Baby Steps End in OT Loss
Stars 3 - Flames 2 (OT) 

D'Arcy McGrath
October 13th, 2005

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The outcome wasn't quite what the home town crowd - driven to a frenzy over a well staged banner raising - had in mind, but the process gets a check mark in this 3-2 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars.

Better defensive play. Better overall play. Better intensity.

Special teams? I guess that's next on the agenda.

On The Line You can only push patience so far. Preseason proclamations of greatness have been followed by real-season disappointments as the Calgary Flames have muddled through the start of their 2005-06 season. Clearly the club needed to halt some pretty harsh momentum against them coming off a disastrous four game road trip. 

The Flow A very good, but carefully played hockey game that featured Dallas special teams spotting the visitors a two goal lead, only to have the Flames five on five play force overtime.

Three Stars - 1. Mike Modano Missed by the star caller at the dome, the Dallas mainstay had an assist on each of the three Dallas goals.

2. Matthew Lombardi Showed his speed to set up Reinprecht on the first goal, and some good corner work to find help in Kobasew's marker in the third, a key component of the club's best line of the night.

3. Jire Lehtinen matched Steven Reinprecht's goal and assist, but gets the nod for avoiding a careless, momentum killing third period double minor for high sticking.

Big Hit - How many games into the season will we go before this is called the Dion of the night? Lit up an unnamed Star in the first, and then got the official hit of the night for surprising Bill Guerin in a second period scrap.

Big Save A buck and a half into the overtime period, Miikka Kiprusoff simply stoned Martin Skoula in an in close play in the slot. 

The Goat Miikka Kiprusoff. That might sound like blasphemy in Calgary, but the Calgary stopper gave up three goals on 22 shots, two of which came short side on shots that NHL goaltenders should have more times than not. Honourable mention to the clubs special teams for another negative night, this time -2.

Mr. Clutch The club's fourth line? What else do you call a line that doesn't have Iginla, Langkow, or Yelle on it? Steve Reinprecht, Matthew Lombardi and Chuck Kobasew had the spark needed to run the table tonight, and ended up with both of the club's markers. Solid effort from the three speedsters.

Odds and Ends Ok, the guy scored the visitor's second goal of the night, but does anyone think Al Coates made the wrong decision taking Robyn Regehr over Martin Skoula when you saw #41 pushed off the puck all night long? Yikes. ... The Flames lost, but as Steve Smith once said on Toronto radio, a winning streak ends before your first loss, and a losing streak comes to an end before you win. The Flames gave up less shots, played better overall hockey and were likely the better team on the night if it wasn't for their special teams deficiency. Much more like the team Calgary saw in red 16 months ago. ...  Chuck Kobasew was +2 with least amount of ice time on the team tonight. Even Eric Nystrom played more. ... For those watching, Bryan Marchment handled himself well in a Calgary uniform, playing just over 10:00 minutes and not being accounted for a goal either way ... Jordan Leopold played almost 30 minutes tonight, Rhett Warrener, his partner was close to 29. ... Good news? Calgary was shorthanded only 6 times on the night. Bad news they had only four powerplays, went goalless and were beaten twice on those six chances. They can't keep getting killed on special teams. Where's that law of averages? ... Why didn't Steve Ott get an extra penalty for jumping a guy that doesn't fight in Shean Donovan? ... and since I'm whining, why didn't Marty Turco get four or five and a game for purposely sticking Darren McCarty in the face when Steve Reinprecht got four for being careless? And what the heck, I'm on a roll, why did Marty Turco not get a penalty for pin wheeling on the ice and taking down Matthew Lombardi when the officials fingered Lombardi instead for interference? The referees weren't the problem in this game, but some odd misses and grabs. ... The difference in this one however, was goaltending. Goaltending can make a powerplay look bad and penalty killing look great, but the Flames were on the losing side of both when it came to puck stopping tonight. Is Kiprusoff playing with smaller pads and shoulder stuffing or is he going down early? Giving up too much on the short side? Mr. Marcoux ... put away the curtain and the puck board and lets work on covering the post.

 Next up Saturday, October 15th, 2005. BOA Take I

Lines - 

Amonte - Nilson - Iginla 
Simon - Langkow - Donovan 
Nystrom - Yelle - McCarty
Reinprecht - Lombardi -

Hamrlik - Phaneuf 
Leopold - Warrener 
Ference - Marchment



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