What’s it going to take for this team to put together a victory? Three games in and nothing. Things look to be tightening up, but in a short season if all you’re taking from games is ‘positives’ you’re a losing team at the end of the day.
Both teams entered the contest looking for their first victory. Calgary got off to what seems to be their usual start–nice a slow and behind the eight ball. Thankfully they didn’t drop down 3 goals. They waited until the second period before going down two.
Mistakes in the defensive zone, and usually by the vets, are causing this team headaches. Blown assignments, head scratching plays, and the like, combine to hurt the team.
But give credit where credit is due, when the Flames have recently gone down a couple, they somehow crawl back. For a fan base that was largely out of it, Calgary did well to claw back thanks to a PP marker by Backlund who tied it. Tanguay got the team on the board 5 minutes earlier.
No scoring in the third, and surprisingly Calgary generated most of the scoring chances. That would lead to OT, which solved nothing, and then a shootout. There, you need your big guns to at least TRY something to score. Kiprusoff gave the team chance after chance to come out with a victory, but the likes of Iginla, Stempniak, Glencross, all tried the snapshot from the hashmarks. It’s a SHOOTOUT not a shooting gallery.
Eventually Vancouver scored off a pretty deke from Kassian. No Baertschi in the shootout; he was largely a non factor.
So no victory again but a hard earned point. The good news is, if there’s any good news, is that the team finally gets help down the middle where they’ve struggled mightily. Cervenka and Hudler will factor in which means Jones and Begin will come out, Stajan drops to the fourth line, and we get to see a bit more strength at center. Saturday will be the true start of the season and I predict–in fact guarantee, the first victory of the season.
Notes: Roman Horak sent back to Abbotsford to make room for Cervenka. Butler sat on defence and Smith came back in. Next up Edmonton Saturday.