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Flames Nuke Avs

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The first period was Hiroshima. The third period was Nagasaki. The Flames didn’t just melt the Avalanche – they nuked the mountain they were on. What else is there to say? Peter Forsberg has to be happy he got out of Dodge before the Flames hit town because it would have been a terrible last game for him to retire from hockey with.

I cannot recall the Flames beating a team by eight goals in a long time, although they were on the receiving end last year against the Sharks in a 9-1 defeat. What goes around comes around.

14 Flames players chalked up points and the only shadow over the victory was injuries to  Olli Jokinen and Tim Jackman. A dirty knee-on-knee hit on Jokinen by Philippe Dupuis came right at the end of the first after Jokinen had tied a franchise record of four points in one period. Jokinen toughed it out for the second period but did not appear in the third period. 

Jackman is also a tough loss as he has given a 100% effort all season. He went into the boards awkwardly and did not return after the first. Jokinen has finally found his grove and to lose him at this moment would be a setback.

Both Olli Jokinen & Curtis Glencross are red hot. Glencross has 6G, 3A, and is +5 over his last five games played. Jokinen has 3G & 7A and is +5 over his last five games. Not to be out done, the final component of the second line, David Moss, has 1G, 5A and is +5 himself.

The long wait for Olli Jokinen to find chemistry on the second line with someone appears to be over. Glencross and Moss have spent the majority of the season on the third line and both are making the most of their time on the second line with Jokinen.

Analysis

I expected a win for the Flames in this game, given the records and direction both teams are headed in lately but I did not expect a blow-out of this magnitude. The Flames are emerging as a team that is not going to take their foot off the gas and is playing a complete game out there.

 

In the past I would look for players who were slow coming off the ice, players who appeared to take shifts off but that seems to be disappearing. The team as a whole is playing full shifts, and line after line is skating hard. No one is mailing it in or exhibiting bad habits with the lead – still a 100% effort for the full game.  

 

I want to draw attention to Iginla as well, who is in the background given the red hot second line (MOX line perhaps? Moss-Olli-GlenX) but he has also been exceptional. He had an excellent effort against the Canucks in a losing cause and he is doing a lot of the hard board work to set up goals. Iginla has 3G, 6A and is +5 in the last six games. There are so many players heating up on the Flames now that it is hard to pick one over another.

 

Robyn Regehr quietly put in another two assists in this game. Regehr! In the last seven games, Regehr has 1G, 8A and is +4. When did he become a two-way d-man? Anton Babchuk has 2G, 3A in his last four games. I could go on but the bottom line is that the entire Flames team is upping their game and that has to be the ideal situation at this point in the season.

 

Scoring Breakdown

The Flames

The Avalanche

 

Goals

Assists

 

Goals

Assists

Glencross

2

1

Winnik

1

0

Iginla

2

0

Porter

0

1

Jokinen

1

3

Hunwick

0

1

Moss

1

3

 

 

 

Tanguay

1

0

 

 

 

Babchuk

1

0

 

 

 

Stajan

1

0

 

 

 

Morrison

0

2

 

 

 

Bourque

0

2

 

 

 

Regehr

0

2

 

 

 

Bouwmeester

0

1

 

 

 

Backlund

0

1

 

 

 

Kostopoulos

0

1

 

 

 

Staios

0

1

 

 

 

 

Shots

Saves

 

Shots

Saves

Kiprusoff

18

17

Budaj

18

13

Karlsson

5

5

Anderson

15

11