Calgary visited the Nashville center (it’s not Gaylord anymore cause they pulled out) to vie for their third road win and sixth win in a row. If they could pull off the upset they would match a season best for road wins, pretty sad when you think about it.
But just like St. Louis, domination 5v5 means nothing if you can’t score. On one rush Conroy hits the post, on the ensuing counter, Nashville draws a penalty. That was the first period. In fact, in a span of thirty seconds Nashville made up for their poor play to go up 2-0.
Luckily Iginla would power his way to his 32nd goal soon after to make the contest 2-1 and the game a bit more manageable for the Flames.
Would this game be dominated by horrible officiating? Well one thing is for sure, hooking is not what it used to be when the season opened. The top teams seem to get away with murder, and sometimes you get blamed for the deed (i.e. Hamrlik’s penalty on Kariya).
Double Standard for American Teams – Officiating Takes a Dive
Not just any Yankee teams, but ones that lead divisions. I’ve seen it with Anaheim and you saw it tonight. Nothing but terrible officiating and calls going one-way all night. It would make a bookie proud to see the kind of fixing that goes on in the NHL. Does it really happen? I doubt it, but man alive, how many times do soft players like Paul Kariya get away with hooks (lead to a goal) and punches (chicken doesn’t like getting hit a la Dion).
I guess what it takes to be a top team is to chicken out of fights, turtle on hits, and take major dives. Hm, no wonder Nashville will have to move
The second period would note a few Flames chances. They managed to continue playing well 5v5 and scored even strength. Jarome capped his 33rd, 2nd of the game, off a nice pass from Huselius. It wouldn’t be enough though. Giordano fell asleep at the wheel and fluffed on a pass, then a soft call on a diving Kariya lead to a 5v3.
The 5v3 would continue for Nashville, the refs were loving killing Calgary, but Calgary loved killing themselves more (well mostly Hamrlik). The Preds would score again and the Preds would feel good. The cockiness of Nashville will certainly catch up with them and we predict a first round exit for them this year and the team moving within three years.
Down 5-2 how would Calgary respond? Slowly, but surely, they continue to dominate 5v5 play. In fact, I can’t think of a team that has beat Calgary 5v5 (other than that bad Detroit game.) Of all people Jeff Friesen scrummed for his third of the season (or is it his forth?)
You could blame the poor reffing, you could blame chicken players like Tootoo (how many steps does it take to get called for charging? I don’t mind if you dish it out man, but take instead of turtling :P). But fact is, there were too many defensive lapses for the Flames. Giordano is not the answer right now, Playfair needs to figure that out. (And what’s with changing the lineups so much? Man…)
Hamrlik needs a rest or something cause tonight wasn’t his night, giving the puck away and taking stupid stupid penalties (3 tonight). This was his worst game of the season.
Nashville played far better, capitalized, and now leaves Calgary 4 points back of first place and doesn’t give Calgary a chance to move up on Dallas and San Jose.
They just aren’t there yet when it comes to playing with the league’s best. But they aren’t too far either. Oh, and by the way, stay out of the box, you don’t have to be a hockey player to figure that one out.
Notes: Lombardi was benched, Warrener was out, and Ritchie came out. That meant Godard and Nilson factored in, Nilson playing better than he has in the past.