Archive for the ‘Win’ Category

Flames win. Avalanche lose. 2 points back now.

Posted 31 Mar 2010 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes, Playoff Race, Win, home
Coyotes Flames Hockey

The Calgary Flames have moved within 2 points of the Colorado Avalanche thanks to a 2-1 win against Phoenix tonight, while the Avs lost 5-2 to Anaheim. Tonight’s action sets the stage for a huge Friday game between Calgary and Colorado in Denver on Friday.

The Flames started the game slowly with a lackluster first period, but picked up speed in the 2nd period and took a 1-0 lead when Ian White’s shot bounced off Rene Bourque’s foot into the net. They played their best hockey during the last 5 minutes of the 2nd period, but couldn’t beat Coyotes’ goalie Jason LaBarbera.

The Flames added one more goal from Ales Kotalik early in the 3rd, and it turned out to be the game winner. Phoenix scored ten minutes later to make it close, but the Flames stayed ahead thanks to some awesome goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff.

Kipper was definitely the best player on the Flames tonight. He bailed them out several times, and stopped 29 of 30 shots including 13 in the 3rd period. Two other players that stood out from the crowd were 21 year old Mikael Backlund and the ever-steady Rene Bourque. Backlund notched his 3rd point in the last 2 games with the assist on Kotalik’s game-winning goal.  He was also one of the few Flames players that consistently played like he wanted the puck every time he was on the ice. In addition to scoring the opening goal, Bourque had a couple other good chances and played a responsible game. He was solid in the neutral zone, and always seemed capable of skating the puck out of his own end when the Flames needed to get it out.  The Flames could have used a bit more of that late in the game. That, or another goal…

Though Colorado has been losing more games than they have been winning lately, it didn’t appear as though the Flames were getting any help until tonight. The combination of a Calgary win and a Colorado loss now sets the teams only 2 points apart in the race for 8th place in the West. Colorado still has one game at hand over the Flames, so to say that Friday’s 2 points are important it a gross understatement. We all know that the Flames need to win every one of their final 5 games to have a hope of making the playoffs. The dream is not dead yet, and if the Flames win a few more games, the fans here may just start believing again.

Flames Keep The Dream Alive in Washington

Posted 28 Mar 2010 — by admin
Category Bourque, Calgary Flames, Hagman, Ovechkin, Road, Stajan, Washington Capitals, White, Win
Flames Capitals Hockey

After a dismal game in Boston yesterday, the Calgary Flames proved their doubters wrong by showing that they still do have something left in the tank by beating the league-leading Washington Capitals 5-3 this afternoon.

Finally showing the ‘desperation’ that a team in their situation should, the Flames scored 3 goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, and added 1 more before the first period was finished. The 4-goal cushion was enough for the flames as they held off the potently offensive Capitals on their way to another much-needed win. Rene Bourque was definitely the player of the game, scoring the 5th goal to re-establish a 3-goal lead and adding 2 assists in the game. Always one to show up for a game, Alex Ovechkin scored the Capital’s first goal early in the 2nd period and added an assist for his 100th point of the season.

As the regular season winds down, the Flames and Capitals are in such different positions that it’s not surprising the future President’s Trophy winners didn’t show up for the first 2 periods of this game. The Capitals clinched a playoff spot a couple weeks ago, and are pretty much guaranteed to finish with the best record in the NHL – barring any major screw ups. By contrast, the Flames have been hanging onto a thin, splintered rope with one hand for the last 3 weeks. They should have been climbing that rope, but they seemed content to hang out hoping that someone would pull them up.

Today’s win (and Colorado’s loss) now leaves the Flames 4 points back of the Avalanche for 8th spot in the West with 6 games left. The Avalanche have one game at hand over the Flames, so it’s an understatement to say that they must win their final 6 games if they have a hope of squeaking into the playoffs.

The Flames now return home for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.

