Archive for the ‘Playoffs’ Category

Hawks Take Game 5

Posted 25 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Boyd, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Game 5, Loss, Playoffs, Road

Ugh. What else can I say after the Flames came out and handed Chicago game 5 on a silver platter.

Sure it would be a huge dis-respect to say that the Blackhawks didn’t earn the win in game 5… but Calgary pretty much laid down and said, “Here. We won’t really play defense, or hit you like we did in games 1-4. Just take as many shots as you can in the first period… ’cause we won’t take more than 3. If you can win it in the first, go ahead and do it cause your fans want you to.”

Really. It was a playoff letdown of monumental proportions for the Calgary Flames tonight as they had a chance to put the Blackhawks back on their heels with a solid performance tonight. Before the game, all Flames fans imagined heading home with a 3-2 series lead. Instead they allowed 3 goals in 1 minute 49 seconds and the game was over before the first 20 minutes had ended.

The Flames now need to win game 6 at home on Monday and game 7 back in Chicago (where they have not won a game all season) or it’s another first-round exit for them again.

Count on them to put up a good fight at home again. I’m just not sure they’ll have it on the road in game 7 *if necessary.

Its a Best of 3 Series Now

Posted 25 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Game 5, Playoffs, Pre-game

(Sports Network) – The Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks will both be seeking an edge tonight, when the Hawks host a pivotal Game 5 in the best-of- seven Western Conference quarterfinal series at United Center.

The series is tied at two games apiece and the home team has won every game so far in the set. Chicago took Games 1 and 2 in the Windy City, but the Flames gained momentum by tying the series with a pair of victories at the Saddledome.

Chicago had a 24-9-8 record as the home team during the regular season, while the Flames struggled to a 19-20-2 road mark.

The fifth-seeded Flames are trying to come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a series for the first time in franchise history. If Calgary becomes the first road team to win a game in this set tonight, the club will get a chance to close the series Monday in Game 6 at the Saddledome.

Chicago, meanwhile, is 16-2 all-time when grabbing a two games to none lead and last lost a series after being in that situation in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals, when Montreal beat the Blackhawks in seven games.

After posting a 4-2 win in Game 3, Calgary made it two straight with Wednesday’s 6-4 triumph. Jarome Iginla tallied twice and Eric Nystrom notched the game-winner late in the third period as the Flames wasted a three-goal before recovering for the Game 4 victory.

Nystrom added two helpers and Olli Jokinen posted his first two career postseason goals with an assist for the Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff got the win despite allowing four goals on 32 shots.

On the injury front for Calgary, Daymond Langkow (hand) and Craig Conroy (undisclosed) left Game 4 with injuries, while fellow forward Rene Bourque (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s game. Langkow is expected to play tonight, while Bourque and Conroy are questionable.

Kris Versteeg posted a goal and two assists for the fourth-seeded Blackhawks, who have not been tied by an opponent after winning the first two games of any playoff series since the 1971 Cup Finals.

Samuel Pahlsson and Cam Barker added a goal and one helper each, but Nikolai Khabibulin surrendered five goals on only 26 shots in the loss.

Chicago is in the postseason for the first time since 2002 and are trying to win a playoff series for the first time since sweeping the Flames in the opening round of the 1996 playoffs.

This is the fourth all-time playoff series between the Flames and Blackhawks and Chicago’s only win so far came in the 1996 matchup.

Chicago won all four regular-season meetings with Calgary this season.

Flames Scorch Hawks 6-4, Series Tied 2-2

Posted 23 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Playoffs, Round 1, Win, home

It took Olli Jokinen just over 200 minutes of post-season action to score his first playoff goal. His second playoff goal came much sooner… only 8 minutes later, to be precise. Jokinen’s 2-goals in the second period helped to propel the Flames to a 6-4 win in game 4 of their conference quarterfinal series.

