Monday, March 15, 2010


Vancouver 3 vs. Calgary 1
And it wasn't even that close. In a game that the Flames needed to win to prove that they are a legitimate playoff team, they fell flat.

The first period looked as if they were still waking up from their pre-game nap, as the Canucks charged hard to the net, and put in three behind a heroic Kiprusoff. They came out harder in the second, challenging the Vancouver rush and stomping out before it could gain enough speed, but they couldn't mount any kind of sustained attack. In the third, at least halfway through the third, they just played pissed off, and that was the best they played the whole game.

The Canucks had just returned from their road trip from hell, and played their first home game since in a 5-1 beating of the Senators the night before. That reason alone should have given the Flames enough of an edge to tackle the Nucks. It wasn't. Vancouver came out the fresher squad, coming right at the Calgary defense with speed, and confusing them to the point of looking really stupid.

The Flames sit a point back from the Red Wings in the eighth and final seed. They'll face them tonight at the Saddledome, and I'm sure they'll be coming out harder than they did last night.

Just a couple notes and thoughts from the game last night...
  • Mark Giordano does it all. He hits, he makes a good first pass out of the zone, he sticks up for teammates, he makes that timely rush, but most importantly he can sense the game. He can sense when the game needs a big hit, or when the defense is sitting back he can skate in and take it to the net. He's pretty humble about his game right now, I wonder if he will still be after he gets a new contract in 2011.
  • Speaking of Giordano, when Kesler came in on him one-on-one, he knew the only way to try and beat Gio was to attack him with speed and give him less time to think, and still it didn't work.
  • How many times do you think Sutter used the word "amateur" when talking about the Flames and "pussies" when referring to the Canucks after that 1st period?
  • There's been plently of opinions on this one... After the Canucks had scored their third goal, there was still a flurry of chances on Kiprusoff and he bailed their ass out without any help from the defense. There was a point where it looked like he basically said 'Fuck this' after he finally got a whistle. He was definetely pissed, but I think he told Brent at the intermission, 'Fuck it. I'm done, these guys aren't giving me any fucking help out there' and took himself out. Others have seen it as Brent saying the same thing to the rest of the team, and pulling Miikka out of mercy. I think if that was the case he would have done it sooner. Maybe he didn't, so it didn't look like he was pulling him because it was Kipper's fault.
  • John Shannon from the Rogers SportsNet Calgary broadcast made a good point about how Sutter wouldn't have been able to do that two weeks ago. McElhinney would have no doubt made that look a lot worse than it already was. By the way, everything else Shannon said was bullshit, ranting again about how Iginla was tired from doing all those commercials for the Olympics.
  • I've always wondered about Luongo's durability since he seems to flinch or flop anytime anyone comes near him. I wonder if Vancouver will regret that 12-year deal if he starts coming up DiPietro as his age starts to climb.
  • Mason Raymond had a breakaway in the second going down on Toskala, I think the only reason he stopped that shot was because he didn't react fast enough. As stupid as that sounds.
  • Do they not show replays of offsides calls because it would show that linesmen get it wrong half the time? I've ranted about this before, but I liken it to a replay being shown for a close call at a base in baseball. Sorry for the baseball reference, but I think it needs to be shown.
  • Ian White had a golden opportunity to rush the net after the Flames won a faceoff outside the offensive zone, and elected to make a bad pass instead. He seemed like he was holding back that whole game, and thinking in a defense first mentality when the Flames desperately needed offense. Is that Brent's doing?
  • I love how White took #3 and its like Phaneuf was never there. And I also love Gio and White being paired together on the power play, and I don't care how many times I say it.
  • Not until the Flames started playing pissed off did they get back into the game, as I mentioned before. Perfect example: Iginla rams Raymond into the boards in the defensive zone on a Calgary powerplay, he grabs the puck and heads back the other way, I forget if he shot it or what, but he lost the puck comes around the net and smashes Kesler. Then he takes this long look back at the referee with a look like 'I don't give a shit if you call that or not, but you better not fucking call that.'
I'm really pulling for the Flambes to get in but this shows a not so good outlook, I'm not ready to write them off yet, but they'll once again, NEED to win tonight against the team they're challenging for the last spot, and keep that up for the following 13 games to get in.

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