After being shut-out twice in their first three games and with the top line having scored exactly zero points on 29 shots heading into Saturday's game against the Oilers, it looked like it was going to be a long season for the Flames--especially after Thursday's embarrassing showing against the Florida Panthers. Saturday's 5-3 victory, in which the Flames overcame deficits of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 while amassing 46 shots on goal, provided some encouragement however, as the updated first line of Tanguay-Stajan-Iginla combined for a total of three goals and eight points while finishing the evening +31 in Corsi and +10 (26 for, 16 against) in terms of scoring chances, with Stajan leading the way at 11-4. The former Leaf had a particularly fine night in the faceoff circle as well, winning 71% of his draws, and appears to be 100% after some were concerned that his return to the lineup after suffering a separated shoulder in training camp seemed rushed. He set up Tanguay's beauty of a game tying goal in the first period and collected two other assists in the game for a total of three points in what was probably his best outing as a Flame to date, and he certainly deserves recognition for it. The Flames will need more games akin to that one from their top line in upcoming contests, especially with the likes of Kotalik, Moss, and Bourque still out of the lineup--although the latter will accompany the team on their upcoming road trip and could possibly play Thursday in Detroit--which is very good news for the Flames' top six.
On the back-end, Cory Sarich had a nice game in his season debut; Steve Staios, however, playing with Bouwmeester throughout most of the evening, still managed to finish the game -1 both in terms of Corsi and +/-, and has now been on the negative side of things in both games he's appeared in this season, and I think most of us would agree that seeing T.J. Brodie back in the lineup would be a welcome sight. We could also potentially get our first glimpse of Henrik Karlsson in regular season action this week, as the Flames play back-to-back games in Detroit and Columbus Thursday and Friday.
More Flames news and links for your Monday evening reading pleasure after the jump!
Don't look now, but Flames prospect Ryan Howse is on a tear with 14 goals in 9 games for the WHL's Chilliwhack Bruins after what I thought was a fairly disappointing development camp [FlamesNation]
Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert was fined $2,500 today for his high hit on Matt Stajan in Saturday's game [Edmonton Journal] While Coyotes captain Shane Doan was suspended for three games by the NHL today for this hit on the Ducks' Dan Sexton [Five for Howling]
Alex Tanguay was, briefly, a trending topic on Twitter after his three point night against the Oilers on Saturday, and the thirty-year-old 'reclamation project' may already have already begun to prove his doubters wrong [The Globe & Mail]
It was Brendan Morrison's wisdom following Saturday's win inspired the blog's new tagline today, just in case you were wondering [The Calgary Herald]
Elliotte Friedman wonders if the window to win has closed on the Flames in this week's installment of 30 Thoughts, and I think we all know the answer [CBC Sports]
An update on Thrashers goaltender Onrej Pavelec, who collapsed to the ice during Atlanta's home opener for unknown reasons, suffering a concussion, and was taken off on a stretcher [The Blueland Blog]
The Mayo Clinic will take part in an international summit focussing on concussions in hockey tomorrow, an issue that has already been shockingly prevalent in this young season [The Globe and Mail]
And finally, Joe Thornton takes a "discount" to remain in San Jose and more in this week's What We Learned [Puck Daddy]
That's all for today, I hope all you Calgarians and Edmontonians remembered to get out and vote in the cities' municipal elections today--Ottawa's is tomorrow sometime in the near future so I'll have to do my research tonight. Have a great week everyone!