Unfortunately, the amazing run away from home ice had to end sometime. With tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Flames failed to pick up a point on the road for the first time since October 13th, when they fell 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Another streak ended tonight as Miikka Kiprusoff allowed a goal for the first time in 159 minutes and 10 seconds after coming off personal back-to-back shutouts of Detroit and Nashville. Kipper was spectacular in the first half of tonight’s affair stopping all 15 shots fired on him in the first period, including a stunning two pad stack on Daniel Winnik to keep the game scoreless.
The Coyotes finally get to #34. After an extended 5 on 3 powerplay that the Flames managed to kill off, the Flames could not clear the zone and a shot by Petr Prucha slipped between Kipper and the post for the Coyotes first goal. A weak goal to end Kipper’s run of shutout hockey, but much like the Flames unbelievable road point streak, this streak had to end sometime.
The Coyotes, for their part, are not the most offensively talented team and play a very defensive style of play in order to win a majority of their games. For years, under the tutelage of ‘The Great One’, they struggled to find an identity and never really had any breath of success. Now, under the watchful eye of Dave Tippett (Not sure what Dallas was thinking in getting rid of him), they have developed a style of play that enables them to have more success. Nothing too fancy, but strong defensive efforts and they give Ilya Bryzgalov a chance to make saves. This worked for years in places like Minnesota and New Jersey and now it is apparent that Tippett and Assistant Coach Dave King have inserted a ‘trap’ style of hockey in the Desert. A concept that will not attract fans to the stadium, but a style of play that might help a dilapidated franchise reach the playoffs for the first time in eight years. For information sake, there was an announced attendance of 9,868 people tonight. In the words of Dan O’Toole of TSN, “Apparently people came dressed as seats.”(The comment was regarding the Thrasher game, but I thought it fit here as well)
Iginla and Jokinen both had 3 game point streaks snapped, while David Moss extended his point streak to 5 games when he opened the scoring with 1 second left in the 1st period. Rene Bourque returned from missing six games with an injury played 20:53 and registering 4 shots on net. Bourque is one guy you rarely have to worry about when it comes to work ethic, as he always puts forth a strong effort night in and night out.
Taylor Pyatt winning goal should never have happened. He should have been contained as he out muscled two Flames and slid it through Kiprusoff’s pads. Giordano can not allow him to get the shot off and Kiprusoff should make that save. The Coyotes limited the Flames chances and Bryzgalov stopped the Flames when he needed to.
The Flames are still 3-1 on their current 6 game stretch. Next is a clash with the lead leaguing Sharks on Saturday night. Just like when the Flames play the Blackhawks, game against San Jose should give a good indication of how good these Flames actually are. Let’s hope it goes better than that last ‘test’ game the Flames played…7-1 anyone…
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
Read more at: http://calgaryontheflames.blogspot.com/