Flames shutout Senators

Posted 12 Mar 2010 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Higgins, Mayers, Ottawa Senators, Shutout, Win, home
HKN Senators Flames 20100311

Miikka Kiprusoff put on a stellar performance tonight stopping 33 shots as the Calgary Flames shutout the Ottawa Senators 2-0 to win their 4th consecutive game. It is Kipper’s 34th shutout of his career. Coincidence? I think not…

The Flames started out slowly, seeming to give the Senators too many chances, but by the end of the first period it was 1-0 Calgary and the shots were only 4-4. In the 2nd, the Flames seemed to be skating with elastic bands keeping their feet from moving too far apart, but they still managed to stop the Senators from getting shots on net. When the Sens did get a shot on net Kipper was there to close the door with a Finnish smile and his flashy white pads.

I’m not sure what the final shot-block count was but the Flames must have blocked 25-30 shots tonight. Eric Nystrom took a “walk it off” walk down the tunnel tonight, as did Cory Sarich. According to the always knowledgeable Alex Ruiz, Giordano blocked 6 shots, Sarich blocked 5 and JayBo blocked 4. After exploding for 14 goals in their previous 3 games, the Flames needed shot blocking like that tonight to come out on the right end of a 2-0 shutout.

Calgary’s win tonight keeps them in 8th place in the tight Western Conference race for the playoffs. They are one point ahead of Detroit and tied with Nashville. I’m sure the Flames have their sights on their next game in Vancouver, but us Flames fans are looking at 6th, 5th and *maybe* even 4th place in the West, which are all looking a lot more feasable now that we’re only 6 points back with 14 games remaining. The season is far from over at this point, and win streaks will determine who finishes where.

Needless to say, the Flames are far from done – both in the “out of the playoffs” sense and the “our work here is done” sense. Let’s see how far this new infusion of energy from the new players can take them.

A good road win

Posted 06 Feb 2010 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Giordano, Kotalik, Road, Win
90957744JA005_CALGARY_PANTHERS

Note: This was supposed to be published last night, but my computer and internet voted 2-1 against me on that plan.

Three of the newest Flames had points tonight as Calgary rolled through Florida and won the first game of their 3-game road trip. Ales Kotalik scored his first Flames goal on the powerplay with an assist going to Niklas Hagman. After the Panthers tied the game with a bouncing goal, Ian White set up Mark Giordano for the game-winning goal on the powerplay. The Flames played a tight game and held the Panthers to only 13 shots on net as they won their 2nd consecutive game with relative ease. The 13 shots against is a season-low for Calgary.

The new Flames (soon we’ll be able to call them just the “Flames”) seem to be gelling after a couple days together. They are finding line combinations that work and certain players are finding chemistry together. Matt Stajan has a lot of creativity and has been playing very well with Jarome Iginla and Niklas Hagman. Even Kotalik seems to be playing with some enthusiasm since coming to the Flames.

All the pessimists have cooled down over the past 2 games, and the general feeling of optimism is coming back to Flames fans. I suppose it’s natural now that the team has won a couple consecutive games afer losing so many in a row.

I wouldn’t say that Flames head coach, Brent Sutter, was happy with the game, but he did admit that it was “a good road win” since his team only allowed 13 shots on Miikka Kiprusoff. Let’s see if the Flames can get another good road win in Tampa tomorrow night to keep this streak going.

Cautiously optimistic: Flames win 4-1

Posted 03 Feb 2010 — by admin
Category Carolina Hurricanes, Glencross, Hat Trick, Stajan, Win, home
Hurricanes Flames Hockey

A day after Curtis Glencross remarked that the fans were too quiet during Monday night’s game at the ‘Dome, he gave them something to cheer about by notching his first career hat trick to lead the Flames to a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flames, complete with their full roster of newcomers including Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, put together a solid effort and got the important 2 points. Matt Stajan recorded his first goal as a Flame, scoring the eventual game winner at 16:43 of the 2nd period.

