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It's NIEMI time!!

What else can I say. Niemi put on a show during the game. Stopping Tanguay on a breakway not once, but twice - along with many other stellar saves. Don't take anything away from Kipper, as he played extremely well too. It was a battle of the goaltenders.

The first two periods of the game were rather equal and quite boring. The third period, is where things started to get interesting. Tanguay had two great opportunities early on, but Niemi was there to shut the door. San Jose, had three or four good chances that almost led to a couple of goals. Kipper was there to back up our lackluster defense.

That segway's into my next issue.

The biggest issue I had with the game against the Sharks, was Calgary's defense. Mainly Jay Bouwmeester. It may not have looked like it on the score sheet (0-0 until late in the game) but he played a very slow, and a non-challant type of game. The 1st San Jose goal, was an awful collapse by the Flames' defense that could of been prevented.

To make things worse, Calgary was putting on some very good pressure at the end of the game - with several chances. The Sharks dumped the puck, and as Calgary touched it, a penalty was called for an illegal change. Sutter and the players can't make big mistakes like that and expect to win.

Overall the entire game was a bit off. Poor officiating and awful commentary. I'm not one to complain about officiating, however it resembled a Montreal Canadians' game-type officiating.

Things to take from the game:

- Kipper played great again and gave Calgary a chance to win.

- Tanguay had a good first game back. With 2 breakaway chances and numerous scoring chances he was the best Flame skater.

- Stempniak looked dangerous again. This is a good sign for Calgary, as he can be dangerous when he's hot.

- Butler was played way too many minutes. Halfway through the third, he hit the 20 minute mark. For a #4-5 defensemen, that's too much.

- Morrison played a total of 8:39 in the game. This is not good news, as Calgary could use Morrison. Was told his injury was aggravated and will not participate in the next team workout.

- Iginla has been playing very good of late. I'm very impressed by his overall play. He's playing like a power forward, and is using his size + strength to beat opponents.

- Awful change at the end leads to a Flames penalty with 20 seconds left. That can NOT happen at that stage of the game.

- TJ Brodie with another solid game. I'm liking what I'm seeing from this youngster, and would accept Butler moving, and Brodie replacing him.

Rumour Mill

New section, just throwing out some rumours I've heard for you all to discuss. Not saying they're true, not saying they're false.

1 - Butler + a prospect are being shopped for a good top 6 forward
2 - Sarich still being shopped. Feaster is reportedly going to throw in a 4th in order to get a higher pick (3rd) for Sarich.
3 - Backlund is apparently being shopped as trade bait for a top 6 forward
4 - Irving or Karlsson are being shopped. Flames have two backup goalies, and need to deal with that situation..

Well those are your rumours and post-game notes. Sorry for the unorganized article. Just felt I needed to get something up ! Enjoy the rest of your week.

Twitter - @RyanHB
Filed Under:   Flames   Calgary   Sharks   Iginla  
January 25, 2012 12:05 AM ET | Delete
job playing slow and non chalant? say it ain't so.I hop sits job that goes not brodie. Brodie and gio are our new D corps future
January 25, 2012 8:05 AM ET | Delete
I know, hard to believe isnt it ? haha.
January 25, 2012 10:46 AM ET | Delete
Butler always plays too much. The kid's just not good enough... I think he'd be much better served at about 18 minutes a night.
January 25, 2012 12:19 PM ET | Delete
Butler shouldnt be top 4 anyway. Shouldnt be paired with JBO either, neither hits anything.
January 27, 2012 10:36 AM ET | Delete
I was thinking butler would be great trade bait also... he is cheap, young for a D-man, potential top 4 D for the future. Top 4 D are not easy to come by. I would like to see butler packaged in a deal where we can trade up.
January 27, 2012 10:38 AM ET | Delete
With Smith and Brodie's emergence it works. Hopefully the Backlund rumor isnt true... he is just too young and a natural center... Not everyone develops right away... Datsyuk and Zet didn't make it right away... they were developed over time
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