The Calgary Flames dominated the first period, scoring 4 goals in the first 12 minutes and Miikka Kiprusoff played a perfect game to give the Flames a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks tonight.
Rene Bourque scored a powerplay goal 4:12 into the game and added another goal just after the midway point of the first period to lead the Flames on the scoreboard once again. After his hat trick in Columbus on Friday, Flames fans were expecting another big game from the Flames forward, and he didn’t disappoint. He had a very good opportunity to score a 3rd goal in the first period, but was robbed by replacement Sharks goaltender Antero Nittymaki.
Though he had a few good chances later in the game (and despite all the cheering that Flames fans did for him), Bourque couldn’t notch his 2nd hat trick in 2 games. But that didn’t stop his teammates from adding to their names to the scoresheet. Jarome Iginla scored a rocket of a goal less than 2 minutes after Bourque’s first goal, and Craig Conroy chased Antti Niemi out of the net with his 2nd goal of the season at 8:36 of the first period.
It was an all-around good game for the Flames who have now scored ten goals in the last two games and now sit in sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division with 10 points. Their offensive woes seem to have disappeared (for now) along with their inability to keep the pucks on their sticks. The Flames passing and puck control tonight was almost flawless and apart from a few giveaways, the Flames were well in control of the puck all game. They demonstrated solid stick-to-stick passing and a tenacity that was missing from their game early in the season.
Though Kipper, Bourque and Tanguay made their way onto the “3 stars” list tonight (for obvious reasons), the effort of Curtis “Scoreface” Glencross should not be overlooked. Throughout the Flames struggles early this season, Glencross has consistently been one of their best players and has shown up and given a solid effort every game. Scoreface played very well again tonight, and had 2 great scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, his shots seem to be drawn to the posts instead of the mesh at the back of the net, so instead of scoring his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season, he hit 2 posts.
One day soon Glencross is going to go on a hot streak and score a lot of goals for the Flames. He always seems to be there, but he’s always on the edge of an offensive explosion. Last season he scored 15 goals in 67 games, and I expect that he’ll end up north of 20 goals if he stays healthy this season.
Did you watch the game? Do you agree that this was one of the Flames best efforts this year? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Update (Oct 25): Video highlights from the game are here.