Three Star Flames players authored very influential performances Tuesday night in the Bell Centre: Mikka Kiprusoff, Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf.
For the fourth straight game the Flames received great, if not amazing, goaltending and subsequently extended their winning streak to four games. Kiprusoff was simply brilliant between the pipes on Tuesday night stopping everything he saw including a Scott Gomez breakaway and a couple of odd man rushes. He is seeing the puck very well and is clearly breathing confidence into the rest of the team. Kipper has stopped 87 of the last 89 shots fired at him, and the main reason for the Flames current situation; 3 points back of the division lead with 2 games in hand.
“The First star of the week in the NHL is awarded to Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.” While on this current winning streak Jarome Iginla has been nothing short of Calgary’s best player not named Kiprusoff. Scoring five goals in the past four games, three of which have been game winners, Iggy has earned those First Star honours. Letting everyone quickly forget about the dreadful month of October, Iginla has made November his time to shine scoring in every game.
How does the old saying go, “A blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.” Well, Dion Phaneuf had a pretty solid game, as he punished numerous members of the Canadiens with his bone crunching hits. Laying out Pacioretty as he was trying to come out of his own zone and levelling Plekanec into the end boards were his highlights as Phaneuf was a man to be reckoned with on this night. The Canadiens tried to get him off his game, sending their goon, Michael Cammalleri, out onto the ice to rough up Dion; only to realize that Cammy is a foot shorter than Dion. The often ridiculed defensemen showed how he is capable of influencing a game not with his stick, but with his smart body checking. Good job Mr. Cuthbert, try and have more games like last night.
One glaring sore spot last night was the play of Cory Sarich, as he was made a fool on numerous occasions. Responsible for the Gomez breakaway, Sarich is showing that his foot injury might be affecting him more than he is letting on. Also Sarich missed the plane ride to Buffalo as he is still looking for his jock strap in the 4th row of the 3rd deck when Cammalleri undressed him late in the game. Sarich has never been the quickest defenseman in the world. Is it time to ship him off and let Aaron Johnson or Staffan Kronwall play a more prominent role on this team? There has been a trade rumour swirling around that would send Sarich to Carolina for Ray Whitney. Sarich’s play from last night might turn that so-called rumour into a reality.
The Flames have won four in a row and head into Buffalo to face a Sabre team that started very hot but has faltered of late losing 3 of its last 4 games. Receiving great goaltending and amazing play from Iginla, the Flames are quickly becoming the team to beat in the Northwest division.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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