Kipper Play of the Year
Touted by some as a potential preview of the Western Conference Final, the Calgary Flames played game 5 of 6 on the road against the league leading San Jose Sharks. Right off the bat the tone was set by San JOse as they crashed and banged bodies. Calgary woke up quickly to respond.
Brian McGrattan took down SJ’s tough guy and threw him to the ice, then he came around to brush off the entire SJ bench. Jarome Iginla, if he was asleep at the start, woke up after getting a cross check to the chin, literally. A 2min penalty was called but Calgary couldn’t capitalize on the PP. They had two in the first period.
One thing SJ will learn–don’t wake up Iginla. They did just that. Would the mistake prove fatal? Well it sure woke up the entire Flames team.
Nonetheless, SJ opened the scoring by turning the play against the Flames to start the second. Calgary dominated the boards low in the first, SJ responded in the second by scoring a goal early.
The blows continued to exchange as fans were treated to a playoff style game. A total of 8 potential team Canada players were playing, 4 on both sides, 6-7 likely to make the team. Yes, if this was a look at the Conference Final, it’s going to be a doozy.
Calgary tied up the game mid-way through the second period as Oli Jokinen wired a phenomenal shot top shelf from the half boards. At the other end, Miikka Kiprusoff made a highlight reel save stopping the puck with his toe on his back.
If you remember last year he won the TSN play of the year with this save:
This save was better folks. We’ll get video as soon as we can. Kipper gave the team a chance to win and set up an interesting third period.
Calgary retook the board play deep in the SJ end to start the third period and were rewarded early with the go-ahead goal thanks to the second line and Daymond langkow’s 9th. Calgary got many opportunities on the PP including a 5v3 in the third but couldn’t capitalize.
On the other side Calgary’s defence shut down the top scoring line so far this year which frustrated Joe Thornton. He’s one of the top players in the league, but make no mistake, he can play nasty hockey despite his 6 PIM this year. He tried to throw an elbow into Phanuef’s face and missed. On the next play he runs Regher from behind way after the puck had left the area…. no call on the play.
Despite Sj’s attempts to apply pressure in the late stages of the game Calgary responded hit for hit. A huge, let me say it again, HUGE response after the Phoenix game. Calgary came out to play and responded to the huge challenge to knock off the league’s top team for the win.
Notes: Much like the Phoenix game, tonight in SJ there were more experiments on the left wing for the top line. That sometimes messes with any continuity issues. Shots 36-36, too many against yet again, yet at least we matched the offence.