There was an article by George Johnson in the Herald today that basically said if the Flames lose to the Coyotes, THEN its time to panic. I think we can all agree on that. Gretzky's desert dogs are simply not good, and losing to them would be a huge problem. It could however put in perspective how badly this team needs changes.
Keys to the Game:
- Let the Coyotes self destruct
- Don't suck
1st Period Summary - Flames 2, Coyotes 1
Zyuzin made his best play of the season on a defensive zone puck retrieval where he faked a pass and quickly circled around the fore checker. Unfortunately he also took a hooking penalty and is currently minus -1.
Dion put his emphatic stamp on the game (or rather, on Owen Nolan) early, flattening Nolan in the defensive end. One Phoenix player tried to hit Phanuef right after and also got bowled over. Eventually he got up and tried to fight Phanuef, at which point McCarty jumped him from behind like an octopus on a submarine.
The Flames took a couple penalties and were down 3-5, but the big story on the shift was both Kiprusoff making a beautiful toe save on a Jovanovski slapshot from the high slot, as well as Andrew Ference's quintuple hit shift, including, what I would call a Triple Ference, in which during about a 5-7 second stint he put three solid hits on Coyotes players and then got the puck out.
The Flames' PP looked overall better, including improved point movement. I think the wingers on the play still look too low, but both Kobasew and Huselius put pucks in the net from near behind the net angles.
Nolan scores a late one for Phoenix.
Good guy fighter 'Gorgeous' Georges Laraque beat the crap out of McCarty. Despite this, McCarty has a smile on his face as he is pummelled to the ground.
2nd Period Summary - Flames 3, Coyotes 1
The Coyotes PP has looked woefully ineffective the last couple nights. This trend continues with bad passes, poor positioning and a bad (line change?) that leads to a two man Flames breakaway. Amonte scores on what appears to be a semi weak shot.
Morrison is pulled.
Freisen makes a nice pass to a streaking Lombardi who streaks in on the Flames second best chance of the period.
A desperate Ladislav Nagy blatently runs Kiprusoff after his shot is stopped by the keeper. Ference, who was conspicuously absent on the play, streaks in and tackles Nagy off of Kiprusoff.
Jovanovski takes his 80th penalty of the game.
Enver Lisin gets the Coyotes' best chance of the period with about 10 seconds remaining, getting two great shots on Kiprusoff. Kipper of course saves them both.
Is it just me, or is Roenick playing better than expected? Also, Comrie loks worse. And where is Shane Doan?
Game Summary - Flames 6, Coyotes 1
Ding! Thats the sound Langkow hears as his penalty shot careems off of Joseph's shoulder and hits the post. Nice play by Morris on that by the way, that guys is still all heart!!!!!!! How in god's name does he have an 'A' on his jersey, even on Phoenix? I think he must have pictures of GMs or soemthing to not have been traded more often.
Doan does not play a minute in the 3rd period because he is suffering from an injury. Total ice time was about 9 minutes.
Calgary looks much better in the neutral zone, and the breakout is much improved. Overall, team speed has significantly increased, although I have to wonder whether thats due actual improvement or due to the opponent (or lack thereof).
The PP at times looked great, and at other times looked terrible. The last few minutes of PP time were a joke with a complete reversion back to 'the old way.' Maybe its just lack of focus due the game already being over.
Watching Gretzky on the bench physically hurts me. Seriously. Also, I think Phoenix is the worst team I've ever seen. I don't know if they have any positives going for them right now. Somethine is going to break, I just don't know what.
Convincing win for the Flames, but hopefully that dominance continues over NHL teams.
Around The League
Try and catch the Devils/Penguins highlights if you can. Malkin's goal is sick.