Rene Bourque scored 2 goals and Curtis Glencross added a goal and 2 assists as the Calgary Flames pummeled the Los Angeles Kings 6-2 tonight. Ex-King Mike Cammallerri also scored against his old team.
During the off-season Flames GM Darryl Sutter added Bourque, Glencross and Cammalleri with hopes of increasing secondary scoring and taking some of the pressure off Jarome Iginla. Now that these new players have had a chance to acclimatize to the team, they seem to be doing just that. In the past 5 games, Rene Bourque has tallied 3 goals while Glencross has scored 2 goals and added 5 assists. In 21 games, Mike Cammalleri is 2nd on the Flames 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists).
“I’m starting to feel more comfortable now,” Glencross said. “It takes a while to settle in and get to know all the guys. We’ve been together for a few months now. I’m finding that chemistry with Connie and whoever is on the other side – (Dustin) Boyd, (David) Moss, or Rene tonight.”
To say that the Flames beat the Kings “handily” tonight would be an understatement. The Flames controlled the play for the majority of the night, thanks in part to the 9 powerplays that LA handed them. Calgary capitalized on 2 of those opportunities, but more importantly, those Powerplays allowed The Flames control of the flow of the game and continue increasing their lead.
After the game, Kings Head Coach Terry Murray said, “Calgary is a better team than we are, that’s all there was to it. They beat us to every area in the ice, shots, goals, they controlled the boards, they made all kinds of plays whenever they wanted to make plays and they are a much better team than we are.”
I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing the Flames are Contenders Horn, though. If the Flames had not beaten the Kings with ease tonight, I’d be a little uneasy. After matching Detroit play-for-play for most of the game on Saturday, the Flames actually look like they can play against the better teams in the league. Sure they ended up losing 5-2, because of a late collapse that allowed Detroit to pull ahead. But the point is that they appear to have learned a lesson after their 6-1 thumping from San Jose… something that they failed to learn after losing 6-1 to Chicago.
Calgary now seems to have figured out how to control the puck and how to stay out of the penalty box. They’ve also figured out how to play as a team, how to control the puck a little more, and how to go to the net.
The next lesson for the Flames will be to further tighten up their defense to stop their opponents from getting goals like the Kings did tonight. If the Flames start playing smart defence when they’re being pressured, they will do a lot to help Miikka Kiprusoff lower his GAA and get some more confidence back.
Calgary’s next 2 games are against the Vancouver Canucks and they will surely be tested on all these little lessons.