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Shootout Sinks Flames (SO)
Flames 1 – Red Wings 2 (SO)

Daniel Lemmon
April 3, 2006

The Flames are an interesting group of misfits you know. They send you through periods of so much happiness and periods of so much despair and often there is no middle ground. Over the past few games Flames fans have been treated to the happiness portion of our program handily defeating division rivals in the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers to put some distance between themselves and those chasing them for the division lead. If you look only at the stats of Monday night's contest with the league leading Red Wings you might be headed over the cliff of despair. NO JUMPING! BE CAREFUL THE SAFE!

On The Line

At this point in the season it gets pretty simple. Make the playoffs…and further to that, win the division. The Red Wings could cruise through this game if they wanted, but I'm sure the Presidents Trophy is still the active goal for the Wings.

The Flow

I'll be honest with you. I didn't really pay much attention to the first period at all until the pressure situation generated by Chuck Kobasew, Tony Amonte, Matthew Lombardi, Dion Phaneuf and Roman Hamrlik that resulted in the Flames only goal on the night. The rest of the game was slightly more exciting, with the third and overtime being some real heart-stoppers. I hate shootouts. I couldn't even watch.

Three Stars

1 – Miikka Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff made short work of the Red Wings shooters stopping 41 of 42 shots in the game…aside from the shootout. You want to know how to beat Kiprusoff? Go to a shootout.
2 – Chris Osgood. He matched his counterpart on the other end of the rink when it came to making the important saves. Osgood wasn't really called upon to be spectacular, but he came to play and played well.
3 – Steve Yzerman. I don't like him, but he got his team even on the scoreboard with a quick goal that no one in the building seemed to notice until it was announced…even the multitude of Wings fans.

Big Hit

Stephane Yelle, who I don't normally notice for his hitting prowess made a great many people in the Saddledome VERY happy when he splattered ancient Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios in the second period. One reason why the Flames didn't have a great deal of success is indicated here. When it's Sandbox who's making the big hit…you're team isn't hitting enough.

Big Save

I don't know if it was more a save or pure luck, but Miikka Kiprusoff decided to go for a leisurely skate to the blueline to cut off Steve Yzerman who would have had a break away. But then Henrik Zetterberg followed up the play and had a massively out of position Kiprusoff beaten and passed the puck to Yzerman, who missed it. Now that was comical and terrifying, but it wasn't the biggest save. No, that came right after in the Red Wings zone. With Chris Osgood wildly out of position himself the Flame mustered a flurry of shots and somehow, Matthew Lombardi managed to fire the puck right into Osgood.

The Goat

It was very nearly Kiprusoff who got the nod for his heart attack inducing adventure in the third, but the Flames power play takes it. The Wings have CORY CROSS! I know he's irreplaceable but come on. Honourable mention to the referee's for their awesome display of consistency. A hook is a hook and a hold is a hold regardless of who does it and who it's done to. There were some shady calls both ways, and some blatant missed calls. Just call it straight…PLEASE!

Mr. Clutch

Kiprusoff is going to wear out his clutch with this play. You can't argue with his number of saves. Now if the Flames just hadn't used up their entire goal scoring on the weekend.

Odds and Ends

I don't have much to say here, I'm tired. I just got home from China on Friday and sleep has been something missing from my life since I returned home. Big hurrah to the other writers here with Calgary Puck, Darren and D'Arcy who picked up the slack while I was gone. Thanks guys! … I hate the shootout. Not because it's a gimmick thing meant to make American's happy because they can't fathom the idea of a tie, but because the Flames are downright awful at them. Sutter, for the love of Dion Phaneuf, I know Jarome Iginla is supposed to be a superstar, but everyone knows he's brutal in the shootout situation. It's like automatically negating a shooter right there when he gets named. Kiprusoff isn't much better. He just seems to be completely fooled by shooters in the shootout. Thank god the Flames don't use this gimmick play to prop up their place in the standings…

Next up – The Phoenix Coyotes visit on Wednesday night at 7 PM. You can watch the game as part of TSN's Wednesday night double header and on the always trusty Fan 960.

Lines –

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

Ference –Regehr
Phaneuf – Hamrlik
Hulse - Marchment Kiprusoff



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