The Calgary Flames marched into Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche in what was easily classified as a must win game for the Flames. In the previous four games between these two the Avalanche had won all four games by a score of 3-2. The Flames probably deserved to win three of those but Craig Anderson was stellar as he has been most of this season, so the task was daunting.
Rene Bourque continued to be an Avalanche killer last night scoring twice. One time short handed to open the scoring and the eventual game winning goal on the power play in the 2nd. Eric Nystrom scored in the first period as well, and that was all the scoring that Vesa Toskala needed. Vesa played well all night in what was a bit of a surprise start (any game with Miikka not starting is a surprise to Flames fans) turning away 32 of 34 Colorado shots and out played Anderson.
the Avs of course showed no signs of quitting and got the score to 3-1 in the second period before Milan Hejduk scored with 33 seconds left to make things interesting at 3-2. But fortunately for the Calgary Flames that was the final, and they picked up a huge two points to move within one of the Wings in the standings.
The good from last night was Rene Bourque continued to light up the Avs, and the Vesa Toskala trade has paid off for the Flames. Vesa has shown he is a very capable back up in the NHL, however I would not suggest that he is a starter in the league. Also for the Flames the fourth line of Mayers-Glencross-Nystrom chipped in another goal and continues to be the best Flames line 5 on 5.
The bad was 5 on 5 the Flames just could not generate much in the was of great scoring chances. This has got to be a great concern to coach Sutter. My solution to this is a bit of a drastic one, but I would consider taking Iginla off of the top line and playing him with Conroy and Dawes with throwing Hagman with Bourque and Stajan. I just feel Iginla is killing the other two with his lack of moving his feet. Keep them together on the power play if you like but 5 on 5 it isn’t working.
Next up for the Flames is Friday night in Calgary hosting the San Jose Sharks. This is one of those games where if you can play desperate hockey and it the Sharks you can win this game and as we all know the Flames are running out of points that they can give away!
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!