That was a hard fought game and mostly fun to watch. Back and forth where at times when you wondered if the Flames could hold back the relentless SJ forecheck. Give the first star to Chad Johnson, who repeatedly bailed the team out, twice on breakaways, one with seconds left in the game. Defensively the team is giving up chances like it’s October, offensively CHiasson continues to rack up more minutes. Yes, there are still huge problems for this team, particularly scoring outside of the Backlund’s line (Monahan is absolutely and completely non-existent on the ice, full stop).

But I have to wonder, how many games do we have to watch where inevitable we notice and scream at the officials? There are far too many Flames games where NHL officiating is inconsistent at best. IT borderlines dangerous when player safety is involved. Non-calls, blown calls, chintzy calls, all around head scratchers describe this year’s instalment of the quality of NHL officials. Eric Francis had a nice segment in the second intermission decrying the complete lack of interest the NHL about the vicious and intentional cross-check to the throat on Monday vs. Winnipeg (on Hathaway) that went uncalled.

Right now the NHL deosn’t care about certain player safety calls and fans are going to have to get used to balancing fun hockey with incredulous officiating.

Officials missed, from my count, 3 hit from behinds, automatic empty net goal, and a really cheap penalty shot in the third. At this point, let’s expect the Flames will continuously get poor officiating both because of the quality of officials, and the Wideman effect.

Hashtag, conspiracy theory.

The much needed points against a Western rival helps in a big way. Calgary will now start playing the East with more frequency. Including back to backs this weekend.