Posts Tagged ‘Calgary Flames’

Was Fleury the answer?

Posted 02 May 2010 — by Greg
Category Calgary Flames

This afternoon, Eric Duhatschek, of The Globe and Mail, wrote an interesting article called Was Fleury the answer? The big question he had for us hockey fans was: would Theo Fleury have made the difference for the Flames this season?

After a season of sub-par play, a complete absence of inspiration, and a season that ended with the Flames missing the playoffs for the first time in 6 years (5 seasons), I’ve pondered the same question myself. In the pre-season, Fleury did show us that he still has some great hands, but I’m not convinced that he would have made a difference on the ice. At the age of 42, I doubt that he would have had the endurance to go the disatance after an 82-game season.

Where I do think Fleury could have made a difference is in the dressing room. It’s no secret that the Flames had a dysfunctional dressing room this season, and his feistiness and veteran presence could have made a difference for the team. Getting rid of Phaneuf and bringing in 6 new players late in the season didn’t help the Flames as much as Darryl Sutter would have liked, and perhaps he wouldn’t have had to if he had put Theo on Dion, and seen who had the greater ability to piss off the other.

So feel free to post a comment on Duhatschek’s article, and/or leave your comment below to let me know what you think.

Flames sign CHL star Bryan Cameron

Posted 01 May 2010 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames have agreed to terms with overage centre Bryan Cameron, of the CHL’s Barrie Colts.

Cameron, 21, led the Canadian Hockey League in goals this season with 53. The five-foot-10, 175-pounder also added 25 assists for 78 points in 62 games. He was originally drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but the two sides never agreed on contract terms.

Cameron has proven his ability to put the puck in the net, something that was missing from the Flames game this season.

Stephane Auger Will Referee Tonight’s Flames Game

Posted 13 Jan 2010 — by admin
Category Burrows, Calgary Flames, Controversy, Vancouver Canucks
Stephane Auger

We’re 30 minutes to puck drop and the story all day today has been about the referee. After facing a controversy for “allegedly” telling Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows that he was going to get him during Vancouver’s game against Nashville on Monday, Stephane Auger is set to don the stripes and orange armband for tonight’s Flames vs Penguins game.

Auger has a long history of controversial calls (thanks to the super-biased jonno for sending me this link on Twitter last night) and has taken flack from many fans in the past. But that didn’t change the league’s perception of Monday’s accusation by Burrow. The NHL officially released this statement on the matter today:

“We have determined that Mr. Burrows’ account of referee Auger’s comments to him before the game and specifically Burrows’ suggestion that these comments indicated bias against the player of the Vancouver team, cannot be substantiated. While referee auger engaged the player in a brief conversation prior to the opening face-off, I firmly believe that nothing inappropriate was said and that referee Auger’s intentions were beyond reproach.” – Colin Campbell, Executive VP of Hockey Operations

I believe that Auger will be under the microscope tonight and will call a perfect game as a result. If you don’t agree (or even if you do) leave a comment and let me know why.

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.

November is Friendly to the Flames

Posted 29 Nov 2009 — by admin
Category Flames, Iginla, Northwest Division, November, Road
NHL Coyotes Flames 20091125

I haven’t written anything since the blowout loss against Chicago last Saturday, but the Flames have been on a tear so it’s time for a little summary. The Flames played 5 games last week, taking 9 of 10 points and heading into Grey Cup Sunday on a seriously high note.

Last Saturday, the Flames put together a near-perfect game as they dominated the LA Kings on the way to a 5-2 win in Los Angeles. They completed their California tour with a disappointing 3-2 shootout loss in Anaheim. The Ducks played a solid game and were backstopped by an incredible performance from J-S Giguerre, who has been fighting for his starting role again. The always reliable Teemu Selanne scored the winning goal in the shootout with an absolute beauty over Miikka Kiprusoff’s shoulder.

Returning home, the Flames beat Phoenix in a sleeper 2-1 game that didn’t get exciting until the end of the 3rd period. I was happy that I only got home in time to watch the 3rd period, as it looked like a good game to me. Speaking to other fans, I realize that it was one of the most boring game they’ve watched all season.

