Avalanche Work Harder – Calgary Chickens Without Godard

But hey, Bettman would prefer strong US markets than clean hockey. Colorado continues to show why they are quickly becoming the dirtiest team NHL. Vannannen wasn’t even fined for his brutal hit on Moss, nor have any Flames punched his face in. Hey, take out the fighting so goons don’t roam the league, that’s perfectly fine with me, but stop disgracing yourself (NHL) by leaving players unpunished for intent to injure plays.

It appears the Calgary Flames are emotionaless without tough guy Eric Godard in the lineup. Hopefully he gets in for Phoenix (Laraque v Godard?!) because this team is dead on the road without him. Plus their defensive zone coverage is garbage, more on that later.

Of course Colorado didn’t stop there with their dirty play. Ritchie was charged and hit behind on the same hit. Yet another example of how Colorado continually hits from behind. Would that be the end? Not a chance. Lombardi, just before his tripping penalty was drilled from behind with a two handed cross-check.

Colorado had a great forecheck going and Calgary’s defence was exceptionally poor. You would expect rookies to continually make poor decisions and display horrendous defensive zone coverage. Unfortunately, Conroy is the oldest Flame and has screwed up once in each of the last 5 games costing the Flames at least 5 goals in very bad defensive play.

Amonte scored on a nice feed from Primeau and Phanuef scored on the PP. Of course, what good is that if Calgary conitued their horrid defensive play.

Hejduk would score a nice goal after the Calgary D thought it would be better stick check him than take the man. Hejduk scored off a weak backhand that Miikka should have clearly had. Kiprusoff needs to rebound with better games. His play as of late is poor and indicates he is very tired in net. Will the coaches give him more rest? doubt it. That ends the first period.

The second period would start with another blown call by the officials. Tanguay streaks in on a partial break and a defenceman dives and grabs his foot. Call? Not a chance, and no goal. Unreal. But, Huselius was playing exceptionally well in the second period getting many chances.

He would eventually score, but not off his own dangle, he had the whole open net, but from Iginla’s hard board work that lead to a nice pass to wide open Huselius. 3-3 game now, would the Flames regain composure? It was still shaky but things were slowly getting better, however, remember, the Flames were on the road.

The rest of the period was pretty equal in terms of forecheck. There was an alarming amoutn of running the goalie against Calgary, but the refs let the contact go even when Kipper was all the way to the face off dot from a hit, (well half way at least.)

The third period started with yet another blown/phantom call by the officials. Iginla went off for a ‘hold’. On the ensuing powerplay Yelle stole the puck and was about to go on a break but Sakic ran interference and tripped Yelle. Penalty? Not 5 seconds later the Avs would score on a breakaway. Yet another game being blown away by the referees, so sad to see the game being reduced to this garbage.

But hey, you can’t keep blaming bad officials, you have to keep yourself out of the box and play better defensive hockey. The Flames did neither. There was plenty of PP opportunities in the third with a 5v3 for a time being to get back on the board. Calgary just couldn’t click though, unable to score on the 2 man advantage. Even on the PP Colorado continually outmanned Calgary on the puck downlow. There were some opportunities but Calgary was unable to capitalize, hey, it was just that kind of game.

These days Calgary is proving that their preparation is not where it should be. This team is not ready for a playoff push or a pre-playoff push. 60 minutes games have been few and far between, and in the NW division, Calgary Flames hockey needs to improve their hockey tenfold.