I attended tonight's matchup between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars and I must say thats the best game I've seen the Flames play all season. Obviously it wasn't perfect, but there were a lot of positives, including some sustained pressure, chance generation, good defensive play and some innovative playmaking. I've come up with a three star selection from the game.
3rd Star - Andrew Ference
In general I thought Ference put in a solid defensive effort, he made virtually zero defensive mistakes or turnovers. Most of all though, he stood up for himself in the 1st period when he was blatantly checked from behind...again. Where the rest of his teammates were, I don't know (obviously Ritchie wasn't on the ice again) but this time Ference took matters into his own hands and pumelled Barnaby (couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.) One of the longest and free-est swinging fights I've seen all year, Ference gave a huge boost to the crowd and his teammates. Less than a minute later, Calgary scores the opening goal.
2nd Star - Miikka Kiprusoff
Mikka let in one odd angle goal, but otherwise shut the door. He made several brilliant saves, including stopping Brendan Morrow on a cross ice one timer. Kipper also looked good in scramble situations, even with his own teammates falling on and around him. 25 saves in 26 shots, what more can a team ask for?
1st Star - Tony "Bones" Amonte
Far and away the best game Amonte has played in a Calgary uniform. He looked speedy, he looked crafty, he won board battles, he drew penalties, he was in position, he scored two goals and hit one post. There wasn't a shift where Amonte looked less than good, and several where he was spectacular.
Honourable mention goes to Kristian Huselius who put in a nice effort tonight. Skated hard, looked sharp offensively and was responsible in his own end. Could've had 2 goals on the Flames 5-3 PP, he was unable to finish. Although Huselius was benched last game, Playfair showed newfound confidence in Huselius by putting him on the ice in the last minute to protect the lead. Huselius did just that, adding an empty netter to seal the deal.
Finally, I'm a little worried about Tanguay. After making his first his of the season, he grabbed his shoulder, limped off the ice, went straight to the dressing room and never came back.