It was a successful night for the Calgary Flames last night, and has been a successful pre-season thus far.
I had hoped when going to the Tampa game on Saturday night (to check out my new, and slightly downgraded
seats at the 'dome) that Henrik Karlsson would get the nod so I could see him live and get a good read on his game. But, I never got the chance... fortunately, he started last night and TSN provided the coverage!
Last night, Flames fans were able to get a good look at the man thought to be the new backup goalie of the Calgary Flames.
He didn't disappoint...
However, at least to me - it was going to be very hard to find that performance disappointing because, at the very time the Flames game was ending and Sportcentre was beginning on TSN, the ticker flashed the score in the Anaheim/Los Angeles game and I was surprised to see LA had built a very early 4-0.
You've probably already guessed where I'm going with this...
I instantly grabbed my iPhone, hit up Score Mobile app and pulled up the box score to find none other than our old friend Curtis McElhinney tending the net in SoCal.
WHAT A SURPRISE! *sarcasm*
Now, I really do wish McE the best in Anaheim. The only thing he ever did wrong in Calgary was under-perform... and write his name on the dotted line of an all-to-familiar bad contract (2 years/1 way) offered to him by Darryl Sutter. Of course, the latter is not his fault, he probably had his name scribbled on the bottom of that contract before Sutter could even finish saying the details... (I envision Matt Stajan being the same situation).
McElhinney went on to let in 8 goals last night. I'll always wonder why he can't perform in the NHL. Players and coaches always raved about his performances in practice, and he was, at times, the best goalie in the AHL. Confidence? Maybe, but I'm getting too off topic here...
My story of the night was Henrik Karlsson, with honorable mention to TJ Brodie, Jarome Iginla and Niklas Hagman.
The big Swede looked solid. And, honestly, that's enough for me and I would think it's enough for Brent Sutter too. He didn't make any jaw-dropping Miikka Kiprusoff saves, he just guarded his net well. And, like was pointed out in Vetters blog posted earlier, the rebounds were scarce and contained. Geez, I feel a little ridiculous getting excited about this, but its just such a welcome change and I look forward to watching Karlsson grow into a solid NHL goaltender.
Just a couple other notes from last night...
I thought TJ Brodie's goal was going wide when watching on TV and was surprised to see the red light go on... only to find out, that yes, for those of you who missed the telecast, TJ Brodie's goal was not actually a goal. It was about 3 inches wide and went through the mesh and into the net. Regardless, it was nice to see him jump into the rush and he has a nice shot.
Jarome Iginla has looked great. Dominating control of the puck. But, most importantly, he looks like he WANTS the puck.
Alex Tanguay... don't know how he got credited for an assist on the goal (home scorekeepers maybe?), but he's still a wizard with the puck and looked solid again in the defensive zone. However, too many soft passes that lead to interceptions (grasping at straws here?)
The Power-play... absolutely abysmal. No other way to put it. The announcers kept talking like it was because PHX was going so well on the kill, and they were good, but the Flames looked a LOT like they did last season.
Craig Conroy... slow and behind the play again. I'll be surprised if he makes the team.