Calgary 4 – Columbus 3

Well, it’s not dump and chase hockey, it’s actually exciting most of the time, at both ends of the ice. Sometimes it looks like a defensive zone fire drill, but this year’s Flames are certainly different. New faces everywhere and with them come new zeal. It’s only been two games but there’s certainly a different feel to the club, particularly in consistency.

Taking 3 of a possible 4 points after tonight’s win means the Flames play their season opener against the Canucks on TOP of the Pacific Division (how many times will we be able to say that this year?)

Second game is as many nights with two lineup changes. In goal, Joey MacDonald, who picked up from where he left off last year–offering competent backup goaltending. Joe Colborne, recent acquisition from Toronto, factored in the lineup for the injured Matt Stajan. He’s a big body but looked out of place and slow.

Calgary’ all around even strength game looked good against Columbus, a playoff team last year, and perhaps slightly less talent than a Caps squad from the night earlier. That’s good news for the Flames given they were able to keep pace despite all the consistent talk on the opposite from NHL pundits.

Special teams is the concern, ineffective on the PP and in need of real help on the PK. Having more consistency in the place we all knew would suffer, the faceoff dot, will help. It’s hard to believe the Flames could get worse on draws, but so far they’re not so great.

Final Notes: Baertschi continues to try to find his way, albeit playing a more rounded game. McGrattan taking space on th ebench with his four minutes a game…..although he did draw two penalties. Derek Smith and Tim Jackman healthy scratches. Mike Cammalleri still on the mend with a hand injury. Sean Monahan with his first NHL goal. He looks good, albeit small, and if he’s play continues to improve over the next 6 games he might stick.