The Flames lost to the Minnesota Wild Friday night by a score of 2-1. They lost in overtime. The Flames scored the first goal of the game. All this being said, the Flames were severely outplayed by Minnesota and were out shot 46-23. They failed to register a shot until the 14th minute of play and only mustered 3 shots on net in the first period; the Wild fired 19 Kiprusoff’s way. Without the heroics of Miikka in the Calgary net, this game could have gotten out of hand. Kipper single-handedly won a point for the Calgary Flames, as no one else on the Flames was deserving of any sort of recognition.
Dion Phaneuf, amid the all the “booing” hoopla that was bestowed upon him this past week, had a horrible outing and was at fault on the final goal. He made a great rush up ice, but then ran out of room, lost the puck and failed to cover his defence position causing a 3 on 1 for the Wild. Too many times Phaneuf has made ill timed rushes into traffic and too many times, he has wound up losing the puck. He has been playing a lot better of late but Friday nights contest was a step back for him and step back for this team. Phaneuf’s blunder resulted in the Martin Havlats game winning goal. The Wild’s persistence paid off as there 46th shot finally sealed a victory for them. Calgary did not deserve to win this game. They did not really deserve to even be in this game, but thanks to #34 they managed to escape with a point. The Flames reverted back to their early season play after making so many steps towards to perfecting Sutter’s system.
One step forward, two steps back.
The Flames allowed their opponent to fire over 40 shots on net for the 5th time this season. In each of those games the Flames failed to register over 23 shots themselves. However, Friday night’s overtime loss was the first time the Flames did not win when allowing 40 shots.
The Flames continued their ineptitude on the powerplay extending their futility streak to 19 straight without a goal. On the other side of special teams, the Flames kept the Wild powerplay quiet, even silencing them on a 5 on 3 man advantage. Kipper made an unbelievable shoulder save to help keep the Wild at bay, and give the Flames some needed momentum.
The Flames have now lost 3 straight division contests, this being the first division match-up since losing to Colorado back on November 17th. The Flames get a chance to avenge that loss to Colorado on Sunday night when they travel to Denver to start a mini two game road swing that will take them in St Louis on Tuesday.
The Flames scoring woes continue as they have only scored 8 goals in the last five games and been held to only 1 goal in 3 of those games. Something has to change, someone has to step up. Unfortunately, Kiprusoff can not score goals. Someone else has to stand up and be a leader on this team.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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