So yeah, how about those Calgary Flames? Just when you think they're about to completely cave in, explode, implode, or do something drastic; they go out and come back. I'm adjusting a write-up which is coming about what it means for this team to continue doing this and the metrics behind this team but now is a time to celebrate.
Apologies to anyone who was hoping to follow along on our Twitter account and see some funny jokes, but with the laptop dying I couldn't log in.
Just a friendly reminder that the Oilers also lost 7-1 tonight.
First period -
From the opening draw that the Devils won, the Devils tended to dictate the pace more than expected. I wasn't honestly the Devils to be entering the zone as quickly and efficiently as they did. That said, it helps having an ageless wonder like Jaromir Jagr who by some deal with the actual devil plays better than men half his age. Amid the agelessness of Jagr controlling play and making things happen; Sven Baertschi had a great chance early on nearly stealing the puck but it wouldn't happen.
For some bizarre reason, Patrik Elias (who is like 60 now) skated in with no issues, no one stopping in, and passes it back to Adam Henrique. Seriously, it's been a few hours and I have no idea what Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman were doing. It's a great way to take off the rose-tinted glasses of Wideman's play lately. The Devils continued to make life difficult clogging up the neutral zone and controlling possession against a team that looked flat for much of the period.
Jagr would be called for interference on Paul Byron who was called for embellishment. With that, Calgary seemed to awaken a bit. The pace of the game and fluidity of moving into the offensive zone appeared. It wouldn't last long as former Flames forward Mike Cammalleri sniped his 8th of the season. The goal courtesy of the inhuman talent of Jagr's smart pass would deflate the team a bit. It also didn't help that a portion of that was triggered by a TJ Brodie giveaway either.
The teams would continue the back and forth pace that started during 4 on 4 play. Markus Granlund would put a great shot on net via a fantastic zone entry on his part. The continued chemistry of Johnny Gaudreau and Granlund has been a real treat for the team and for fans. They might get killed possession wise at times but their confidence on the ice improves each game. The period would end with the Flames trailing 2-0 but leading in shots 12-8.
Second Period -
The period would open with Cammalleri holding TJ Brodie (not romantically) half a minute after a Sean Monahan face off victory. The Flames wouldn't score but they would get a few chances, nothing pretty spectacular. Calgary looked to have their legs back and their feet moving (Charlie Simmer, we miss you). With just under 10 minutes left in the period, Curtis Glencross would take advantage of a giveaway and harmlessly put the puck past a befuddled Scott Clemmensen.
From there, Lance Bouma would take an interference penalty sending the Devils to their first PP. Fortunately the improving penalty kill would have to wait a bit as Cammalleri would take a reckless slashing call on Granlund. Wideman would have a great shot on net as the teams exchanged chances. Michael Ryder would get another great chance on Karri Ramo following that.
Late into the period, Marek Zidlicky hooked Glencross sending the Flames back to the PP however with just under a minute left on the man-advantage; Wideman would take an interference call. This is when New Jersey took it up a notch possession wise. For pretty much the entire 4 on 4 interval, they had strong zone pressure and shot attempts out the wazoo. The red light briefly went on during this blitzkrieg and then with 4 on 4 expiring, the Devils quickly scored a PP goal courtesy of Travis Zajac. The period would end with the Flames trailing 3-1 but leading in shots 24-16.
Third Period -
With the momentum heavily in their favor at this point and Pete DeBoer licking his lips intensely as the taste of victory seemed to appear; the Devils' zone pressure continued. It would be short lived as the Ryder would take ANOTHER interference call. This was Josh Jooris' time to shine as the PP was expiring and the Flames were looking to make this another 1 goal game; the youngster potted his 5th of the season. Thankfully from a point shot, he took care of the rebound and made it 3-2. Michael Ferland, in his second game back from the concussion (third in his NHL career) would get an assist too!
Karri Ramo would make a series of saves over a few minutes keeping his team in the game and showing he is deserving of more ice time. The resurgence lead by Jooris' goal and Ramo's goaltending would be derailed momentarily as Michael Ryder and Tuomo Ruutu bombed into the zone. The initial shot was stopped by Ramo, however a trailing Mark Giordano slid into Ramo allowing Ruutu to put home the puck making it 4-2.
Martin Havlat (aka Man with a Glass Pelvis) would take a high-sticking call on Wideman. The power play itself seemed disjointed and non-functional. It's fine though because with just over 3:30 left in the final period, Hartley pulled Ramo to make it a 6-5. The Patrick Roy-esque move would pay off as Jiri Hudler, international man of mystery would score his 7th of the season.
It wasn't over yet as with 5 seconds left in the game Glencross would come through yet again. With a scramble in front of the net, he would make it 4-4 sending this game to overtime. The Saddledome erupted, I threw my laptop, people on Twitter went insane with fervent pride, and we all rejoiced. This team would not give up. Bob Cole asked us if we could believe it and we couldn't.
The Flames dominated this short five minute period. They held the zone more than expected and peppered Clemmensen but it wouldn't work out. Even with Andy Greene "slashing" Brodie (a weird call), they couldn't finish it so it went to the shootout.
- Johnny Hockey - Miss
- Jacob Josefson - Miss (he didn't even really do anything)
- Sean Monahan - Goal (perfect hair forever and perfect goal)
- Mike Cammalleri - Goal
- Corban Knight - Miss
- Adam Henrique - Miss (same thing like Josefson)
- Jiri 'tha executioner' Hudler - Goal
- Travis Zajac - Miss
- This team continues to do stuff that captivates the fans. I love seeing this team play like this; even though it won't last forever.
- Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie had up and down evenings. It's okay though because they're still the best pairing in the league. We really need someone else to play with Wideman though to support the pairing.
- Depth came through in this game. Josh Jooris' story is beautiful and his play has earned him a permanent roster spot. He is good in every situation and he is learning quickly. Underlying numbers don't favour him but he's learning and improving.
- Give Ramo more time to play.
- Seriously, that Monahan shootout goal.
- Glencross is adding value to himself finally. His play has been improving but his career has been marred by inconsistency. If the team goes on a slide before the deadline and feel they are selling; he could be on his way out. If he stays healthy and puts up numbers, I say we trade him.
- Trade him in a package for a defenceman. We have organizational depth to allow another youngster on the top line.
The Flames take on the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim on the 25th. So we'll have that covered here. Stay tuned for tomorrow's stats recap from the game. Also don't spoil the game for Ari on Twitter as she is just getting home to watch it. Seriously, what a great game.