Jokinen capitalized on a poor play from Hawks defenceman Cam Barker to score his first goal. While trying to control a rolling puck in his own corner Barker coughed the puck up to Jokinen right in the slot. Jokinen one-timed the puck over Nikolai Khabibulin to give the Flames an early 2-1 lead.

After Adrian Aucoin scored on a shot from the point to make it 3-1, Jokinen scored his 2nd of the game to give the Flames a seemingly insurmountable 3-goal lead. Jokinen’s second goal came on the rush, after a nice feed from Dion Phaneuf. Jokinen backhanded a shot that got thru the Buhlin Wall and found the back of the net.

After Calgary’s 3rd goal in the 2nd period, the Saddledome erupted into pandemonium and the Flames seemed to overlook the fact that they still had more than 30 minutes of hockey to play before the series would be tied at 2-2. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called a time-out after Jokinen’s goal and it seemed to change the momentum of the game.

Chicago came out and scored 3-straight goals to tie the game at 4-4 before the 2nd intermission. Chris Versteeg scored his first-ever playoff goal, and Sami Pahlsson and Cam Barker added goals to draw the Blackhawks even after 40 minutes.

Calgary’s playoff experience showed in the 3rd when they came out and played a strong final period. They kept Chicago’s shots on goal to a manageable 11 for Mikka Kiprusoff and continued to play strong down the stretch.

Calgary fans gained a new favourite player at 13:04 of the 3rd period when Eric Nystrom banged in a rebound off a Cory Sarich point shot to give the Flames the victory. Nystrom’s 2nd goal of the playoffs was his first post-season game winning goal and came at just the right time. Nystrom was mobbed by his team-mates as the fans partied in the stands.

Jarome Iginla also notched an important point in the Captain vs. Captain battle of this series. While Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was held off the scorebord for the entire game, Iginla scored 2 goals, and added an assist to lead the Flames to victory. Iginla scored the Flames first goal on the powerplay and added an empty-netter to seal the win for the home team. This battle has been an interesting one to watch as both players are very talented offensively, yet are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of playoff experience. As the series progresses, this will be a key factor in who gains the 4th win to advance to the Conference Semifinals.

Hawks Take Both Home Games, Lead Series 2-0

Posted 19 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Chicago Blackhawks, Iginla, Loss, Playoffs, Road, Round 1, Toews

Game 2 started the same way as game one did for the Flames. Unfortunately it ended in a similar way with the Chicago Blackhawks winning 3-2.

After coming out strong in the first period and scoring 2 goals, the Flames were not able to contain the young Chicago stars who scored 3 goals in the 2nd period to put them ahead for good.

Jarome Iginla opened the scoring 7:44 into the game with Calgary’s first powerplay goal in 12 games. Adrian Aucoin made it 2-0 after banging in a rebound with less than 5 minutes to play in the first period.

With one minute left in the first period, Jordan Leopold was sent to the penalty box for tripping. The Flames managed to kill off the first half of the powerplay, but Jonathan Toews made them pay less than a minute into the 2nd period with his first-ever playoff goal. The Chicago captain scored on a beautiful through-the-seem feed from Patrick Sharp and put his team on the board. More importantly, the goal gave the Hawks a lot of momentum that they carried throughout the 2nd period.

Sharp added another goal 6 minutes later to tie the game at 2-2, and Toews scored the game winner with only 24 seconds remaining in the 2nd period. Toews 2nd goal was eerily similar to Martin Havlat’s first goal in game one. Toews split through 2 Flames defencemen and banged in a rebound from just outside the crease. The goal was the result of hard work and a defensive breakdown from the Flames.

The Flames return to the Saddledome for game 3 on Monday night and game 4 on Wednesday. Expect the “C of Red” to be in full effect as the Flames look to tie the series at 2-2 before heading back to Chicago next week.

Havlat Goal in Overtime Stuns Flames

Posted 17 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Cammalleri, Chicago Blackhawks, Havlat, Loss, Moss, Playoffs, Road, Round 1

Mike Cammalleri and Martin Havlat had a good battle, but it was Martin Havlat who had the last word. And it was a noisy last word.

