Hard game to comment on. The Flames battled the sharks to about even in two periods and absolutely bent over in the second (a nasty habit the club has developed this year). Flames were extremely lucky to escape the middle period tied, owing mostly to Kiprusoff's heroics and a seeing eye shot by Jokinen. They did, however, manage to turn things around in the third and were value from then on.
As a result, I don't know how to feel about this game. The Flames played well enough in spots against one of the best teams in the league in their home rink. On the other hand, they gave up a ton of quality chances in bunches half way through the game and had the puck bounced the other way or had Kipper played like a mortal, the game could have been out of hand by the start of the third.
Dawes joined Iginla and Jokinen and, frankly, the results weren't all that impressive. Granted, they saw a lot of ice against a very good line, but the fact that they were collectively well under water in terms of possession and scoring chances at ES tells me the Flames are still a legitimate top 6 forward away from competing with the likes of the Sharks in a 7 game series. That, or you can hope Kipper will make mid-air-kick-saves from his belly every night. On the other hand, I thought the new Bourque-Langkow-Moss line was good to excellent all night. They spent the evening facing Pavelski, Clowe and Setoguchi, fairly good players in their own right, and mostly outplayed them.
Another issue that reared it's ugly head this evening was the Flames poor face-off ability. They reeled it back in a bit in the final period, but they were getting absolutely killed up to that point. The Flames are the worst team in the league at winning face-offs and one wonders how much that contributes to periods like the second last night.