For the first time in the 30 year history of the Battle of Alberta, the Flames took the season series in a sweep. It’s the first time ever in fact. In fitting fashion the Calgary Flames stormed back to the win column with a drubbing of their Northern provincial rivals at home in the ‘Dome. I was walking around town today saying, “tonight will be the TSN turning point of the season.” Let’s hope the Flames don’t make a mockery out of me when they play the visiting Flyers Monday. But I have to say, they’ve certainly come out of their slump in a big way–let’s hope it continues.
All is not rosy yet, however. Bouwmeester is the new pariah replacing Phaneuf who scored twice in as many games (everyone is touting how the Flames D haven’t scored much, but they are 4 goals out of 2nd spot in the NHL). J-Bow’s game has suffered mightily although he showed flashes of brilliance tonight with two stretch passes that went for goals.
But tonight was Iginla’s night. Coming off a horrible slump Iginla started early and ended strong recording a Gordie Howe hat-trick with 2 goals, 2 assists, and a fight win against Souray. A fantastic night by the captain and we can only hope it will rub off on under performers. They aren’t out of the woods yet, but more players are scoring, and more need to score. I’m thinking about Jokinen, Langkow, and Nystrom could afford to chip in a few more goals to give the Flames a run on par with the Senators.
The tight NW division means that the Flames could conceivably forget about their recent demise and focus on a brilliant run. Fans have short memories and would get excited for a team that challenges Vancouver for top spot before the Olympic break. It could happen.
For that to become reality the defence needs to come together, and if they continue to improve to expectations, and the forwards score even at an average level, the Flames will contend. If not, it won’t take long for fans to dismiss the team outright and for management to throw a few players under the bus (along with themselves).
But then again, it could be worse, we could be Oilers fans
Notes: Conroy, Dawes, Moss, all injured. Lundmark, Backstrom up from the AHL. Not sure if the injured players would add much more scoring punch, perhaps Dawes a bit….. Boyd with three points tonight.