Game 4: Battle of Alberta (Flames @ Edmonton) Post-Game

Tonight, Calgary had a chance to extend their start-of-season winning streak to four, something that I don't think has ever happened in the lifetime of my allegiance to the Flaming C. Even sweeter, they could do it against the hated Oil, and maintain a 6-point lead over the equally hated Canucks. What transpired tonight was something to behold, and in the end it came down to multiple photo (video?) finishes.

 

Corsi

NHL.com recap
(look under "Game Reports" for useful info like Faceoffs, TOI and Play-by-Play)

First period:
EV shots: 8-7 Calgary
EV Corsi: +1 Calgary

How did the Flames look:
They spent a lot more time in the opposition zone than their own zone. A LOT more. Lord, I hope to be saying this frequently this season. The pace was fairly muted to me but the Flames' hard work paid off with Moreau taking an interference penalty late in the period. Lots of puck movement and shots at the net on the ensuing PP, although I thought there was a bit of a one-dimensional "pass to Phaneuf, shoot, repeat" feel to the PP. It fell apart after the PP though, as Phaneuf's horribly timed change led to Moreau skating out of the penalty box and putting a beauty wrister past Kipper. The fourth line proceeded to shit the bed, an a late Oilers PP put the hosts up 2-0. Bummer.

Notables:
Jokinen is really struggling. It's hard to really put into words how ineffective he is, so all I will say is this: he loses possession of the puck like it's going out of style.

Bouwmeester is essentially given a minor penalty for the skating ineptitude of JF Jacques. Which is ironic given how relaxed the referees were calling the game prior to this.

Second period:
EV shots: 4-2 Calgary
EV Corsi: +2 Calgary

How did the Flames look:
I will say, tentatively, that they played ok. Certainly not as dominant at EV as the first period. But ok! They had a really nice PK, a really nice PP (especially at 5-on-3) and the first line actually quietly (so quietly we couldn't see it, but it happened!) put together a decent period of driving possession. Hard work pays off in this period as the Flames score a very late goal.

Notables:
Early in the period, Iginla takes down Souray and both crash head-first into the boards. I can't say I'm impressed. Initially I thought it wasn't a trip (as the referee at centre ice deemed) but upon reflection I think it could have been. In any case Iginla did in some way knock Souray off-balance. Obviously it wasn't intentional (I don't think I have to explain why) but doing that at high velocity is stupid. Souray ended up with a mild concussion and Moreau ended up with a bruised ego after getting rag-dolled by Iginla in the ensuing fight. Oilers fans are crying for suspension but I don't think it's going to come (and I'm not sure it's warranted anyway).

Third period:
EV shots: 8-8
EV Corsi: even

How did the Flames look:
This period (and my recollection of it) are kind of disjointed as the score kept changing. I thought the Flames created some nice chances early and it paid off with a bit of a flukey tying goal (or that's at least how I remember it) that I initially thought would be credited to Kronwall. After the goal we spend a number of shifts in our zone (SIGH). Nothing comes of it, but the Oilers would capitalize on a failed breakout and go up by one with six minutes to go. That seemed to put the stopper to the Flames comeback but a breakout by Horcoff and Hemsky with the Flames net empty was thwarted, the Flames regain possession and a Bouwmeester point shot is redirected into the open and willing Oilers net with less than two seconds left. A nailbiter finish to be sure!

Notables:
The tying goal in the dying seconds was and is continuing to be disputed as it is unclear whether Bourque's stick was above the crossbar when he tipped it in. Obviously the dividing line on this debate features Flames fans on the one side and Oilers fans on the other side. Go figure!

Overtime:
EV shots: 2-0 Edmonton
EV Corsi +4 Edmonton

How did the Flames look:
A travesty of a period. A weak, weak tripping call is called on Giordano and the Oilers proceed to enjoy two minutes of 4-on-3 PP. This should all but guarantee victory for the home team (4-on-3 shooting and goal rates are through the roof) but thankfully for us the Oilers special teams are fairly inept. Kiprusoff makes a number of highly improbable glove saves - I say highly improbable as the shots seemed to be directed with sure certainty towards a pad or his chest, and yet ended up in his glove.

Notables:
Nothing really, except for an Iggy-of-old drive to the net that almost worked and would have saved us from dealing with the horrible penalty to Giordano.

Shootout:
Calgary:
Dawes - goal
Jokinen - goal
Iginla - did not shoot

Edmonton:
Gagner - miss
O'Sullivan - goal
Hemsky - miss

A controversial shootout. Dawes and O'Sullivan both score on glorious wristers, but the highlight was Jokinen's goal. After a deke on Khabibulin fails to move the goaltender in the opposite direction, Jokinen stuffs the puck against the post. Replays show the puck possibly hitting the outside of the net or outside of the post (hard to tell which) before bouncing off Khabibulin's pad and in. The shootout rules are very clear on rebound goals (not allowed) except in one specific case: when it goes off the post and then off the goalie's pad. In any case, the Flames win, 4-0-0 bitches!

Overall:
EV shots: 20-19 Calgary
EV Corsi: +1 Edmonton

How did the Flames look:
I thought the Flames played well this game. It was probably their most complete game, I hate to use that "60 minute game" cliche but here it is. They still have lots of shit to work on but honestly these are the Flames I want to watch every game, win or lose. Because if they keep getting the puck out of their zone and into the enemy's zone like they did this game, they're going to win. A lot. If there's anything I've learned in the last year about hockey, it is that possession is everything.

Notables:
Can't get that damn goals against per game under 3!

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