The Calgary Flames actually won tonight, but I can’t say that I’m impressed. Sure, they jumped out to a 2-0 lead and and hung on long enough to force overtime. Sure Jarome Iginla nailed the overtime winner, but that’s not enough to make me a believer. Unfortunately just getting a win isn’t enough anymore.
After a great first period, where they controlled the game and played with some amazing flow, the Flames slacked off in the 2nd and 3rd periods only to scrape by with the win in overtime. Iginla open the scoring with a vintage Iggy goal early in the game after receiving a pass from Mikael Backlund. Brendan Morrison seemed to be re-living his “West Coast Express” days while he slid the 2nd Flames goal into Columbus’ net a couple minutes later.
Columbus got on the board late in the 2nd period with a shorthanded goal. Antoine Vermette blasted a hard slapshot past Miikka Kiprusoff after taking a feed from Andrew Murray who out-hustled Alex Tanguay to the puck. Rick Nash extended his point streak to 4 games when he tied the game late in the 3rd period. Nash took a pass from Kris Russell and laser-beamed the puck into the top corner of the net over Kipper’s left shoulder.
It was the kind of period where you knew that Columbus would tie the game. The Flames came out flat-footed and let the Blue Jackets back into the game. To say hat they played uninspired hockey is a huge understatement. The Flames barely showed up in the third period and watching their play was like watching the three stooges on ice. They played clumsy, clumsy hockey and put themselves in a position to lose the game. Fortunately for the Flames they made it out of the 3rd period and into overtime.
The two bright points of the game were the 30 seconds leading up to Iginla’s overtime goal and Miikka Kiprusoff’s 250th NHL win. After a few minutes of end-to-end overtime hockey, the Flames took advantage of some puck possession and nice passing in the Blue Jacket’s end to score the winning goal. Iggy was the beneficiary of some hard work and found the puck on his stick in the slot. He made no mistake and buried it in the Columbus net.
With the win, Miikka Kiprusoff notched his 250th win in the NHL, though he didn’t appear to be too impressed after the game. This isn’t surprising for a guy who is in his prime as a goaltender, yet he is playing with a bunch of talented, uninspired, fools every night. The Flames appear to be wasting away the best years of their all-star-calibre goaltender, and there is only one person to blame: Darryl Sutter. The Flames GM should be squarely in the crosshairs despite the win tonight. But that’s a whole other post in itself.