Flames End Trip With Shoot Out Loss
Sharks 3 – Flames 2

Darren Linn
October 29th, 2005

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When a hockey team gets embarrassed the way the Calgary Flames did in their last game against the Phoenix Coyotes, you would expect that team to be a lot better the next time out. That was the case on this Saturday night in October when the Flames ended their five game road trip in San Jose. It can be said that the Flames deserved a better fate on this night, but the result was the same as the majority of the games they have played this year. Not good enough.

The team did manage to get back to it's philosophy of team defense, play the special teams game to a draw, and win while at even strength. For well over 50 minutes they did this to a "T". A couple brain cramps and a bad deflection later, it was all for naught however. Back to the drawing board for Sutter and gang.

On The Line

A chance at salvaging a road trip that has at times been good and horrible, with a big pinch of so-so in there as well. Also, trying to stay within touch of the division leaders.

The Flow

Much better than many of the last 8 games or so. It was pretty wide open for the most part, except for a stretch during the 2nd period when there was a stream of penalties called. The 3rd period was up and down and flat out entertaining. Unfortunately, the Flames don't play that game very well at this point, so it was a bad idea.

Three Stars 
1 - Jonathan Cheechoo -
A goal and an assist on the night to tie things up. Also was a physical presence the entire night. 
2 - Nolan Schaefer -
The raw rookie was outstanding in the Sharks net, turning away 23 shots on the night, including a penalty shot and making an unbelievable toe save in the shoot-out, both coincidentally on Tony Amonte. 
3 - Jarome Iginla
. The Calgary captain was all over the place in this one, notching his 5th goal of the season and creating havoc every time he was on the ice.

Big Hit

There were a few bone rattlers in this game, so narrowing it down was tough. I will give the nod to the Sharks Scott Thornton who plastered Roman Hamrlik along the wall in the first period, leaving the Flames defenseman a bit foggy.

Big Save

I refuse to award this one to a shoot-out save, so tonight's nod goes to Flames uber-keeper Miikka Kiprusoff who absolutely stoned Scott Thornton in the 3rd period on a breakaway, and at the time, preserved a 2 goal lead for a seemingly confident Flames team.

The Goat

For the 2nd game in a row I am splitting this award between two guys. First up is the somewhat struggling Jordan Leopold. On the Sharks first goal, and while killing a penalty, Leopold had the puck in the corner to Kiprusoff's left. He had lot's of time to make sure the puck was cleared from the zone, but instead he panicked and never got the puck past the Sharks defenceman on that side of the ice. Three seconds later the game was 2-1 and Leopold was holding the bag for it. Then on the 2nd and tying Sharks goal, there was a faceoff outside the Flames blueline. Stephane Yelle wins the drop cleanly and pulls the puck back to Rhett Warrener who is standing 15 feet inside the blueline. Instead of corralling the puck and flipping it down the ice at the open net, he misplayed the it badly and let it go to the corner, the Flames never did get control back and the Sharks scored about 10 seconds later.

Mr. Clutch

This will go to Nolan Schaefer for his performance in the shoot-out. He made a dazzling save on Amonte which kept his team alive. He outplayed Kiprusoff in this aspect of the game. Pretty good for a guy in his position.

Lunch Bucket

Other than the gaffe at the end, I though Rhett Warrener had played a typical Rhett Warrener game. Looked like the guy who was so reliable two seasons ago and should give hope to some rather uneasy fans.

Odds and Ends

Before the game Flames coach Darryl Sutter was interviewed by FSN who carried the game, and made a very un-Sutter like admission. He thought that his charges had adapted to the new rules quite well (debatable) but went on to say that the reason the team has struggled is because of injuries. Very odd for him…..Speaking of FSN, it was very refreshing to listen to the broadcast tandem of Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda who do all the SJ TV games. They are fair, balanced and show absolutely none of that "homerism" crap that is so prevalent among many team broadcasts, and they have fun doing it…….SJ G Schaefer was making his 3rd ever career start and first ever at home…..Flames scratches included the concussed Darren McCarty, his 4th staright game out, and LW Chris Simon who is out with an undisclosed upper body injury along with Robyn Regehr and Matthew Lombardi….coming into tonight, the Flames hadn't won in San Jose in their last eight regular season appearances, make it nine now….This writer was appalled at the show Darcy Tucker put on in the first game of Saturdays HNIC double-header. After looking like he had been knocked to the moon with check and gloves and sticks go flying, he lied there motionless like he was out cold or worse. Once he realized he hadn't drawn a penalty on the collision, he jumped up and skated to the Leafs bench and was out for the next shift. That's embarrassing to the sport and has to be dealt with harshly I say…Love or hate the shootout, there is no denying that the majority of fans have embraced the concept entirely. The Shark Tank was absolutely rockin during this one and sounded like a playoff game in October. That's just good for the game no matter how you slice it….. Jarome Iginla led the Flames in ice time with almost 27 minutes, which is almost unheard of for a forward….Flames won the battle of the faceoff dot, garnering 55% of them…Flames went with 7 D again, though this time Sutter had no choice in the matter…Steve Montador only saw 6 minutes of ice but he made the most of it by scoring his 1st of the year and ending up at +1.

Next up - Minnesota on Tuesday night.

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