After a recent win against the Eastern Division Washington Capitals, the Flames were feeling a bit better especially coming off some inconsistent play. What is still unclear though is who plays where. Mike Keenan seems pleased with himself that he can confuse line pairings to ensure zero consistency. Trouble is, he’s pleased, the Flames sputter to not only generate offence, but maintain a forecheck.
After the first period Calgary was lucky to emerge unscathed, a couple posts off penalty trouble (as in Calgary had trouble when they has the powerplay); shots on goal after 1 period of play: Calgary 4 – Nashville 14.
Keenan Too Impatient With Lines
Keenan has a short leash, and in fact, his inability to permit star players to develop any chemistry could be the demise of the offence. When Jim Vandermeer on the LW and Conroy down the middle count as the first line then you know how dumb things have gone.
Conroy started the penalty parade getting his second soft soft penalty of the game. Note to Flames players: EMBELLISH EVERYTHING. It’s the only way to get refs attention and draw game changing soft penalties. Nashville scored their third goal in less than 3 minutes on the PP (the first two were thanks to some shotty D work yet again.)
Iginla opened the scoring for the Flamess off a quick neutral zone turnover and Calgary was back into it. Actually no, they weren’t, since it was Iginla and whoever Keenan put with him, the rest of the lines were silent/sleeping. After 40 minutes of play Calgary proved once again they are inadequate to even hold a candle to Western division teams because of their lack of desire to play consistent hockey.
Keenan’s line combos seemed to pay off, somewhat. The Iginla and anybody else lines continued in the third period. The usual second line players were benched and Iggy double shifted to start a re-energized Flames squad beginning with the forecheck. Basic hard word and driving to the net gave Calgary the momentum and two goals, one from Iginla and another helped by Iginla. Three points for the C who was turning up his game.
Another PP opportunity mid-way through the third could have spelled disaster for a lackluster team, but early on, the Flames found more life when on a rare third period shift, Cammalleri tipped a Phaneuf point shot to give the Flames a lead of 4-3. Four unanswered goals capped with an Iginla empty netter (maybe a hat-trick if the stats folks were generous) but nonetheless a three point and plus four night.