After taking a hi-stick (that was really more of a punch in the face) from Cammalleri, Havlat scored a late 3rd period goal to tie the game and eventually scored the game winner 12 seconds into overtime to stun the Calgary Flames in game one of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Cammalleri and Havlat started chirping off at each other early in the game and continued to battle throughout the first and second periods. Cammalleri appeared to get the upper edge of the feud when he scored the go-ahead goal for the flames early in the 3rd. The goal came 1 minute after he stepped out of the penalty box after serving his 2 minutes for hi-sticking Havlat. While breaking in on a 2-on-1, Cammalleri took a nice pass from Daymond Langkow and shot the puck over a sprawling Nikolai Khabibulin to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

The game was Chicago’s first playoff game in 7 years, and their lack of playoff experience showed during the first period, when the Flames dominated the play and outshot their opponents 10-5. The Flames finished the first 20 minutes with a 1-0 load thanks to David Moss’ goal 8:38 into the period.

Chicago’s Cam Barker tied the game at 13:17 of the 2nd period and that goal seemed to give the Blackhawks some confidence. The shots on net in the 2nd period were more equal, with the Flames having a 11-10 advantage.

As the Blackhawks’ young players gained confidence, it was their young captain, Jonathan Toews who really broke out and showed his leadership ability. He won 71.4% of the faceoffs he took in the game and assisted on Cam Barker’s goal in the 2nd period. He was all over the ice and seemed to always be at the right place at the right time. He showed patience and did not seem to mind the physical style of play that the Flames brought to the ice.

Unfortunately for the Flames, the worst player in their system has returned, and his presence in the game was felt. Anders Eriksson returned to the Flames line-up after spending the entire season playing in the AHL where he belongs, and was the only player on the Flames roster who was on the ice for both of Chicago’s 2 regulation goals. Not only was he on the ice, but it was his weak play that lead to both goals. Cam Barker can thank Eriksson for screening Miikka Kiprusoff on Chicago’s first goal of the game. Instead of going down to block the shot, Eriksson turned his body sideways and let the puck through. Miikka Kiprusoff had no chance on the shot. Martin Havlat can also thank Eriksson for weakly attempting to play the puck out of his own zone, only to give it to Havlat right in the slot.

I have never hiden my hate of Eriksson as a player, and I thought that we were rid of him for good this season. But injuries to the Calgary blueliners forced the Darryl Sutter to recall him from Quad Cities of the AHL and put a Flames jersey back on him.

Oh, if only some team had claimed him off waivers, then we could be rid of his ridiculous $1.5M salary cap hit and his weak play. But alas, no other team is that stupid, so Flames fans will have to grit our teeth and bear it while he’s on the ice for a little while longer. Eriksson is a UFA after this season, so we can bid him a farewell soon, but in the meantime, pray for the return of either Cory Sarich or Robyn Regehr so we can scratch him from the line-up.

Welcome to the Playoffs!

I’d like to bid a hearty “Welcome to the Playoffs” to the 9 Calgary Flames players who will be making their first post-season appearance this spring. Now you’ll really know what the “C of Red” is all about, and with that knowledge comes the pressure of the 1 Million residents of the city of Calgary. You’re under the microscope now, so you better be ready to perform.

Of course, the biggest name to make his playoff debut is Olli Jokinen, who is not-so-proud of holding the NHL record of 799 regular season games without a playoff appearance. He’s been facing the questions for the past 2 weeks now, so I’m sure he’ll show up ready to play in his playoff debut in Chicago tomorrow. Look for a Hat-Trick from the big Finn… or at least an assist on an Iginla goal…

Also making his first post-season appearance is Mike Cammalleri, who played 5 seasons with the LA Kings during their “rebuilding” phase before being traded to Calgary last summer.

