What do you get with two games to go, home ice advantage, a pathetic top line, massive 15. That’s the number of Flames players dressed for tonight’s game. The rash of injuries at the worst time of year put Calgary in a tight spot. Without cap space to bring up players from the minors (actually one was called up, John Negrin, and only because he’s cheap) Calgary was forced to play without a fourth line. Yes, they hardly play anyways, but the 4-5 minutes adds up when it gets late in the 3rd period.
Out of tonight’s game were: Roy, Boyd (minors), Sarich, Regher, Phaneuf, Glencross, Peters (minors), Giordano, Bourque.
Top Line Lacks Everything
Taking away a full line almost made things a bit more even for Edmonton’s sake. The pace of the game dropped as Calgary tried to keep it simple and slow. The second line created most of the chances in the first two periods. The powerplay was, get this, dead as usual, and the first line wasn’t doing much.
Phaneuf was out with a lower body injury, so you kinda had a suspicion the powerplay would explode with 3 goals. But the reality is nothing changed.
The best chances of the game were all Oilers, two scrambles in the first period, and one in the second. Calgary couldn’t respond even though the top line had extra ice time.
Calgary managed to sustain pressure mid-way through the second but the top line forgot how to play defense. When lines 2 and 3 put on good pressure, the top line turns up, misses a glorious change, and then Jarome Igilna on the backcheck fell asleep and didn’t bother picking up the late man.
Not to be outdone Olli Jokinen did the same thing five minutes later and wouldn’t you know it, Edmonton’s fourth line put in a goal. 2-0 Oilers who capitalizing on lazy defensive play from the 15 million dollar top line.
Not to be outdone the Flames got a powerplay which meant the top line would get to show what a joke they’ve been for the last month. Calgary sucks on the PP, it’s more of an opportunity for the Oil to get some chances–which they did.
Calgary managed to generate almost zero offence in the third (much like the first two).
Not to be outdone, Jarome iginla returned to his pathetic defensive attempts by literally letting Horcoff walk in alone against Kiprusoff. Imagine the play, Igilna right beside Horcof and watched him from the hash marks until he scores, not once trying to impede or ANYTHING!
Kipper got the hook, the same old story, and McelHinney let in the first shot against him. Before that the top line did score, Iginla had nothing much to do with it, too little to late as well.
Same story for this bunch of losers. Calgary will finish 5th and will drop in the first round in five games because of injuries and their ineptitude.