First off congratulations to one of the real good guys in the NHL. Craig Conroy received his silver stick for playing his 1000th NHL game. And speaking of the king of person Craig is he refused any gift from the Calgary Flames and insisted on a donation to kids hockey and Alzheimer’s research. The Flames players however hooked him up with a shiny new Rolex!
On to the game and Brent Sutter can not be a happy man. On the plus side the offense continues to roll putting in five goals past Peter Budaj. However Flames goaltender Henrik Karlsson was shaky and to me looked very nervous in his first NHL home start giving up six to the Avs. In fairness to Henrik he didn’t have a lot of help in his own end with the Flames giving up way too many quality chances to the Avalanche. However Karlsson has to come up with a big save now and again for his team.
Robyn Regher had a pretty rough night for the Flames. In fact probably his worst game in at least a couple of years as his head did not look like it was in the game and simple defensive plays that he would make 99 times out of 100 he was not making and that led to three Colorado goals. On a positive side for the Flames both Olli Jokinen and Matt Stajan got out of goalless droughts Olli in particular had a strong game for the Flames.
Tim Jackman also scored his first goal as a member of the Flames converting a beautiful slap pass from Cory Sarich. The whole third and fourth lines had solid nights for the Flames, however the biggest problem Calgary is having is the fact that the top line of Stajan-Tanguay-Iginla has been awful defensively. While they all share part of the blame Jarome Iginla has been playing uninspired hockey in his own end. Alex Tanguay plays good zone D on the PK but has trouble with the man to man defense when they are 5 on 5.
The biggest bright spot for the Avs had to be the play of Chris Stewart, who literally picked Colorado up on his back in the first two periods and kept them within striking distance with a hat trick and could have had five in the game with a few bounces. This kid is beginning to remind me of a very young and motivated Jarome Iginla. He probably doesn’t have the foot speed of Jarome but he has a shot and some serious grit to his game.
Up next for the Flames is the lone visit by Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals Saturday night. The Flames will be starting Miikka Kiprusoff, and I suspect they will come out with better focus on the defensive end.
Have a good one!
Follow me on twitter! www.twitter.com/shanehoopfer
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!