Ex-Chicago Blackhawk Rene Bourque will also play in his first playoff series this year and he’ll be a welcome return to the Flames lineup after being out for the past 24 games with a lower body injury.

Flames regulars, Dustin Boyd and Curtis Glencross will also be making their playoff debuts this season and look for them to contribute throughout the playoffs.

Then there’s the ‘youngsters’.

The most notable young-un is Adam Pardy who, after 60 regular season games seems to fit right in on the Flames Blueline. He’s played on the power play and penalty killing at times and could be the silent Hawks killer if he continues to play the physical kind of hockey he’s done all year.

Warren Peters, Brett Sutter, David Van Der Gulik, and Kyle Greentree could all see playoff action based on the injury situation for the Flames. Peters has played the most with the Flames and is more likely to find his way into the lineup come tomorrow night, but any one of these players could find themselves on the ice during this series.

Good luck boys! Play hard every shift!

And don’t F*#K up or you’ll find yourself playing in Abbotsford faster than you can say “Khabibulin”.

Flames vs. Blackhawks Playoff Schedule

Posted 14 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Playoffs, Round 1, schedule

Stanley Cup Playoffs – Round 1 Schedule
Calgary Flames vs. Chicago Blackhawks
All games will be available on TSN.

GAME 1: @ Chicago, Thu. 4/16, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)
GAME 2: @ Chicago, Sat. 4/18, 7:00 p.m. (TSN)
GAME 3: @ Calgary, Mon. 4/20, 7:30 p.m. (TSN)
GAME 4: @ Calgary, Wed. 4/22, 8:00 p.m. (TSN)
*GAME 5: @ Chicago, Sat. 4/25, 7:00 p.m. (TSN)
*GAME 6: @ Calgary, Mon. 4/27, TBD (TSN)
*GAME 7: @ Chicago, Wed. 4/29, TBD (TSN)
* if necessary; all times MST

Round 1: Flames vs. Blackhawks

Posted 12 Apr 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Playoffs, Round 1

The Calgary Flames finished their regular season by splitting a home-and-home series with the Edmonton Oilers, while watching the Canucks win their final 2 games to claim 1st in the Northwest Division. The Flames will need to be more than spectators to beat the Chicago Blackhawks when the Western Conference Quarterfinals start later this week.

The Blackhawks and Flames played 4 times during the regular season and the Blackhawks won all 4 games, including the last one in overtime. Chicago is heading to the postseason for the first time in 7 years, and despite their lack of playoff experience, the youngsters will be fired up.

Calgary will have to stop the always potently-offensive Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Martin Havlat. They will also have to find a way to beat their playoff “nemesis” Nikolai Khabibulin aka “The Bulin Wall” who was a major part of Tampa Bay’s team when they faced the Flames in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. Add Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith on defence and the Hawks have a good team that will surely challenge the Flames.

Calgary will need to find a way to score some powerplay goals if they are to succeed. They went 0-for-41 in their last 10 games of the season. History has proven that proficient special teams are necessary for playoff success and, despite the fact that Calgary has one of the better penalty killing units in the league, they have a lot of work to do on the powerplay.

The Flames will also need their big guns to step up to the plate if they want to make it further than the first round this year. You can expect Jarome Iginla to score some goals, but Mike Cammalleri, Olli Jokinen, and Daymond Langkow will also need to put some pucks in the net. The Flames have lots of playoff experience and will need to draw upon this to get beyond the Blackhawks.

The series schedule should be published sometime later today or tomorrow.

Sharks Win Game 7. Flames Are Out.

Posted 23 Apr 2008 — by admin
Category Game 7, Loss, Out Of The Playoffs, Playoffs, Road, Western Conference

Calgary3
San Jose..5

The San Jose Sharks only needed 8 minutes and 49 seconds to beat the Calgary Flames. This time it was in the 2nd period, as the San Jose sharks banged 4 unanswered goals into the Flames net to take Game 7 and move on to round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Flames Sharks Hockey
The unlikely hero for the Sharks was 37 year old Jeremy Roenick, who scored 2 goals and added 2 assists – his only points of the post season so far. Roenick was a healthy scratch in game 6, which might have helped his motivation.

Or it might have just been a lucky shot that got his confidence up.

Indeed, that’s what it looked like when the CBC replayed his first goal – the 2-2 tying goal – over and over again. Roenick’s shot from the point squeaked under Miikka Kiprusoff’s stick after it looked like it was about to be deflected in front of the net. Kipper flinched and moved his stick a half inch and that was enough for the puck to find the 5 hole and the back of the net.

Roenick’s 2nd goal was the beginning of the unravelling of the Flames season. He scored a nice goal on a rebound on the powerplay, and from that point, Calgary could not get any momentum back.

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Joe Pavelski scored another goal 4 minutes later and Flames coach Mike Keenan decided to pull Miikka Kiprusoff for the 2nd time in the series. The plan backfired though, as Curtis Joseph let in another goal on his 2nd shot of the game.

The Flames pressed immediately after goal #5, but they did not have enough to come back from another 3-goal defecit. Flames 4th liner Wayne Primeau added a goal for the Flames 5 minutes in to period 3, but it was all for nothing, as the series ended just as most people had predicted – with the San Jose Sharks moving to round 2, and the Calgary Flames tuning up their golf clubs.

Calgary captain Jarome Iginla scored a goal, as did Owen Nolan.

Scoring Summary

1st Period
SJS: Thornton A: Cheechoo, Roenick
CGY: Iginla A: Aucoin, Phaneuf

2nd Period
CGY: Nolan A: Huselius, Conroy
SJS: Roenick A: Ehrhoff
SJS: Roenick A: Campbell, Rivet
SJS: Pavelski A: Grier, Efrhoff
SJS: Setiguchi A: Roenick

3rd Period
CGY: Primeau A: Moss, Aucoin

Conference Semi-Finals are Taking Shape

Posted 21 Apr 2008 — by admin
Category Playoffs, Round 1, Western Conference

The next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are starting to shape up. Two more teams are out and 2 more teams have earned a spot in the 2nd round of the playoffs after their wins yesterday.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators are out, while the Dallas Stars and the Red Wings are in.

Detroit capitalized on 2 bouncing pucks to beat Nashville Predators goalie Dan Ellis and clinch their Western Conference Quarterfinal series 4-2. The #8 seeded Predators gave the #1 seeded Red Wings some opposition throughout the series, but luck was not on their side tonight as they could not stave off elimination, losing 3-0. After the game, the Nashville fans gave their team a buoying round of applause. It was good to see in a market where hockey is not as well known.

The Dallas – Anaheim game was somewhat gratifying to watch. It’s not that I don’t like Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermeyer. In fact it’s the opposite. I respect them and was happy to see them both lift the Stanley Cup over their head last season. I just don’t agree with the way they sat out most of this season ‘contemplating’ retirement only to return with 20 games left.

The real reason I wanted Anaheim out is Todd Bertuzzi. I loathe what Bertuzzi has become – a rental goon who takes a contract with whatever team he thinks has the best chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Bertuzzi is a guy that -IMHO- does not deserve to win the Stanley Cup and should take an early retirement and disappear.

So to watch the Dallas Stars drop Anaheim in 6 games was very gratifying. I enjoyed watching the change in momentum in Game 6 when Stephane Robidas scored early in the 3rd period to tie the game. I also enjoyed watching him set up the game-winning goal a few minutes later. The best part of watching the end of the game was seeing Mike Modano leisurely skating with the puck towards an empty net to cap off their 4-1 victory.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 weeks, the other teams that have advanced to round 2 of the playoffs are: Pittsburgh Penguins, NY Rangers, and Colorado Avalanche. The Boston-Montreal series will be decided in game 7 tonight, and Philadelphia Flyers also have a chance to put away the Washington Capitals tonight with a win in game 6.