Matt Stajan and Cory Sarich scored a pair of third period goals to send the game against the Nashville Predators to a shootout. Rene Bourque scored the only goal on the shootout giving the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win in Music City. With the win over the Preds the Flames remained just two points out of the playoff dance and believe it or not only 5 points away from having home ice advantage in the first round!
After winning their fifth straight the Flames have now gone 11-3-3 in their last 17 games, more importantly they are winning games the Calgary Flames just weren’t winning for the past two years. A prime example was last night, Pekka Rinne stood on his head in the first five minutes of the game where the Flames could have easily been up 3-0 if it wasn’t for his brilliance between the pipes. Couple that up with the Predators scoring a minute later on an odd man rush created by a Cory Sarich turnover you just had the feeling of uh oh I’ve seen this movie before. In the past the Flames would have just folded and lost a game like that, but in the last 20 games or so this team has found belief in itself. And that should concern everyone else in the Western Conference. Everyone accepted that there was talent on the Flames roster but they could never put it together. Guess what? They are putting it together now.
No word yet on the injury that Niklas Hagman suffered last night but I’ll go out on a limb and say the Flames announce it as a lower body injury. My best guess is a hamstring or groin by the looks of him coming off the ice. I wonder does Ales Kotalik get called back up? If it were my call I would give Greg Neimsz the first crack at filling the third line winger role.
Had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine about expansion down the road for the NHL. He is not a hockey fan in particular but is a good sports fan and gave me the name of a city I had never considered before. Milwaukee! Milwaukee has had the Admirals for years and they have always done well. They have a building capable of seating 18,000 fans, and they have a pretty rabid and loyal sporting fan base. The people of Milwaukee seem to support the Bucks, and of course they travel in droves to Green Bay for the Packers. Finally they have the Brewers. That’s a team that is very well supported as well and justified a new gorgeous ball park. Food for thought down the road if three or four franchises move plus an expansion of two more.
Next up for the Flames is a trip to Atlanta to take on the Thrashers.
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!