Toronto Maple Leafs are unbeaten. Calgary Flames are not.


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Phil Kessel and Miikka Kiprusoff

Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs are still unbeaten to start the 2011-2012 season thanks to Phil Kessel’s 3-point night. He scored 2 goals, including the game winner 41 seconds into the 3rd period, as Toronto came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 last night.

Leafs fans may want to take a screenshot of the NHL stats board because 4 of the 8 categories feature Toronto. Sure, 3 of them (goals, points, and plus-minus) are Kessel, but Leafs goalie James Reimer also leads the league with 1 shutout. This isn’t something that Leafs Nation usually sees and it isn’t likely to last very long.

The Flames played a great first period, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but they couldn’t take advantage of other opportunities to put the Leafs away. The most notable miss was Rene Bourque’s fluff shot on a wide-open net with about a minute to go in the game. The Flames had a golden opportunity to tie the game late, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. As we’ve seen many times in the past, it’s tough to win a game when you only score 2 goals.

Having his own hot start this season is Curtis Glencross. Scoreface opened the scoring for the Flames 4:18 into the first period after taking a pass from former Leaf Lee Stempniak and firing a wrist shot past Reimer. Scott Hannan, who isn’t known for his laser beam-like shot, increased the Flames lead to 2 goals 1:22 later with a true goal-scorers goal from the top of the circle.

The Flames had their chances, but too often those chances lead to odd-man rushes in the other direction. Flames forward Alex Tanguay wasn’t happy with their effort. Here are his comments after the game.

“Tonight we let them hang in there and it’s our own fault. We feel we are giving up too many odd-man rushes and they are a team that likes to skate, they are extremely fast in their transition and tonight they took advantage three times and that was the difference in the game.”

“For us, we’ve got to get back in the groove of things; 1-3 is certainly not getting it done. It’s been a tough start, but we have a homestand and now we can make up for it.”

The Flames next game is at home on Tuesday when they fire up the Battle of Alberta for the first time this season. The Flames have a chance to jump over the Oilers and leave the Northwest Division basement with a win.

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.

  • OldeBuffalo

    Iggy missed training camp. When he gets up to speed the Flames will do better!
    The Flames are missing all their centermen. When they get them back the Flames will do better!
    The Flames we’re on a road trip. When they get back to the Dome they”ll do better!
    The Flames are playing a new system. When they get used to it, they’ll do better!

    I sure as hell hope so because it’s going to be long season if they don’t.

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