Well, that was something. Easily the Flames best 60 minute effort of the season, I'd say aside from a couple of shifts in the second period, the Flames were the best team in this game from start to finish. Most telling is the fact that the Flames held the Preds to just a few ES shots on net and a single scoring chance in the final frame - especially because Calgary has struggled with letting teams back in games while leading this season. That was text-book shut down hockey in the third and it was nice to see the team - finally - execute that sort of strategy.
Oddly, a number of players were under water in terms of corsi this game, but that probably doesn't tell the tale. The Preds were pressing later on, but their efforts were rewarded with a lot of blocked shots and passes. Langkow et al faced Arnott while Jarome faced the checking unit of Smithson, Legwand and Ward most of the evening and, with apologies to Barry Trotz, the set-up couldn't have favored Calgary more - in fact, that's the strategy I hope Sutter will favor going forward, assuming Bourque lands back on Langkow's unit. Jokinen has been playing better, but I think I still prefer him playing against the likes of third liners like Ward and Smithson rather than going Power v. Power.
David Moss had probably his best game of the season as well, scoring the opening goal with a great effort and just generally being solid all over the ice. The Flames are a better team with him playing at his best and, whatever unit he ends up on once Bourque comes back, the puck will start heading the right direction more often if Moss can sustain the gains he's made recently.
Also a positive is the fact that the PP got back on the board again. Things have looked better with the man advantage since that brief period where the players spent a lot of time standing around hoping the puck would pass through the defenders.
Overall, this was undeniably a step int he right direction. A healthy Bourque and more third periods like this and my hopes for more than a play-off berth will start to perk up.
Highlight of the night - Let's go with Moss' GWG