Dominik Hasek had an unparalleled career in the NHL. In goal for a Sabres team that was regularly outplayed and outclassed, he backstopped them to a conference title and, but for the errant skate of one Brett Hull, a good chance at the Stanley. Hampered by injuries in his later years, Hasek nonetheless had some success in Detroit. Some say he was the best player ever to tend the nets.
So it was nice of Hasek to come back to the NHL for a couple games this week, and steal four points for the Flames.
EV Shots On Goal: 6-4
EV Shots Toward Net: 10-14
EV Faceoff Starts: 4-3
EV Shots On Goal: 4-10
EV Shots Toward Net: 9-17
EV Faceoff Starts: 7-7
EV Shots On Goal: 9-8
EV Shots Toward Net: 12-13
EV Faceoff Starts: 9-4
EV Shots On Goal: 3-0
EV Shots Toward Net: 4-1
EV Faceoff Starts: 2-1
EV Shots On Goal: 22-22
EV Shots Toward Net: 35-45
EV Faceoff Starts: 22-15
Don't get me wrong - I'm (hopefully) not prone to hyperbole. I don't think McE and Kipper are Hasek clones (although Kipper had a couple seasons in there to make us believe), and I know that every goalie gets hot, and blah blah blah. But goaltending has been a weakness of the Flames for almost two seasons now, and at this critical juncture of the season when puck possession has been in scarcity, it was nice for our goaltenders to come through the way they did.
It won't last though.
Last night's effort gets an A - for anemic. Most of us were not able this game, but the radio broadcast gave the general sense that St. Louis carried the play. For those of us who were able to watch, that was confirmed. St. Louis has been ok at EV but a touch snake-bit recently, while Calgary has shifted into park. The combination was a bit bad.
Ranty aside: what the hell was up with not broadcasting this game? Yes, I know Sportsnet wanted to broadcast the World Series and I know TSN would rather show MTL and OTT games, but fuck. An away game, for a Canadian team, that only folks with Centre Ice or Gamecenter can watch, well that is just a fuckin' farce.
The shot totals say it all really - the shots on goal might have broken even at EV, but Calgary blocked a ton of shots. That tells me two things: the defense was good (or lucky) to get into shooting lanes, and St. Louis had the puck on their sticks a ton. I'm happy that the defensemen are generally earning their bucks, but if we keep playing in our zone then some of those asinine pre-season predictions about the Flames' total lack of scoring might actually come true.
So, generally Kiprusoff was awesome and Jokinen was not (bad play after bad play). I didn't notice Iginla but he did have that sweet breakaway, and Robert says he had a nice off-the-boards-and-to-the-net move in the third period. The PP was limp, and definitely for want of trying - they were going for the cross-ice passes and the point shots, but not supporting those decisions by moving the PKers to find seams nor getting traffic to the net for tip-ins and rebounds. If you don't let the score color your perception, I think the only conclusion you can come to was that it wasn't a good night for the skaters.
They owe Kiprusoff a pack of smokes each. And while they're at it, McElhinney* a pint each for the night before
* I bet you he still gets carded at bars :-D