After three straight losses, the Flames came back and beat, what was statistically, the best team in the Western Conference. Coming off of a mini two game road trip where the Flames failed to earn a point, they were determined to gain some sort of momentum heading into an elongated amount of games on home ice. However, they did not manage to exactly blow the Los Angeles Kings out of the Dome.
For the fourth straight game the Flames were outshot by more than 11. In 12 of the 34 contests this year, the Flames have been outshot by double digit figures. A team that had seemingly found its way defensively has strewn off the yellow brick road and found its way back at the beginning of the maze. Consistently, Kiprusoff is forced to bail out the Flames night after night. Quite easily the MVP of the team, and maybe the league, the docile Fin has shut the door on almost every team he has faced. The rest of the Flames, however, have not been mentally present for all of the games. The Flames have failed to score more than 3 goals in any December game. The Flames were number one in scoring at the end of October, yet now sit 12th overall in goals for per game. Where has all the goal scoring gone? Jarome has been a non factor since being named 1st star of the month of November, scoring only 1 goal in his past 12 games. There were rumours swirling in Calgary today that Jamie Lundmark was in town, yet he was not officially called up and was not seen on the ice. He can’t be the solution, can he?
Two Flames defensemen had some of their finest games in recent memory as Dion Phaneuf (yes I said it) and Mark Giordano played quite well. Giordano could possibly be nominated for the best ‘quiet’ player on the Flames for the first couple months. Tonight though, he made his presence felt as it was his mission to keep King Captain Dustin Brown on his keister for a majority of the night. The climax came when Gio laid out Brown right in front of the Kings bench, causing a ‘brew-hah-hah’, which led to a Flames man advantage. Phaneuf chipped in with his 7th goal of the season, a powerplay marker, with 1 second left on the clock in the first period. A timely goal, set up from a nice face-off win by Jokinen and a simple pass over to Dion from Captain Jarome. The goal proved crucial as Kipper was able to shut the door for the second before Nigel Dawes scored the eventual game winner 1:02 into the third period; his tenth goal of the season.
The Flames did not ‘wow’ anyone tonight with their win. Albeit they did beat the top team in the west, but let’s face it, the Kings are playing way over their heads at the moment. The Flames now prepare for a rare afternoon game at the Dome against the Predators. The Flames will have to come with a much stronger defensive effort if they hope to contain the Preds who have scored 20 goals in their last 4 contests; the Flames have scored only 15 goals in all of December.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
Read more at: http://calgaryontheflames.blogspot.com