CALGARY, CANADA - FEBRUARY 3: Jay Bouwmeester #4 of the Calgary Flames stops Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks in second period NHL action on February 3, 2012 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)
The Flames gave one of their best performances of the season in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The first period was a typical Flames period, out chanced (10 - 2) but hanging on.
Olli Jokinen did not start the game ideally with a few errant passes and a couple edges caught until the 12:24 mark when he opened the scoring with a perfect snipe, on the Flames first scoring chance of the game. It was the goal no one saw live, except him, as it rang off the inside padded cross-bar and came out. Play continued as Jokinen skated to the Refs and insisted it was a goal. Play was whistled down and the goal confirmed.
Brent Seabrook answered back for the Blackhawks on a perfect thread of a pass from Patrick Kane and the Flames were again in very familiar territory. Out-chanced for the period and with a long 40 minutes ahead of them, there was no indication that anything had changed from previous games against the Red Wings and Sharks.
The Flames came out with a 2nd period of the season and surprised everyone. The Flames logged a shocking level of scoring chances (11) to the Blackhawks (2) and the ice tilted dramatically in their favor. Something the Flames have not done this season.
The Blackhawks frustration began to show via penalties as Marcus Kruger took a high sticking call and the PP units looked strong, with excellent control and scoring chances. The lackluster Flames power-play looked poised and transformed.
Michael Frolik took another high sticking penalty 6 minutes later and drew blood resulting in a 4 minute power play and the Flames continued with strong positioning and creative play. Jay Bouwmeester disoriented the Hawks PK unit by skating down into the slot and putting in the Flames go-ahead goal.
Regardless of a strong second period there was typical trepidation going into the third period as this is a Flames team that has shown a tendency to "turtle" late in games and appear to play for OT or to protect their lead. The Flames surprised though and continued to out-chance the Hawks and apply the pressure.
At about the 12 minute mark Alex Tanguay put one of his patented perfect passes from deep in the D-zone all the way up to a waiting Jarome Iginla at the Hawks blue line. Duncan Keith was caught on his pivot and Jarome broke in clean on a hapless Ray Emery who was absolutely undressed by the Captain with a beautiful deke and an easy goal.
At this point with about 8 minutes left and the Hawks deflated on Jarome's dagger goal. Steve Montador took a delay of game penalty further putting the Hawks under Father Time's thumb and the third period ticked away as the Flames brought the game home.
This was certainly one of the best games of the season for Flames fans. A full team effort from top to bottom, very few errors, strong offensive pressure, a rejuvenated power play, sound Sutter style back checking, 32 shots on net and quality scoring chances through out the game for the Flames.
The best part of all is this was not against a basement dwelling team but rather a top team which the Flames have every reason to be tepid about. The Hawks may have been a bit tired tonight but the usual Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews show was not on display. The Flames even-strength goals also came while the Hawks best defender Duncan Keith was on the ice.
Locally born Krys Kolanos also made his first appearance in a Flames jersey, he is a 30 year old former 1st round pick from the 2000 draft. 19th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes, he has had injury issues and had surgery on his hip. He is a best utilized on the top 6. He had a good game and did not look out of place at all.
Oh and this game was also Kipper setting a franchise record for most games played by a goaltender. All in all a very good night for Flames fans and they pull up to a three way tie in the standings right behind the final playoff spot.
Jarome's beautiful Goal from Tanguay
Post Game Iggy