Mikael and Markus Granlund have played together before. They were linemates for HIFK Helsinki, as well as Team Finland at the World Juniors. Markus is one year younger than Mikael; taller; based on their roster photos, has chubbier cheeks; and was in the starting lineup, while his brother was not. This game marks the first time they played against one another in a professional capacity.
This was also the Flames' final game before the trade deadline. Could this be the last time we see Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Chris Butler, and friends in a Flames jersey? I SURE HOPE SO BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE SOME PICKS AND PROSPECTS, PLEASE.
The Flames had a dominating early shift to start the game, and no surprises as to who was on the ice for it: Mikael Backlund, Mark Giordano, and TJ Brodie were among those controlling the puck and looked as though they were on a powerplay.
Animosities began to build up as well, as a few scrums began to erupt, but it was ultimately a scoreless period. It was, however, a relatively even one, as shots were 7-9 for the Flames. Darcy Kuemper and Reto Berra had strong periods for their teams.
The game's first powerplay was called when Backlund went off for holding. The Wild achieved five shots on that powerplay, starting off what would turn out to be not the greatest period for the Flames.
While they killed the penalty, the Wild's 11th shot of the period finally went in. Berra went behind the net to collect the puck. Kris Russell and Chris Butler joined him for some reason. Matt Cooke came darting in and poked the puck away from Berra to Kyle Brodziak. That left Brodziak with a wide open net and no Flames close enough to reach him, and the Wild were up 1-0 with an easy goal.
Shortly after the Wild had the chance to increase their lead. Mikael Granlund was left alone with a wide open net, but the hard pass came to his foot, and he was unable to corral the puck in time to score what would have been another easy goal.
The Flames then lost David Jones, as while trying to receive a Paul Byron pass, Nino Niederreiter got in his way. The play resulted in Jones diving head first into the boards. He was able to skate off under his own power, but did not return.
With a little over three minutes remaining in the period, the Flames got on the board. Dennis Wideman's shot bounced off a Wild player and to Cammalleri, who had a wide open net to shoot at. He did not make any mistakes as he picked up his first goal in 10 games. ... Thanks for showing up, Michael.
Calgary picked up its first powerplay of the game when Keith Ballard, unable to stop, kind of... launched himself right into Berra, sending the both of them into the back of the net.
Dear Keith Ballard: Our goalie isn't a pillow.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 4, 2014
The powerplay (that Markus Granlund got to play on!) was soon negated, however, as Giordano hooked Zach Parise to prevent the Wild forward from taking off on a 2 on 1.
After 33 seconds of 4 on 4 time, the Wild capitalized on the powerplay. Jared Spurgeon shot the puck past a screened Berra to put the Wild up 2-1.
Parise added to the Wild's lead with a little more than five minutes to go in the game. Skating to the front of the net, he tipped in Jason Pominville's pass to put their team up 3-1.
However, the multi-goal lead was not long for this world. Markus Granlund collected the puck from behind the Wild's net, saw Giordano coming in, and passed it up to him. Giordano buried it for his 10th of the year, putting the Flames back within one. It was the younger Granlund's first NHL point!
Down by one, the Flames pulled Berra. Brodie, and then Jiri Hudler, stopped Parise from getting (a point on) an empty netter, but it was all for naught, as the Flames fell to the Wild 3-2.
- With Matt Stajan missing this game for personal reasons, Mikael Backlund got the A back. Long may Mickis have the A, especially when Cammalleri gets traded already.
- This was Lance Bouma's 100th NHL game! Bouma was hard at it all game long, delivering three hits and being really physical like the perfect fourth liner he is.
- Ever notice the new way Parise pronounces his name sounds like "Breezy"? Zach Breezy. What an asshole.
- Of the Flames' first six shots on net, three of them were Brodie's. In case you needed to be reminded that TJ Brodie rules. He finished with four on the night, the most of any Flame.
- If David Jones' injury is serious - and he's had upper body issues all season, whether they be eye or shoulder or whatever - that, combined with the trade deadline, could see the Flames a little short on forward... which is great, because that would mean more awesome call ups. Max Reinhart has been one of the Heat's top scorers all year long. Sven Baertschi is finally starting to really put the points up. Maybe Corban Knight could make his debut?! So many possibilities!
ETA: RIP David.
David Jones spotted with his arm in a sling following tonight's loss. He left the game with an upper body injury. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 4, 2014
- Markus vs. Mikael: 12:31 of ice time vs. 16:19; one shot on net vs. two; one assist vs. two assists. Lil bro's doing alright.