This weekend was very busy for the Flames who played on Friday in Detroit and Saturday in Columbus. Miikka Kiprusoff registered his 2nd shutout of the season while backstopping the Flames to a 3-0 victory in Detroit, then had a night off on Saturday. Kipper’s win gives him a total of 14 on the season, one short of Martin Brodeur for the league lead.

Curtis McElhinney, who rarely sees icetime as the Flames backup goalie, came out strong in the first period in Columbus, slamming the door on the Blue Jackets for the first 20 minutes. After Olli Jokinen gave Calgary an early second period lead, the Flames broke down, allowing Columbus to score 3 goals in the 2nd period. It looked like the Columbus was going to walk off the ice with a 3-1 win, but with about 10 minutes left in the game, the Flames turned on the jets, scored 2 quick goals and sent the game to overtime. They had all the opportunities in overtime, but needed the shootout to win the game. McElhinney stopped enough pucks to give his team the win, which was sealed by Jamie Lundmark’s goal in the 4th round of the shootout.

90956022JG007_CALGARY_FLAME

Flames captain Jarome Iginla is known for having a slow start in October before turning it on in November. This has given him the nickname “Mr. November”, and this season he has been true to it. He’s been called “Captain Fantastic” this year as well, after he scored several key goals, leading his team to eventual victories. Iginla’s consistent play this month has been a key factor in their success. He’s making a great case for inclusion in the “Who Will Captain Team Canada in Vancouver 2010″ list. Team Canada GM, Steve Yzerman, was in LA last saturday when Iggy scored a hat-trick in the win.

The Flames have traditionally ridden the coat-tails of their captain on the way to putting up solid numbers in November. For the past few seasons, the Flames have ended november at, or near the top of the division. This season is no different, and the Flames have battled their way ahead of Colorado to take 1st spot in the NW and 2nd in the West. So far they’ve taken 20 of 26 points in November, and the play their final November game tomorrow night.

The Flames continue a tough roadtrip in Nashville tomorrow, then head West to Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles to round out their season-long 6-game road trip. I suppose it’s not a bad time for them to be on the road, where they’ve gone 9-1-3 so far this season.

20 Years Ago

Posted 25 May 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary Flames, Game 6, Stanly Cup Champion

I still remember it like it was yesterday. It’s amazing what a Stanley Cup Championship can do to a hockey fan.

Exactly 20 years ago today, the Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to clinch a 4-2 series win and become the first (and only) team to win the Stanley Cup on the road in Montreal. I’ve never cheered so hard and so loud and for so long as we did that day.

There’s a great article from SLAM! Sports about it today. For posterity, I’ve pasted the text here:

Hockey fans love to blame the mid-90s’ New Jersey Devils for inventing the trap.

But as the seconds ticked off the clock in Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup final series at the historic Montreal Forum, Calgary Flames centre Doug Gilmour thinks he caught a glimpse of the widely despised defensive system.

“There wasn’t much of a trap system in those days, but I think if you watched that last 30 or 40 seconds, it was pretty much the trap,” Gilmour said.

“Just try to stop them and get it out.”

Nobody in Calgary was complaining.

Not with their beloved Flames, protecting a two-goal lead after Gilmour scored his second of the game into an empty net, on the verge of beating the Montreal Canadiens to capture the Stanley Cup.

Gritty winger Colin Patterson and co-captain Lanny McDonald had also lit the lamp for the Flames.

Now, they just needed to keep the hometown Habs from mounting an improbable comeback.

“It was like, I don’t care if we never touch the puck –we just can’t let them ever get close,” McDonald said. “But when that buzzer went to end it, oh my God, what a great feeling.

“When you’re beat up from a long season but you know you’ve accomplished something that has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice along the way, it’s pretty cool.”

It was 20 years ago today, on May 25, 1989, the Flames celebrated that 4-2 victory over the Canadiens, capping what remains the only championship season in franchise history.

It was the culmination of an exhausting journey — a quest to catch up with the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers, to silence the doubters, to deliver a Stanley Cup to Calgary.

Towering defenceman Al MacInnis claimed the Conn Smythe Trophy after becoming the first blueliner to win the playoff scoring race, earning the nickname Big Mac.

Gilmour, soft-spoken sniper Joe Mullen and super sophomore Joe Nieuwendyk, who suffered a broken wrist in the second period of the deciding game, scored big goals.