Glencross took a lot of heat for his comments on Twitter, blogs, etc., but there were also many fans who stood behind him and supported what he said. I was at the Philly game on Monday and was not really impressed with how quiet the crowd was. Sure, our team played like crap (and we all paid money to be there; it’s their job; yada yada yada), but you’re crazy if you think that 18,000 rowdy people couldn’t have turned that game around. We’re used to cheering when the Flames have a lead, but when they’re behind, or when the team is fragile and/or doubting itself, the fans need to step up and cheer – even if there’s nothing to cheer about. A noisy crowd can give its team energy, and it doesn’t necessarily need to come when our team scores first. I could really go on and on about this, but I’ll save it for another post on another day…

The 5 games before the Olympic Break will be key to the Flames success at the end of the season. Of course, we’ll all point to this 9-game losing streak as the source of the Flames poor standing when the season comes to an end, but maybe we’ll be able to look at these Phaneuf and Jokinen trades and say that it turned things around. The Flames are officially shaken up, but they seemed to have a bit of mojo going for them tonight. I hope this continues for at least the next 5 games.

The Flames now face the task of climbing back up the Western Conference standings to give themselves not only a chance to make the playoffs, but also a chance to not play San Jose or Chicago in the first round. The roster is settled for at least one more day, and now the team can look towards their 3-game road trip to Florida, Tampa Bay and Ottawa. I’m sure I’m not the only fan who is cautiously optimistic about this new Flames team after beating the 3rd worst team in the NHL. But I’m also realistic and know that they’ve got a long way to go. Oh, how I wish it was November all over again.

Flames win in Vancouver while overcoming a laser

Posted 10 Jan 2010 — by admin
Category Bourque, Calgary Flames, Lundmark, Road, Vancouver Canucks, Win, shootout

Despite the fact that some idiot in Vancouver thought it would be a good idea to shine a laser in Miikka Kiprusoff’s eyes all night, the Flames won 3-2 in the shootout, regaining their lead atop the Northwest Division and proving that they are the tougher team, mentally and physically.
Flames Canucks Hockey
Anyone who watched tonight would agree that this was one of the best games so far this NHL season. The Flames and Canucks both came out hitting, and played a very physical game to decide who would end up in 1st place in the NW division. The Canucks ended up with the short straw, after their captain gave up 3 goals in the shootout following an exciting game at GM Place. This was the first time in a long time where the Flames scored on all of their shootout opportunities, and they needed all 3 goal to secure the win.

This is a rivalry that is slowly proceeding towards “primary rival status” for the Flames. Calgary is one of the few teams in the NHL that has 2 legitimate rivals, and since the Edmonton Oilers have tanked this season, the Canucks have emerged as the primary rival for the Flames. It is well known that the Flames and Oilers had a great rivalry throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but since then the Canucks have emerged as the stronger team, they seem to be making a case to earn the distinction as the Flames’ primary rival.

Each time that the Flames or Canucks have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals (or won the cup, in the Flames case), they have played each other in the playoffs. Whether they like it or not, the Canucks and the Flames seem to be linked somehow. Their link extends to the playoffs, but it also seems to be evident in the regular season.
Flames Canucks Hockey
Tonight, the Flames and Canucks engaged in an epic battle that included 2 fights between Brandon Prust and Rick Rypien. It was evident from the beginning that the better goaltender would win, and tonight that goaltender was Miikka Kiprusoff. Kipper stopped 19 of 21 shots in regulation and one shot in the shootout. Canucks Captain , Roberto Luongo allow 2 goals in the first 3 periods and let in all 3 shots in shootout. Jamie Lundmark scored the winner for the Flames in the shootout as well as his 2nd period goal that tied the game at 2-2.

Rene Bourque opened the scoring for the Flames 9:36 into the 1st period on a nice drive to the net. He shot the puck over Luongo’s glove hand to take the 1-0 Lead. The Canucks answered with goals from Mikael Samuelsson in the first, and Daniel Sedin in the 2nd to take a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period.

The game went back and forth in the 3rd before Prust and Rypien’s second fight of the night. Seconds after the major penalties were assesed to the 2 fighters, Lundmark slipped a sneaky shot past Luongo to tie the game at 2-2.

