Simon Sinks Kings in Last Minute
Flames 3 – Kings 2

Kris Fernet
October 23rd, 2005

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A number of question marks still surround the 2004 Western Conference Champions.  Not only has special teams been below expectations but the output of some of the returning players from the 2004 Stanley Cup run has been less then expected. 

Chris Simon, Marcus Nilson and Sean Donovan combined for 0.46 point per game in Flames silks in 2003/2004.  This year through 9 games their combined total is just 0.22 points per game (1 g, 3a).  If the Flames hope to compete with the best teams in the Western Conference the supporting cast will have to step up and contribute more on the scoreboard.

On The Line

Tonight was the Flames first back-to-back game of the season.  They suffered a tough loss the night before in Dallas and will need to come out strong against a Los Angeles team that has been on a roll as of late.  A solid win would go towards gaining (and hopefully keeping) some much needed confidence.

The Flow

A constant parade to the penalty box by both teams led to a very stunted game flow.  35 minutes of the total 60 minutes were played with at least one team short handed.  The Kings controlled the first period and went into the second period ahead 2-0.  The Flames would fight back and tie things up in the second period.  The momentum was split right down the middle in the third.  A Chris Simon goal with just 30 seconds remaining was all there was to choose between the conference rivals.

Three Stars

1 – Chris Simon – Had a number of great chances tonight and finally showed some finish by scoring the game winning goal with just seconds left.
2 – Mathieu Garon -
Made some very good saves including one on a Marcus Nilson penalty shot.  Hard to fault him for the game winner.  Held the Flames to just one even strength goal.
3 – Jarome Iginla – 
Finally showed off some of his great speed and strength.  Second on the team with 5 shots and led with 24 minutes of ice time.

Big Hit

Bryan Marchment attempted to decapitate Jeremy Roenick in the third period with a hit that sent the Kings forward spiralling to the ice.  Marchment received a 2 minute elbowing penalty for his efforts.

Big Save

With 3 minutes gone in the third period ex- St. Louis Blue Pavol Demitra stole the puck short handed and flew down the ice for a breakaway.  Despite a sliding Iginla at his heels he was able to wrist away a shot that was confidently saved by Kiprusoff.  A short-handed goal to break the tie would have swung the momentum in the Kings’ favour.

The Goat

Tonight’s goat is a combination of two things.  Lack of discipline from both benches and over-eager Referees.  It can be quite tedious at times watching a game that features 22 power plays.  Neither team, however, seemed too interested in playing the type of disciplined game the referees were looking for.

Mr. Clutch

Goes tonight to Chris Simon.  His goal (his second of the night) with 30 seconds left sealed the deal for the Flames.

Honourable mention to the Flames shot-blockers tonight.  The Flames were credited with 16 blocked shots tonight.  It is that kind of guts and hard work that got the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004.  This writer hopes the trend continues.

Odds and Ends

Kings uber-pest Sean Avery was up to his old tricks tonight.  Early in the first he took a run from behind on Iginla, knocking him into another Kings player.  Iginla promptly dropped the gloves but could not get to the turtling Avery.  Later in the game he was confronted by Iginla but Avery would have no part of him…Speaking of Avery, he managed 6 minutes in penalties (most on the Kings team last night) in just under 9 minutes of ice time…Darren McCarty was a scratch tonight after taking a knock to the head in last night games in Dallas. He is listed as day-to-day.  Craig MacDonald took his spot in the line-up… Pavol Demitra had a goal called back due to goaltender interference.  Derek Armstrong had made his way between Kiprusoff and the net when Demitra one timed his shot from the right circle…Steven Reinprecht sat out the last 6 minutes of the second and first half of the third period…Calgary entered the game last on the power play with an 8.4% success rate.  They managed to jump to 28th spot after going 2 for 10 tonight.

Next up – Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Wednesday October 16, 2005.  8:30 pm MST.








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