And again, the Calgary Flames fell. It wasn't a terrible game surprisingly, but nonetheless, it was a loss, and that is not something the Flames can take many more of if they hope to aspire to anything more than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
A 4-3 loss rarely looks good- especially on the defense- but this was something almost stomachable, made worse only by the consistent ticks in the loss column. The fact is, the score doesn't really indicate the play. The "real" score was 4-2, but yet another goal in garbage time makes it look closer than it was.
The Flames were outshot, and only played well in moments. The San Jose Sharks largely managed to play well throughout the game, bad penalties notwithstanding. They took an early 2-0 lead, scoring just over a minute in on the powerplay and again 9 minutes later at even strength. Mark Giordano fought back with a goal a minute into the second period, converting a PP opportunity (seriously- that's 2 PP goals in 2 nights for the Flames!). A Joe Pavelski goal later in the period seemingly put it out of reach again.
The third period seemed to spark some of the Flame's sleeping giants: Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester both scored goals with Alex Tanguay picking up assists on each. Unfortunately that would be too little too late, with a Logan Couture goal between the other two keeping the Flames just one away from tying.
The entire Couture-Pavelski-Clowe line tonight was simply dominant, picking up a total of 9 ES points, each one having a hand in some way on the last three goals, while aside from the early PP goal, Joe Thornton et al were shutdown by Jay Bouwmeester, who seemed to look, well, like something more than a statue tonight.
And the end of the night though- the real story was "How would the Flames respond to an atrocious game against the Coyotes with a back to back against a real powerhouse?" and bizarrely enough- the answer was "not terribly". Aside from the usual inability to finish scoring chances, the Flames looked like only a step or two behind the Sharks- not the 4 or 5 we've come to expect.
- Ian White was a -3 on the night. I'm not certain, but I think he was out there for the PP goal against too, meaning he was on the ice for all 4 goals against. However- I wouldn't hold it against him. His partner in crime- Robyn Regher, was just atrocious. It's becoming a Russian Roulette game of "Who's terrible tonight?"
- Jarome Iginla started the night on the 4th line. Ended on the 1st line. His partners didn't really change. (Okay, Jackman did, but my point is still valid).
- Is anyone else horribly saddened by Jeff Carter being locked up for the next 11 years?
- GameThread was pretty quiet tonight- so no highlight. We did have a Bruce McCurdy drive-by though!