Both teams pressed for the winning goal but Kipper and Luongo wouldn’t let anything into the net before the Shootout. Nigel Dawes and Kyle Wellwood both scored in the first round of the shootout. Olli Jokinen scored in the 2nd round before Ryan Kesler was stopped by Kiprusoff. Mayson Raymond scored in the 3nd round of the shootout but it was all for naught as Lundmark beat Luongo to win the game for the Flames.

Calgary has played 5 games in the past 7 days, winning 3 of those games. They continue at home next week against Colorado, Pittsburgh and Nashville.

December Hasn’t Been Friendly to the Flames

Posted 28 Dec 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Commentary, Road, Win

I’ve taken a bit of flack from my friends for not updating my blog for 3 weeks, but really, if I could have chosen a better 3 weeks to take a mini-break from the Flames (because I was sooo busy!) this would have been it. Since my last post 3 weeks ago, the Flames have gone 3-4-2 and dropped from first in the NW (2nd in the West) to 6th in the West and only 1 point ahead of Vancouver in the race for 2nd in the NW (is this really a race?!!).

The Calgary Flames have had a dismal December, going 4-6-2 after dominating their opponents during the month of November. They weren’t able to score when they needed to and they gave points away to teams that they should have beaten. Sure, they beat the league-leading, San Jose Sharks 2-1 on December 5th, but that was the last good game they played. It’s no secret that the Flames have December issues, and they need to either get over them, or get onto January.

The Flames have 2 more games before we put up the 2010 calender, and they really need 2 wins. They play the LA Kings on Wednesday and follow it up with the annual New Year’s Eve Battle of Alberta vs. the Oilers on Dec 31. Both games are at home, which would normally be good news to Flames fans, however, the Saddledome has been a curse for the Flames this year. The Flames need to find a way to win at home after going 9-7-2 at the ‘Dome so far this season (their road record is 12-5-3).
Flames Oilers Hockey
Tonight was a good start for the Flames, but the majority of us fans don’t seem convinced that it’s anything to get riled up about. Calgary played a decent game and beat Edmonton 4-1, buoyed by Rene Bourque’s 3 goals. They seemed to get back to “Sutter basics” in the win, playing like we expect them to and frustrating the Oilers for the majority of the game. They handed the Oilers their 7th loss in a row (yes, I’m smiling as I write these words) and moved back into the win column for the first time since December 17. But we’re still skeptical. December isn’t over and we’ve still got 2 games left.

Miikka Kiprusoff rebounded from the 4-goal, first period debaucle against the Canucks last night with a solid performance in net for the Flames. He stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win, including at 5 ‘great’ saves. Kipper has been one of the few Flames players to have any consistency throughout December. The rest of the team has gone cold, and there has been little to get them back into the groove.

The Calgary Flames are now at a point where they need to make a move. Their consistency issues are still a problem and they need to find a solution soon. If Iggy et al aren’t going to score on a consistent basis, the secondary scorers need to recognize when it’s time to step up and start putting pucks in the net. It seems that Kipper is set for another Vezina run this season, but the rest of the team needs to do their part now. This kind of December play won’t be tolerated very long in Calgary.

Flames Set 2 Records in Nashville

Posted 30 Nov 2009 — by admin
Category Nashville Predators, Road, Shutout, Win, record

The Calgary Flames set two team records tonight when they stomped on the Predators 5-0 in Nashville. The Flames put together a complete team effort to bowl over the previously hot Predators and finish the month of November in historic fashion.Flames Predators Hockey
Miikka Kiprusoff recorded his 2nd shutout in a row as the Flames completed their biggest November in franchise history by taking 22 of 28 points in the month. They also set a team record by getting points in 10 straight road games.

After a scoreless first period, David Moss scored the eventual game winner on a breakaway 1:32 into the 2nd period. About 3 minutes later, Nigel Dawes scored his 4th goal in 4 games on a nice feed from the corner by Jarome Iginla. Adam Pardy scored his first goal since opening night, Curtis Glencross added a short handed empty netter and Jarome Iginla sealed his status as “Captain Fantastic” by scoring his 13th goal (and 20th point) in the month of November.

