The New Year brings 3 hockey games in four nights, great for fans, and even better if the home team wins. Tonight the Flames looked to extend their monster one game win -streak to two games versus the resurgent LA Kings. Things barely got underway when the tone was set by Dion Phaneuf’s hellacious hit on Anze Kopitar in the Calgary end. Dion got a 5 minute penalty thanks to the acting job by Kopitar. Replays showed a play where two players chasing towards into the boards ready to fight for the loose puck; this kind of play happens 50 times a period. The difference seemed to be both Kopitar’s embellishment and Phaneuf going for the man too soon and not angling towards the puck.
The game misconduct will be reviewed by the league and it will be interesting to see if they make a comment. The refs in general tonight, however, were atrocious. Granted Calgary got too many powerplays-which they did nothing with- but some huge questionable calls were made.
Both coaches had a brief yelling match between each other that got the crowd riled up. After that the Flames picked up their game and both teams started throwing their weight around.
During the ensuing 4v4 play after Dion’s penalty Calgary went up 1-0 thanks to a great pass from the rushing Jay Bouwmeester (who didn’t make team Canada). Rene Bourque scored his second goal in as many games.
LA’s goon Ivanans tried to respond for the monster hit later in the first by putting his elbow in Moss’ face, but he only ended up taking 16 minutes in penalties.
A penalty shot was called in the second period on a ridiculous play. Apparently you can call a penalty shot for a slash even when another defender was back in time. The hilarious part of the whole turn of events was on the ensuing penalty shot Dustin Brown lost control of the puck and 20 000 Flames fans promptly pointed at the hapless player laughing their heads off. EPIC FAIL!
LA tied the game early in the second period, but after the Dion hit and the ensuing tempo you really had the sense the old Calgary Flames were back in business spending most of the time playing their game in LA’s end.
The go ahead goal came in the third period when Craig Conroy scored his first goal of the season. nice to see Connie get a garbage goal and put the Flames up by 1.
Note: Every year the LA Kings defenders are among the lead leaders, like Dustin Brown, in hits. The only reason that’s the case is because the morons in LA don’t know how to properly COUNT HITS. Duh.
Jarome Iginla still a no0show on offence along with Jokinen. This is a huge cause for concern with no end in sight.
Next up, Oilers in town tomorrow for the NYE special.