Well, I believe Mr. Dion Phaneuf must have been reading this blog because he took my advice and gave his body up for the team to save a goal. Good for you “Neon Dion”, you did yourself proud! Not to mention a +2 on the night; a vast improvement from prior games for #3.
In other news the Flames managed to play their most complete game of the season last night, beating the Canucks 5-3. The Flames were up 5-0(Yikes!), and managed to give up a couple late goals to make fans sweat a bit. Luckily Burrows interfered with Kipper, sealing the win for the Flames. A game won by the Flames unsung heroes as the Flames top snipers, Iginla and Jokinen, failed to produce any sort of offence. Brian McGrattan single handily reminded us what it is like to have a good fighter around once again; dropping Hordichuk with one clean punch. Unbelievably, Darcy wanted another go around later on, only to see McGrattan score a goal against his team. McGrattan made a Gordie Howe hat trick look like a walk in the park.
The team played well, they skated hard and forced Vancouver into making mistakes. The Flames team last night looked like the Flames team all fans have been dreaming of; a dominating force.
Kiprusoff was unreal last night when needed to be through the first two periods. He made save after save and even used his Jedi Mind tricks to guess where the puck might be, making an unreal right pad save. Kiprusoff has been the Flames MVP through the first 7 games, and without him they are far from where they are currently sitting. Getting outshot for the 6th game this season (they have only matched the opponents shots once), the Flames are forced to rely on #34.
Iginla was invisible for most of the night, but the scary thing is, the Flames did not need him last night. The days of relying on #12 every night are officially over, but that is not to say that Iggy’s 09’ breakout party is long overdue. He will break out of this funk sooner or later, as players of his calibre do not stay hidden for long.
The question around last nights game is, without D. Sedin and Sami Salo for an extended amount of time, are the Canucks in some serious trouble? If they continue to lose at this pace, will they be so far behind the pack that they will not be able to recover? Looking at last year when they lost Luongo for a number of weeks, they managed to go on a tear at the end of the season and take over the division crown. Arguably Bobby Lu is more important to the team than Sedin or Salo, but put together, and coupled with the injury to Pavol Demitra, do the Canucks slide down the ranks in the Western Conference? I think they might, and that is all the better if the Flames hope to finish ahead of them in the standings.
The Flames are 4-0 against the division; a fantastic start to a very young season. Ever since Darryl arrived here, he made it a priority to beat Edmonton and Vancouver. It seems Darryl and Brent share similar minds when winning the games that matter most.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames