The Calgary Flames did what the Calgary Stampeders couldn’t tonight–win. The Stampeders came off a frustrating loss (if you’re a fan) against the Roughriders to loose first place in the West Division. The Flames were looking to extend a win streak to three games with the visiting NY Rangers. A number of players are still trying to find their game within the Sutter system, something to be expected after 20 games, but more consistency would be appreciated by coaching staff and fans alike. Names like Glencross, Dawes, Iginla, and Jokinen were recently called out to perform. Tonight we had another chance to catch glimpses of brilliance from a few.
On the scoresheet the home team triumphed 3-1. On the shot sheet they were yet again out shoot by a wide margin of 33 – 22. This is problematic despite the loss because one of the key cogs of the apparent Sutter system is lower shot tallys and tighter defence. High shot counts mean the team still hasn’t bought entirely into the system (or they’ve bought in but can’t quite perform within it).
The captain seems to have found his game in November, shaking his usual slow start. Let’s hope he can recapture his form and go on a tear, Lord knows the team can use it. Let’s also hope that his play will somehow trickle down onto Jokinen who’s still MIA and struggling mightily. He’s neither dominant defensively, in the faceoff dot, or offensively. Hopefully he sees the light soon and begins to contribute.
Speaking of contributions, other than the captains game winner, Nigel Dawes spent the later portions of the game on the top line chipping in an assist for all three Flames goals. This is a welcomed improvement over his play two games ago against Dallas where he was weak defensively and struggling offensively. Hopefully the likes of Dawes can find a sweet spot to perform game in and game out. Again, consistency is the key, and currently the only player that hasn’t taken a night off through the first 20 games seems to be, surprisingly, Kiprusoff.
But, let’s revel in the two points, and be thankful that it wasn’t a loss or sports fans in this city would have been languishing around town all day Sunday due to two stinging losses. Although I would have taken a Flames loss and Stampeders win in this case…..
Notes: Next up Montreal on the start of a three game eastern road trip.