Eight of the next nine games will be on the road, which may not be that bad since the Flames tend to win there. What they haven’t been doing at home, or recently in games, is bring a killer instinct of ‘firebrand’ hockey (the words of coach Sutter) on a game by game basis.
This afternoon Calgary started their road swing in LA without their top LW Rene Bourque who got his bell rung in the debacle that was the home game versus Chicago. In his place was Jamie Lundmark who started on the top line. I’m not sure how you go from the minors to the top line with Jokinen and Iginla but it seems to be the Flames way of patching in wingers.
One thing was for sure, Calgary was embarrassed Thursday and they weren’t going to get pushed around against the Kings. It didn’t take long for the captain to make his presence felt scoring a quick goal 13 seconds into the first.
Calgary put in a solid first road period leading in shots and hits. THe second period on the other hand had moments of vintage Flame hockey. In a span of 30 seconds the Flames dropped down 2-1 thanks to some defensive breakdowns.
Moments of mental lapse are the bane to the Flames problems this season and we can only hope they slowly come out of their game. Unfortunately over a quarter of the way in it doesn’t look like it’s going away.
Calgary tied the game off of Jarome Iginla’s 14th goal on a 5v3 powerplay thanks to a pretty pass from Jay Bouwmeester. Calgary had 6 PP changes and only capitalized on one, another aspect that requires attention.
THe go ahead goal in the third period came after some old fashion gumption on the penalty kill. Daymond Langkow kept the puck deep in the LA zone and was replaced by Glencross who flipped a saucer backhanded pass (not easy to do) back to Langkow for the SHG.
The scoring wasn’t done as Iginla, with two penalties in the third period, wrapped up his hat-trick bid after some solid down low pressure. That’s the ninth career hat-trick and the 15th goal of the season for the captain and only two behind the league leader. Jokinen, two posts tonight, looked good on the top line, but it was Lundmark who seems to have added a spark to the top line.
The PP cashed in again to give the Flames 5 on the afternoon. 2 for 7 which isn’t half bad but it didn’t perform when the game was on the line. David Moss