The story told by the scoreboard sometimes doesn’t jive with what actually happens on the ice. However, tonight was not one of those nights. The Flames dominated the Predators all over the ice, and earned the 2 points. They took away space from the Preds and capitalized on 2 powerplay opporunities. They successfully killed off 3 penalties and were solid in front of Mikka Kiprusoff, helping him get his league-leading 3rd shutout of the season.

The Flames actually received some praise from their head coach, Brent Sutter. “We did a real good job of playing smart hockey,” he said. “Our puck management was very good. We were able to capitalize in the third period and get three goals. I would say it was a very good effort on everyone’s part.”

The Flames remain in 1st spot in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Colorado. They also moved 2 points ahead of Chicago to take over sole possesion of 2nd place in the Western Conference. The Flames next game is on Thursday in Phoenix.

Flames Win in Toronto for First Time Since 2000

Posted 14 Nov 2009 — by admin
Category Iginla, Phaneuf, Regehr, Road, Toronto Maple Leafs, Win

I suppose that Flames fans should be happy that they won tonight, taking their first 2 points away from Toronto since 2000. But after the way they played, I’m not sure we can be so happy. Sure the Flames took 5 of a total 6 points on their 3-game road trip through the eastern conference, but they didn’t finish on a high note.

The Leafs out-hustled the Flames for much of the game, including the entire 2nd period and much of the 3rd period. If it wasn’t for the continued stellar play of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who stopped 38 of 40 shots, the Flames could have easily lost to the 2nd worst team in the league tonight.

I don’t mean to put down the Toronto Maple Leafs – their fans and media have done that enough already – but the Flames should have dominated the Leafs tonight. The final 5-2 score doesn’t do the game justice, and could have easily been the other way. The Flames were lucky to get the win tonight, and should be happy with the 2 points.

The game’s highlights were 2 goals from Jarome Iginla, including the game winner, and a +4 rating for Robyn Regehr who struggled at the beginning of the season with his plus-minus rating. Regehr’s defensive partner, Dion Phaneuf was also +3 tonight, which seems to indicate that the two seem to have found a way to play together.

Eric Nystrom, Dustin Boyd and Jay Bouwmeester also scored for the Flames who are now 12-4-2 on the season. Francois Beauchemin and Matt Stajan scored for the Leafs who fall to 3-10-5.

The Flames return home for games against Colorado (Tuesday) and Chicago (Thursday) next week.

Kipper Shuts Out the Canadiens

Posted 11 Nov 2009 — by admin
Category Iginla, Montreal Canadiens, Phaneuf, Road, Shutout, Win

The Calgary Flames had not won a game in Montreal in 9 years, but that changed tonight when Miikka Kiprusoff shut out the Habs for his first shutout and 10th win of the season. The Flames goaltender has been the team’s best player for the past few games and made some spectacular saves to maintain the 1-0 win tonight.

Jarome Iginla scored the only goal of the game with 5:05 remaining in the first period. It was his 5th goal in 4 games, which gives him 9 on the season. Iginla, nicknamed “Mr. November” by some fans has a history of playing well in the second month of the season. He’s leading the team on and off the ice and

The Canadiens have now lost 3 consecutive games on home ice and their fans are not too happy. They gave it a good effort tonight, so their fans have to recognize that much. It was also a very entertaining game to watch. In fact, tonight’s game was one of the most exciting games I’ve seen between Calgary and Montreal since Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup finals.

Sure that’s setting the bar high, but this game was really that good. There were fights, hits and scoring chances galore. Both teams played with energy and tenacity, and never let up. The best 2 minutes of the game came while Brandon Prust and Maxime Lapierre were in the penalty box. The 2 minutes of 4-on-4 play that followed was unbelieveable! Both teams had 2 good scoring chances, including Scott Gomez who had a breakaway on Miikka Kiprusoff. Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak played awesome and kept his team in the game right to the end.

The notable player for the Flames tonight was Dion Phaneuf. He brought a physical presence to the game that is reminiscent of years past. He laid 2 solid hits on Habs players in the first and second periods and hit everything in green (yes, the Habs were wearing green!) pants.

The Flames look to extend their winning streak to 5 games when they visit Buffalo on Friday.