It wasn’t pretty but Calgary managed to hold the Detroit Red Wings off long enough to pot two points and get back to .500 on the season. After a 5-1 debacle against Vancouver, the Flames embarked on a road-swing that began tonight.
Detroit, for their part, are having their own troubles this season with a record similar to that of the Flames. There were no less than a dozen NHL scouts in attendance as both teams size up the possibility for changes. For the Flames, Nik Hagman continues to sit in the dog house; Anton Babchuk finally got some game action after sitting a number of games.
Calgary opened the scoring late in the first period as Lee Stempniak snuck one through Howard, a goal he’d like to have back. Nonetheless Calgary took the lead and never looked back. Despite being out shot 22-29 the Flames relied on solid goaltending by Miikka Kiprusoff long enough to capitalize on some Detroit mistakes.
All the lines except the 4th were changed. Most notably Oli Jokinen and Curtis Glencross playing with Jarome Iginla. That line clicked for three goals. Although I wouldn’t say it was a success since they were mostly hemmed in their own net and Jokinen usually plays tough minutes against the top line of the opposing team (which means Iginla would do the same which is a really bad idea given his inability to play defence) they capitalized when needed.
Both Iginla goals came off of one time slappers courtesy of Glencross. Should be interesting to see where the lines take shape in a week’s time when, fingers crossed, Backlund gets back in the lineup and the Flames have greater depth at Center. We can expect Horak, despite his great start, to be the odd man out.
It must be November, let’s hope the Flames pick up the pace or they’ll be done by December. Forwards scoring, defence blocking shots, and solid goaltending. Great combos that need to click night in and night out.
No chance for rest. Buffalo tomorrow evening.