Joel Otto won big faceoffs. Mike Vernon made big stops. McDonald and fellow co-captains Tim Hunter and Jim Peplinksi brought big, booming voices to the locker-room.

That night in Montreal, they celebrated the biggest on-ice achievement of their lives.

First-year assistant coach Doug Risebrough won four rings during his playing days with the Canadiens, but he’d never seen anything like this.

“I remember it distinctly, that it was one nobody would ever forget,” Risebrough said. “It was the whole experience — for the fans, the city, the team … It was all firsts. It was a first for everybody.”

The 1989 Stanley Cup final was a rematch of the ‘86 championship and a showdown between the NHL’s top two regular-season squads.

The Flames, fresh off their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy-winning campaign, barely survived a first-round scare from the Vancouver Canucks before breezing past the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canadiens, backstopped by hot-shot netminder Patrick Roy, couldn’t stop them, either.

“The playoffs are a little bit like having a baby. Nine months seems like a long time, but when it’s over, you go ‘Oh boy, that was quick,’ ” Peplinski said. “A series goes by awfully quickly and so does two, and three seems to go by quicker than two, and four seems to go by quicker than three …

“It’s like life, it just goes so fast. You need to really, really enjoy it.”

Enjoy it, they did.

They celebrated with their wives, girlfriends and parents. They celebrated with the owners, scouts and support staff.

As the team boarded a charter back to Calgary, assistant trainer Al Murray snipped the locks on the Stanley Cup carrying case so they could continue to celebrate with the shiny trophy.

The party was on.

“I think (the party) is still going on, in some ways,” Nieuwendyk said. “It went on for the entire summer. We had a lot of good times — no question.”

Playoff Race: What’s The Difference?

Posted 16 Mar 2009 — by admin
Category Flames, Northwest Division, Playoff Race

What’s the difference between 5 wins, anyway?

The way the standings sit right now, for the Flames, the difference between 5 wins means missing the playoffs or winning the Northwest Division title.

If that doesn’t seem right, allow me to explain. The only team that has secured a playoff spot as of today is Detroit. The Red Wings got their 101st point (and 9th consecutive 100+ point season) with their win in Columbus last night. Mathematically, the 9th Place team (Nashville) cannot catch Detroit, even if they won every single one of their last 13 games to finish their season.

The Flames, with 86 points would need 7 more wins to reach the 100 point plateau and secure a playoff berth. A combination of Flames wins or Nashville losses would make that number decrease.

The Vancouver Canucks beat Colorado last night, moving them to within 5 points of the Flames for the lead atop the Northwest Division. To guarantee 1st place in the NW, and secure 3rd place in the West heading into the playoffs, Calgary would need 12 of 13 wins to finish the season. Again, a combination of Flames wins and Canuck losses would achieve the same result.

But it’s interesting to see how things shape up each year. After a 7-game, make-or-break road trip and 13 games remaining in the season, the difference between missing the playoffs and being top in the NW is 5 wins. Ten points.

Since the probability of the 7th-9th place teams winning all of their next 12-13 games is pretty slim, the realistic numbers look a bit different. Realistically the Flames need about 5 more wins to secure a playoff spot, and about 8 wins to finish in 1st in the NW division.

Oh what a difference a road-trip win in Toronto and Atlanta would have made!

Halfway Update

Posted 10 Jan 2009 — by admin
Category Calgary, Flames, Mid-Season Update

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I’ve got a good reason… since this is a hockey blog, I’ll save it for another time, since I’m sure you don’t really want to read about it…

While I’ve been off doing my regular life thing since the end of December, the Flames have been heating up even more, pushing their lead atop the NW division to 5 pts and steadily moving themselves into the top of the NHL standings.

The Calgary Flames have officially reached the halfway point of the 2008-2009 season and are currently in 1st place in the NW division and 6th place in the NHL. They are 5 pts up on the Vancouver Canucks, and also have 2 games in hand on their division rivals. The Flames are also currently in 6th place in the NHL with 54 points in their first 41 games. They trail the following teams: San Jose (65 pts), Boston (64 pts), Detroit (61 pts), Washington (57 pts), and Montreal (54 pts). A montreal loss (or Overtime loss in Washington will move the Flames into 5th in the league as Montreal plays it’s 41st game tonight. Does it change much… not really, but it’s the psychological advantage for Flames fans to know that we are in the top 5 teams in the league heading into the 2nd half of the season. In my recollection, it’s been a while since we were here.

