the blue on numerous occasions. It will be tough for Mr. Lowe and Mr. MacTavish (sorry ... K-Low and Mac-T) to blame this one on goaltending..

Mr. Clutch

Bottom line ... everyone showed up in this one. Everyone. However, I'll give the nod to the defensive core and how well they played. You have one pairing getting reacquainted (Phaneuf and Hamrlik), another pair getting to know each other (Regehr and Ference) and then the 7th and 8th defencemen forced into the 5 and 6 slot (Hulse and Marchment). They really carried the mail.

Odds and Ends

Interesting to see Dion Phaneuf chasing down Gary Suter's rookie defenceman Flames scoring record exactly 20 seasons after the Wisconsin rearguard broke into the league. Suter's arrival kicked off a very good decade of Flame's hockey, we can only hope Mr. Phaneuf will do the same. ... Bad bad refereeing in this one. The first five penalties called in this game were all complete nonsense. Laraque's accident trip on Yelle? Stupid. Huselius for using a free hand to push Ryan Smyth into the boards? Goofy. Shean Donovan for lifting a stick and getting a hooking call? Jarett Stoll for getting a hand on a shoulder? All brutal calls that got in the way of a pretty good hockey game. ... The Flames an injured bunch already had to watch Stephane Yelle limp off the ice in discomfort in the first period. He returned. Then Chris Simon gets bested by Georges Laraque in a fight and hits his head on the ice, leaving blood and a funny hair cut leaving the ice. He had better be healthy (Simon did return). .... The injuries lead to the first NHL game for Carson Germyn wearing #39 for the Flames. His first game wasn't all that memorable. ... The Flames are now 7-6-2 on the second night of back to back games. Pretty impressive. ... Noticed the "go Flames go" chant 15 minutes into the game. Way to go Calgary buses! ... A lot is made in these games about how much of a difference Miikka Kiprusoff has made to the Flames fortunes, and in relation how the Oilers just don't have the equivalent. However, one could argue that the past two seasons could very possibly be the first two years in the two clubs 25 year rivalry that the Oilers have had the disadvantage in goal. Mike Vernon was a heck of a stopper, but the Oilers had Grant Fuhr during his tenure. And while the Oil went from Moog to Fuhr to Ranford to Joseph to Salo the Flames had an absolute gong show between the pipes. Stuff evens out. Live with it. ... What a bizarre third period play to see a delayed penalty seemingly called against one team end up in a waived off goal and a call the other way. Even more funny to see the HNIC team of Jim Hughson and Harry Neale point out the Calgary penalty on replay when there wasn't one. Crazy. Then to add to the odd situation, Scott Oake after the game suggests to Ethan Moreau and Steve Staios that the Oilers should have argued the play more. For what? ... Why why why does the NHL call a penalty and a dive on the same play? Shouldn't happen. If a guy hooks someone and it's a penalty who cares if the other guy throws himself on the ice. The infraction happened. If a guy dives without an infraction fine, but with one it shouldn't matter. .... Another shout out to Calgary fans in Edmonton. Also heard the "Na na hey hey hey good bye" chant at the end.

Next up Tomorrow night, 8 MST, Hockey Night in Canada against the despised Oilers of Edmonton.

Lines -

Huselius - Langkow Iginla
Kobasew - Lombardi Amonte
MacDonald - Yelle Donovan
Simon - Ritchie - Germyn

Regehr - Ference
Hulse - Marchment
Phaneuf- Hamrlik




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