Earlier today, Joe Colborne was awarded with the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award for his work, which includes "Colborne's Forces." The program has allowed one member of the military and a guest tickets to each Flames home game this season. They even get to meet Big Joe and tour the locker room after the game. He was presented with it prior to the start of the game.
Looks like the Flames won't be getting much help from former captain and forever legend, Jarome Iginla. When asked about seeing the Flames in a playoff spot he said, "We're trying to catch them; we're trying to beat them. That's the game and that's the sport. It's the fun part."
We'll see about that.
Well, no help from former Flames, ever. The first scoring chance went to the Avs as Alex Tanguay made a great pass to start a nice play. Good thing Karri Ramo and Jiri Hudler were there to foil Gabriel Landeskog's plan of scoring.
The Flames were looking a little flat-footed this period, which left Ramo to make all the saves he could. Like the desperation stick save he made on Landeskog's wraparound attempt. Both of them were on their stomachs for the play so that was fun.
Right after that gaffe, Lance Bouma broke out up the left side for a 2-on-1 with David Jones, who opened the scoring. A perfect tape-to-tape pass under the stick of Nick Holden for a quick wrister to beat Semyon Varlamov.
Josh Jooris would be called for tripping Iginla, and we would be treated to a powerplay by the second worst PP team in the league. Tyson Barrie got a slapshot off and through traffic, only to have Ramo make another great save. Splits and the glove. Man.
The Avs couldn't get through the whole PP, as Landeskog high-sticked Dennis Wideman, and looked too happy about it.
Not much happened in the 42 seconds of 4-on-4. And much the same for the Flames powerplay. In fact, there was a point where the Flames let one of the Avs just walk the puck up the boards into their zone. Indicative of their play in the period.
Herein lies the issue. The Avs were straight up assaulting Ramo with shots and bodies. Pure chaos that allowed Tanguay to waltz in and grab the puck for a goal.
Just as I was about to turn away for the intermission, the Flames responded with a shot from Wideman off the faceoff which deflected off of Huds in front of the net. This is why positioning is important, and Hudler is great at it.
That would end the opening frame at 2-1 for the Flames. Colorado had the slight edge on shots and Corsi, 9-8 and 17-15, respectively.
The period started with a whole lot of offensive zone time for Colorado. That's great.
Colborne was locked up for boarding Dennis Everberg, sending the Avs on another powerplay. Iggy found himself in the perfect position for a signature one-timer, but Ramo stole it and ran.
TJ Brodie had a TJ Brodie (read: amazing) shift on the penalty kill, being everywhere all at once to stop shots and battle for the puck. He ended up almost getting a breakaway with Colborne coming out of the box.
The fourth line found themselves creating a few chances themselves. It's nice to have Mason Raymond out there with Matt Stajan, and the much-improved Brandon Bollig aint so bad either. He's even going to the front of the net. There was also a point where the puck was chipped over the bulk of the players, Bollig passed it in front to Mayray right in front of Varlamov. Good stuff.
Our best friend, Postie, showed up tonight as Iggy got in front for a 2-on-1 with John Mitchell on Deryk Engelland. Mitchell's shot rang loud and clear and allowed the fans to breathe.
In an attempt to remind us that we don't need Iggy, Johnny Gaudreau carried the puck through the neutral zone, beating three or four Avs along the way for a shot. The things that are done when the first line is on the ice.
Hudler was the recipient of a little hook by Iginla, but that wasn't called. What was called? Sean Monahan hooking Iginla. Is he untouchable? (The answer is probably, yes). The PP didn't generate much.
The period ended much the same as it started, with the Flames up 2-1. This time, Calgary found themselves out-shooting (10-8) and out-Corsi'ing (21-19) the Avalanche.
The best chance for the Flames in the first six and a half minutes of the third came from Bollig. Raymond and Stajan played the puck behind the net and he was right in the slot for a great shot. Was really hoping he could have buried that one.
Fear not, as Top Six Forward Lance Bouma is still here! He carried the puck in, tried a weak shot, looking for the rebound to set him up right in front of the net. He deflected Brodie's one-timer perfectly.
And then the early-game Flames showed up, allowing the Avs to dummy them in their own zone. Pass-pass-pass-pass-pass. Until Landeskog took a sharp angle shot that deflected in off of Ramo. Whomp-whomp.
Brodie is amazing (see: above). He was able to break out of the zone along with two Avs defencemen. This lead to a great chance with Monahan and Josh Jooris. All because of Brodie.
With Varlamov pulled, the Avs made themselves at home in the Flames' zone for pretty much the rest of the game. Bouma sacrificed his body yet again and blocked Barrie's shot, which allowed the Flames to finally get out of their zone and relieve pressure. Jones, try as he might, wasn't able to swat the puck into the empty net.
And that's that. Flames win 3-2, while being out-shot (10-8) and out-Corsi'd (20-17) in the third. Some slight score effects played into that. Overall though, it was a very close game - shots were 27-26, and Corsi was 56-53, both for Colorado.
- Wideman's face has been getting sticked a lot recently. Good on him for not crying about it.
- Introducing Gaudreau, God of Zone Entries.
- TJ Brodie is amazing. And deserves more than Engelland.
- Though, Engelland is pretty entertaining. There was that one time where he tripped himself up and still got up just in time to throw his body at Mitchell. And that other time he basically grew wings to catch the puck and play it out of the zone.
- Sometime in the second, the ticker under the score showed us what's happening in "Grapefruit League Baseball." Apparently the Detroit Tigers are playing the NY Yankees tomorrow.
Flame of the Game:
I will not stop acknowledging that TJ Brodie is amazing, but this one goes to our favourite top six forward, Lance Bouma. He recorded one game-winning goal and one assist tonight (the same as the last Colorado game), and made that last shot block with the PALM OF HIS HAND. He must be a mess for the team doctors.
I also wanted to acknowledge Brandon Bollig for a job well done, because we really don't much. He got himself three iCF (individual Corsi for) and two iSC (individual scoring chance), and has shown some growth.
The Flames really didn't receive any help from the out of town scoreboard tonight:
- The Los Angeles Kings beat the New Jersey Devils and Cory Schneider 3-1.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn't defeat the Minnesota Wild, losing 2-1.
- The Hamburglar and the Ottawa Senators took down the San Jose Sharks, 5-2.
- Our brethren to the north, the Edmonton Oilers, just couldn't do the thing, losing 4-1 against the Winnipeg Jets.