Saturday, September 29, 2007

Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks Pre Season Report

I caught the Flames in their final pre-season tilt last night at the Dome, and let me tell you; you thought 8 pre-season games is a lot? Wait till you catch this team in 82 regular season games, now THAT will seem long.

To be fair, Curtis Sanford played fantastic from the beginning. The Vancouver Canucks backup goaltender played a great game positionally, read the rebounds well (and in fact often cleared them himself). He had zero chance on the goal that Iginla tipped, and played a virtually perfect game besides the Wayne Primeau shot that he mishandled in the first.

The same cannot be said for Miikka Kipprusoff. He wasn't challenged very often and he didn't look sharp when he was. It's still preseason though and my personal theory is that Kipprusoff doesn't care even slightly about preseason. At least that's what I'm hoping.

The Flames iced what is essentially their opening night roster (minus Lombardi and Mark Smith) and I must say, looked good for most of the game. They legitimately carried the play for the first two periods, significantly outshooting and outchancing the Canucks, most of whom wore namebars that were completely unrecognizable. (Naslund, Morrison, Salo, Ohlund, Sedin, Luongo were all absent from the contest.) The Flames took the lead when Primeau took a harmless shot from the outside circle hashmarks which somehow slipped through Sanford on the short side (I actually felt bad for Sanford because his play was the only thing keeping the Canucks in the game at that point).

The first defensive breakdown of the evening came out of a bad offensive zone pass intercepted by Brad Isbister who inexplicably blew past Dion Phaneuf and put a bad angle softie (from my perspective) past Kipprusoff.

The Flames were outshooting the Canucks (34-20 or so) and outplaying them significantly going into the third, but whenever a team is outplayed that bad yet still in the game it's a bad sign.

In the third the Flames were unable to capitalize on a couple of PPs (Huselius with a double minor high stick on one, Tanguay with a lazy hook on another) while the Canucks put one past Kipper for the win.

Andrew Peters was the only Flames rookie in the lineup, not a huge impact, one fight (loss). Owen Nolan got hurt instantaneously, missed most of the game.

One way or another, this is going to be a highly entertaining season. Let's start the insanity.

Sounds like Cogliano has rightly made the Oilers.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't Kipper usually start off slow? I heard on a Calgary radio show that he doesn't really prepare in any way before the preseason. Soooo laid back, isn't he? That's what I like about him actually.
Always kinda liked Sanford, too bad he won't be seeing any games this season :-)

therealdeal said...

I think that's probably correct about Kipper, he doesn't seem to stress at all about pre season, it's hard to say what his off season workout is like, or his pre season mentality.

Last season and the one before that he did start off slow though.

leanne said...

I've also observed that Kipper is just chillin'... to be honest, if he's to be ridden like a rented mule again this year, it's just as well.

therealdeal said...

Yep, that's something I'm not worried about.