For the last couple years the Edmonton Oilers had their way physically with the Calgary Flames. Steve MacIntyre would run amok on the ice and bowl over anyone that stood in his way.
Enter Brian McGrattan. Cue one the best fights of the year and McGrattan landing some of biggest bombs you will ever see NOT drop a human being to his knees. A heavyweight tilt that lived up to its billing.
Holyfield vs Tyson minus the ear biting.
Ali vs Foreman minus the jungle.
A great fight in which both combatants landed significant punches and energized the crowd, en route to a Flames team dominating 2nd period performance where they out shot the Oilers 19-9. The Flames peppered Khabibulin with 38 shots over the game and managed to outshoot the opponent for the first time all year. Not to mention the Flames eclipsed the 30 shot barrier for the first time, all the while limiting the Oilers to 25 shots; the Flames stingiest effort of the season. Despite having 7 Powerplays against them, including an extended 5 on 3 at the end of the second/start of the third period, the Flames limited the Oilers to only 2 goals.
The second line of Bourque-Langkow-Dawes provided a majority of the offence, including a beauty 2 on 1 shorthanded marker in the first period. Dawes potted in 2 goals and put forth his strongest game wearing the Flaming C.
Where are all the pundits that said this team would have trouble scoring goals? What is Calgary going to do without Cammalleri? Well, the Flames are averaging over 4 goals a game and are the highest scoring team in the league. Even with “Olli the Invisible” providing next to nothing on the score sheet, the Flames are scoring at will with help from their depth players like Nystrom, Dawes and Langkow. The emergence of Rene Bourque has been a welcoming sight and should be able to continue his ways unless the injury prone winger falls victim to another ailment (knock on wood). His shorthanded tally in the first, in which he shoved Grebeshkov over, took the puck and raced down the ice with Langkow proved to be one of the turning points in the game. He very much reminds us of a younger Iginla with his speed, his shot and his sense for the net. Let us hope he stays healthy.
The Flames are off to their best start in franchise history. 15 points in their first 10 games and they are seemingly hitting their defensive stride if last night is any indication. The highest scoring team in the league with the arguably one of the best fighters in the league provides for one nasty team to play against on a nightly basis.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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