Note: This was supposed to be published last night, but my computer and internet voted 2-1 against me on that plan.
Three of the newest Flames had points tonight as Calgary rolled through Florida and won the first game of their 3-game road trip. Ales Kotalik scored his first Flames goal on the powerplay with an assist going to Niklas Hagman. After the Panthers tied the game with a bouncing goal, Ian White set up Mark Giordano for the game-winning goal on the powerplay. The Flames played a tight game and held the Panthers to only 13 shots on net as they won their 2nd consecutive game with relative ease. The 13 shots against is a season-low for Calgary.
The new Flames (soon we’ll be able to call them just the “Flames”) seem to be gelling after a couple days together. They are finding line combinations that work and certain players are finding chemistry together. Matt Stajan has a lot of creativity and has been playing very well with Jarome Iginla and Niklas Hagman. Even Kotalik seems to be playing with some enthusiasm since coming to the Flames.
All the pessimists have cooled down over the past 2 games, and the general feeling of optimism is coming back to Flames fans. I suppose it’s natural now that the team has won a couple consecutive games afer losing so many in a row.
I wouldn’t say that Flames head coach, Brent Sutter, was happy with the game, but he did admit that it was “a good road win” since his team only allowed 13 shots on Miikka Kiprusoff. Let’s see if the Flames can get another good road win in Tampa tomorrow night to keep this streak going.