One thing you get from the this Flames team is consistent effort. Lately, they haven’t been winning many games, but they’ve always been close. The missing piece? Talent. Or rather, a superstar who could be the difference maker. The Flames miss a couple pieces, and unfortunately for them, you can’t really go out and buy those pieces. If they had them, well, things would look a lot better, and the team that scrapes together wins against top NHL clubs, they’d have a few more wins themselves.
Calgary did really well against the visiting Blues. Sure, they were were missing their top goal scorer, but the Flames are missing a handful of top players as well.
What clicked today was the powerplay and a relentless attitude to stay the course and not give up. It paid off with seconds to spare.
The crowd was in a festive spirit and the home team didn’t disappoint. Despite losing Russel and Glencross on their recent roadtrip, the adhoc lineup prevailed. Notable standouts include diminutive Paul Byron who’s taking advantage of injuries and the Baertschi send down. His tenacity and willingness to go to the hard areas is making a name for himself.
Byron setup the Flames’ second goal early in the third period. With the Flames trailing 3-1 you had the sense that this was going to be another game where the hometeam was going to be overwhelmed by a stronger club.
Cue the comeback.
It took all period but late in the third on a PP 6v4 captain Mark Giordano tied the game with 5 seconds to spare. The crowd went wild, maybe it was because the Prime Minister was in attendance. OT didn’t solve anything despite many chances where the Flames controlled the offensive zone. Even a late PP after a gross knee on knee on Matt Stajan didn’t solve anything.
That meant Reto Berra would have to face the shoot-out. Only one player scored, that was Joe Colbourne. Berra stopped all three, and the Flames, well they got to go into the abbreviated Christmas break with a solid come from behind win to the delight of the hometown crowd.
Notes: Edmonton at home on Friday. Blair Jones out with an undisclosed injury suffered in practice. Russell out 4-6 weeks. Glencross out 2 months. Wideman still out a month. Expect Derek Smith to get the call up in place of Chris Breen. Shane O’Brien playing monster minutes in OT no less.