The Calgary Flames have not been nice to us this season. The most memorable game between us ended in an overtime shootout loss for us on December 1st. We blew a three goal lead in the third period that allowed the Flames to tie it up with less than three minutes left in the game. What made this particularly painful is that we had done the exact same thing to Minnesota on November 28th. So suffice it to say, Caitlynn was a little paranoid going in. What we knew about Calgary at the start: Sam Bennett got the first hat trick of his career against the Panthers (three goals in the first period, and then a fourth later in the game), Johnny Gaudreau (aka Johnny Hockey) is dangerous when in possession of the puck, and they only had 45 points going into the game. (The Pacific Division this season has been particularly weak, barring the Kings, of course.)
Overall, we were hoping for a strong showing from our team, and thankfully, they delivered! Here is a break down of some of our (totally professional) observations:
-We won (2-1)!
-We maintained a two goal deficit until the third period, and only allowed one in the third.
-Limited opportunities for the Flames. They only had 3 shots in the first period. (24 total in the game)
-Niemi looked strong, made several impressive saves.
-Penalty kill very much improved.
-Eakin was a surprisingly physical presence on the ice (in one particular instance he delivered an open ice hit followed immediately by a check into the boards on two different players).
-Still some slip ups defensively that allowed Calgary some good scoring opportunities, but fortunately Niemi pulled up strong for us.
-Took some poorly timed penalties (Jokipakka was the most reluctant visitor to the penalty box and it broke our hearts).
-Roussel roughing minor…. Not that it was surprising, but we prefer him out on the ice causing trouble not sitting the box.
-Janmark was the filling in a goalie-defenseman sandwich behind the Flames net. While quite funny looking, it caused Italia some distress.
-Janmark and Roussel preformed a nice tag-team check. While this is just another day in the office for Roussel, it is unusual to see Janmark on the delivery side of a check.
-Stick threaded through Spezza’s skate this time, though he was easily able to shake it off (we find this interesting because it happened two games in a row).
-Eaves was on the top power play unit; the top power play unit also contained two defensemen this time.
Overall, the game was pretty solid. Everyone played well. It’s nice to head into the All-Star break with a win. Especially because February looks like it might be rough. (Winnipeg, Colorado, and Chicago all in the first week. Plus Washington looming in the distances. Maybe they’ll get snowed in before we have to worry about it.)
Our in-depth analysis and the counts that matter:
Klingberg turnovers: 2
Janmark falls on his own accord: 2
Val hits: 1
Niemi out of net: 1
Eaves stretches to keep the puck in offensive zone: 1
Stay tuned for our next in-depth, super serious and totally accurate analysis of the Dallas Star’s games.
-Caitlynn and Italia