Flames beat Stars on back of Kiprusoff
On the wings of Mikka Kiprusoff the Calgary Flames escape from Dallas with two points.
In a game that shouldn’t have even made it to the shootout -- you could argue for both the Flames and Stars on this point – the Flames kept their improbable run towards the playoffs afloat with a breathtaking victory.
For the Flames a shorthanded breakaway in the first period by Alex Tanguay, when already leading 3-0, could have put the game out of reach if Tanguay had been able to convert. Instead, the Stars scored one late in the 1st and tied the game up in the middle of the third. The Flames were mightily outplayed in the 2nd (outshot 15-4 in the period) and, if it hadn’t been for Kiprusoff, it could’ve been ugly. The Flames also had a couple of prime chances in OT to end it including a goal mouth scramble but failed to score. No one was surprised when Stajan was the Flames player who was unable to convert.
For the Stars, they had a power play with two and half minutes to go in the game which produced a plethora of quality scoring chances including a blocker/post Kipper save combo that proved crucial in the dying seconds of regulation. Not even mentioning the three on one the Stars had in OT that Kipper managed to stop. Goligoski didn’t get all of it, but Kipper made the save nonetheless.
What at first looked like a runaway blowout turned into a great hockey game. It would have been extra nice if the Flames could’ve snagged a flat out win in regulation and deny the Stars any points whatsoever, but, not to sound totally cliché, two points are all that matters.
Kipper started his 21st game in a row. Ironically enough the last game in which he did not start was against the Stars back on January 21st (the game after the 6-0 blowout to the Wild). He has been pulled only twice during the span of games (once in Colorado when the Flames were up 9-1, and the other against the Hawks last week). He is, how do you say, good at what he does. Calm under pressure, Kiprusoff is the ideal goaltender to have between the pipes.
The Flames sit in a tie for 4th, with more games played then anyone in the conference. Winning and winning often is must, if that hasn’t been stressed enough.
Bring on the Jets...
And on some non-related Flames news:
The hit on Chara. I know it’s been talked about and talked about but I just thought I would throw my two cents into the mix. Pacioretty has a concussion and fractured vertebrae, Chara feels shame and luckily wasn’t suspended, and the partition at the Bell Centre is still shaking.
Do I agree that maybe the 7-foot tall Slovak should have been given a couple games? Yes, a couple.
But the NHL, for too long, has always focused on being reactive versus being proactive in my mind. It shouldn’t be on whether or not the player gets hurt, it should be on the action itself and whether it’s considered malicious or not. The NHL has some serious issues when deciding on suspensions. It’s rarely bang on, and in this regard I think that you could see Chara gave him a bit of a push (according to Chara Pacs jumped...not sure why you would voluntarily face plant into the partition but each to his own). So in saying this, Chara should have been given a couple games at least.
Was Chara in the wrong? Yes.
Did MTL overreact today? Yes.
Did the NHL act accordingly? No.
Will Pacs be ok? By all accounts yes.
Will the NHL likely do anything about this incident moving forward like banning seamless glass and putting more padding on these partitions? Probably not.
Why not install more mesh? What difference would it make? It would be a heck of a lot safer for the players and isn't that the whole point of this debate anyways.
The spin-o-rama in the shootout: It needs to go.
If the debate is if the puck stops moving forward, I think it’s quite obvious that at some point, barring a Ribiero through the leg move, that it does. Therefore the move should be outlawed. Martin St. Louis’ goal tonight was nice, I’ll give him that, but he stopped his motion. Anyone else with me on this? Not that I was cheering for Chicago, but these are important points and if the result of the game is decided via a skills competition, that it should at least be ruled appropriately. Maybe I’m alone but I don’t think I am on this one.