Flames bounce back with 5-3 win over Oilers


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So this may sound like deja vu, but here it is. “The top line for the Calgary Flames silenced their critics with an offensive outburst tonight at the Saddledome. The Calgary Flames top trio of Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen Matt Stajan and Alex Tanguay combined for a total of 8 points as the Flames beat the Florida Panthers Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Jarome Iginla scored the game winner and added an assist on Alex Tanguay’s last-second empty-netter to break their point-less start to the 2010-2011 season.

The Flames started slowly and found themselves down 1-0 five minutes into the game after a sloppy defensive play put the puck onto Ales Hemsky’s stick. Hemsky drove in on Miikka Kiprusoff, faked a short side shot and drove around for an empty-net wrap-around goal. The Flames bounced back with a big goal from Tanguay less than 4 minutes later.

Fans have been waiting for Tanguay’s first goal of the season, and he didn’t disappoint when he turned a nice back-hand breakout pass from Stajan into a breakaway. Tanguay drove into the Oilers end and picked the 5-hole on Oilers goalie Nikolai “Kabhi-boozin.”  The goal was the first for the Flames first line, and was a big ice-breaker for the trio. With all the pressure on the Flames’ top line, it was evident that they were playing too tight and were trying to do too much. Tanguay’s goal released the pressure and it was evident from the look on his face after he scored.

After Dustin Penner gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead by banking the puck of Ian White’s face (see video below), Brendan Morrison redeemed himself after a hit-from-behind penalty by tying the game 2-2 on a “gritty goal” about 30 seconds after he got out of the penalty box. The Oilers took the lead again when Maagnus Paajarvi scored the first goal his NHL career by banging the puck in as it sat on Kipper’s goal line.

Despite going into the 3rd period down one goal, the period belonged to the Calgary Flames. The Flames came out with some jump in their game and it paid off when Niklas Hagman tied the game 4 1/2 minutes into the period. They continued to press and were eventually rewarded when Iggy took a sweet pass from Tanguay and fired it into the wide-open Oilers net.

The Oilers had a chance to equalize with Ian White in the penalty box late in the game, but could not muster a single shot on net. The Flames pressed, and kept the puck out of their own end for most of the rest of the game. To put the iceing on the cake, Iggy fed Tanguay for a last-second goal to make it 5-3. It wasn’t initially clear if Tanguay’s goal went in before the final horn sounded, but the video replay showed that the puck went in with 0.4 seconds left.

So that’s about it. The Flames found a way to put the puck in the net and walked away with a win tonight. They are now 2-3 on the season and even at 1-1 in the Battle of Alberta. This win is definitely a big one for the Flames, and the 8 points outburst is especially big for the Flames top line.

What did you think? Is this an indication of what’s to come for the Flames?

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

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  • http://redmileblog.com Greg

    They are definitely fun to watch when they play with energy like that. I’d say it was a combination of an aggressive Flames PK and an Oilers PP that sucked. That’s usually the way it goes: one team is clicking and the other isn’t. I’m very happy that we were clicking last night and I’m sure we will see more of this in the future. When the top line isn’t scoring, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. With that pressure gone, they can now play the game.

  • http://myplace.frontier.com/~resxegu1/ Paul

    I hope the intensity they displayed in the third is an indication of what’s to come – when they play with energy like that they are fun to watch. Penner’s goal which ricocheted off White’s face was pure luck (bad luck for White and Flames) it wan’t heading anywhere near the goal. Flames penalty kill looked good or Oilers power play weak.

    • Warren Peece

      The Flames have (obviously) had the pressure taken off them to keep playing a very structured, offensive game that revolved around constantly trying to cycle the puck deep inside the offensive end. That’s a style that’s no longer effective in the NHL and was extremely hard on the Flames forwards. It was a no fun strategy that wears you out physically and mentally.

      The Flames are now being allowed to be creative as they enter the offensive zone, they’re looking for the trailer (usually a defenceman that has joined the rush), they’re spreading out and are being allowed to pass the puck around inside the opponent’s blue line and are developing many more good scoring opportunities as a result.

      They’re starting to have fun and they’re no longer having their skills suppressed by being forced to follow a very structured and unsuccessful game plan.

      In short! It’s going to be a great season if they’re allowed to continue!

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