The Flames success has been evident in their past 10 games, where they have gone 8-1-1, losing only to Chicago, while exorcising their demons by defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-2 in the rematch to the November 13th 6-1 game where the Flames gave up 4 goals in the first period.

The Nov 13th game in San Jose was the turning point to the Flames season without a doubt. Since this game, the Flames have played more cohesively as a team, their leaders have scored goals, and they’ve had solid goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff. By adding secondary scoring from a slew of other players, the Flames have been rewarded with 16 wins in their last 23 games. They’ve racked up 34 points in this time and seem to be playing with a confidence that was lacking last season and during the start to this season.

But the Flames need to be cautious about their success. The season is not over and to achieve the ultimate goal, they will need to improve what they are doing and find a way to consistently beat the top teams in the league. The Flames have yet to defeat Detroit this season, and they will face them 2 more times before the end of the year. The Flames also have key games against Montreal, San Jose, and Chicago in addition to their always tough division rivalries with Edmonton, Vancouver, Minnesota and Colorado.

The Flames are well positioned to make a push for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, but as they may (or may not) have learned in each playoff exit since they returned to the post-season in 2004, home ice advantage all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals is what’s most important. Playing at home in the first round is great, but when you’re playing on the road for game 7 of the Conference finals (or Stanley Cup Finals), you are at a disadvantage.

If you doubt me, ask Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr, Miikka Kiprusoff, or Craig Conroy what they thought of playing on the road in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. For a different opinion, ask Stanley Cup Champion, Cory Sarich if he felt that playing at home in game 7 in Tampa helped them raise the cup.

Ducks End Flames Win Streak With 3-2 Victory

Posted 02 Nov 2008 — by admin
Category Bertuzzi, Glencross, Loss, Road

Kipper Saves a Breakaway
Todd Bertuzzi scored a nifty 3rd period goal against his old team, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Flames win streak alive. Bertuzzi’s team leading 7th goal of the season brought the Calgary Flames within one goal of the Anaheim Ducks, but the Flames could not catch up to the Anaheim Ducks who held on for a 3-2 win.

Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf continued his point streak with one goal and one assist, giving him 12 points in his last 5 games. Teemu Selanne added an assist bringing his recent 5-game total to 7 goals and 3 assists. The eventual game winner was netted by Ryan Carter 2:08 into the 2nd period.

Calgary got on the scoreboard at 10:28 of the 2nd period when Curtis Glencross scored his 2nd goal of the season on Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere. The goal gave the Flames a bit of a boost, but Giguere played very well and was tough to beat.

Not to be outdone at the other end of the rink, Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 36 saves in the losing battle. If not for Kipper’s play tonight, the Ducks could have easily had 5 or more goals. He stopped 2 breakaway attempts as well as many good chances by Anaheim’s top line (Getzlaf, Selanne, and Corey Perry).

Dion Phaneuf lead all players with an amazing 34:37 of ice time tonight. Jarome Iginla was 2nd at 25:43 for the Flames who looked tired at times after playing against Los Angeles less than 24 hours earlier.

The Flames get 2 days of rest before hosting the Phoenix Coyotes in Calgary on Tuesday night.

Flames Drop Season Opener to Oilers

Posted 09 May 2006 — by admin
Category Battle of Alberta, Edmonton Oilers, Flames, Iginla, Loss

The Calgary Flames started the 2006-2007 season on the road in Edmonton… and they might as well have stayed in Calgary. The Flames didn’t show up to play and fell 3-1 to the Oilers.

Edmonton came out running-and-gunning, and were rewarded with two 1st period goals from Peter Sykora. Daniel Tjarnqvist also scored in the 3rd period for the Oilers.

Calgary’s only goal came at 14:25 of the 3rd period when Jarome Iginla took a pass from Daymond Langkow and burned Dwayne Roloson’s hope of a shutout.

The back-to-back, Battle of Alberta start to the season shifts back to the Saddledome on Saturday for the Flames Home opener.