Flames Dry in the Desert
Coyotes 3 – Flames 2

Darren Linn
October 27th, 2005

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When Gary Bettman announced the new rule changes along with a new CBA last July, it was apparent to all hockey followers that the era of “pretty”, up and down, crisp passing, nice goal, hockey was once again going to be thrust upon NHL fans.

Everyone except the coaches and players of the Calgary Flames at any rate.  

In, the ugliest game the Flames have played in a long long time, the Sutter gang looked like a lost child in a Wal-Mart. Sometimes running around, sometimes stopping and watching others, and sometimes disappearing out of sight completely. 

Don’t let the final score fool you, this was a complete debacle.

On The Line

For the 8th or 9th time this year - respect, confidence, finding some  momentum along with team identity, and a chance to go .500 on the current 5 game road trip. Also on the line? Perhaps the future of one or two current players as a member of the Calgary Flames.

The Flow

Apart from the final 10 minutes of the 3rd period….none. With 17 penalties called throughout the game, 15 of those of the 2 minute variety, it was difficult for either side to get any sort of feel for the game apart from the special teams.

Three Stars

1 - Mike Comrie. A two goal game for the former Edmonton Oiler, including the game winner with 88 seconds to play.
2 - Philippe Sauve
. The young man making his first ever appearance in a Flames uniform was nothing short of outstanding. Allowed his team to stay close and have a chance till the end.
3 - Paul Mara
. Played a solid two-way game while logging 26 minutes of ice time and adding two assist.

Big Hit

In what can politely be called a rather tame game as far as hitting goes, the nod in this one goes to Shane Doan who blasted Andrew Ference in the Flames zone as the blue liner was skating with his head down.

Big Save

One save? No…. Two saves? No….. three back-to-back-to-back saves while the Flames were down 2 men in the second period earns Sauve this award tonight.

The Goat

This may surprise some, but I’m splitting this one between two Flames. First off is Stephane Yelle. Mr. Hustle is the Flames best Penalty killer, and on a night when the PK was pretty good, you would think this an odd choice. Problem is that he was the one in the box the most. Six minutes in minor penalties to the best Penalty killer on the team … simply cannot happen. I will also give Shean Donovan a slice of this pie on this night as well. While Yelle was in the box serving the second half of a double minor, and the Yotes had just scored, he took a stupid/lazy penalty to put the Flames down 2 men…for the second time in the game.

Mr. Clutch

Curtis Joseph made a save on a streaking Stephane Yelle just seconds after the Flames had tied the game at 2. If that one goes in, the whole outcome of the game would of likely been different.

Odds and Ends

In a game the Flames should have been out of by a mile after 40 minutes, they were only a minute and a half away from stealing at least a point Byron Ritchie showed his toughness on the night going toe to toe with Tyson Nash, and getting a close decision with neither guy landing a lot of punches…....As bad as the Flames played, I still have to question the Phoenix shot keepers abilities, they were grossly exaggerated in the 1st period…...the referees in the NHL have a tough job, and I hate to harp on them, but there is one thing this writer can’t stand and that’s calling something that simply didn’t happen. Sauve got a little happy feet at one point and as he started to cross his crease, he flat out fell down. Oleg Saprykin was fingered for interference. This stuff just can’t happen at this level ………Flames were 50% in the faceoff department, but lost the most crucial one that ended in the winning Phoenix goal with Yelle getting picked clean by Mike Comrie……In Denver tonight Todd Bertuzzi made his first appearance since “the incident”, and was greeted by a loud chorus of boos every time he was on the ice, he finished with an assist and a -2 on the night as the Canucks were clobbered 6-2...Flames scratches included MacDonald and McCarty, with the latter expected to miss at least another week with post concussion syndrome (as per Darren Pang on FSN)….Coming into this game, in his last 8 starts against the Flames Curtis Joseph was 7-1 and an astonishing GAA of 0.86.…..Some speculation from this writer, Jason Weimer is gone within a week or less along with Steve Montador, the latter drawing in tonight for the first time in over 2 weeks…perhaps a showcasing of sorts? Speculation on the Fan960 pre-game show had Sutter making a move as early as the end of this road trip, my guess is either with Atlanta, Pittsburgh or the NY Islanders. It’s odd Sutter dressed 7 dmen for this, which is where my conclusion comes from.

Next up - San Jose on Oct. 29th.

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