Flames Pound Oilers...AGAIN
There might be no better feeling for a Calgary Flames fan then beating the living hell out of the Edmonton Oilers.
It was almost too easy.
Up 3-0 after the first and 4-0 after the second, the game was never really in doubt for the Flames as they jumped on the Oil fast and for the first time in five games registered more than a single goal.
The Flames are four for four this season against the Oilers. Not to mention they have now beat them in nine straight and in 15 of their last 16 tries. The Oilers may as well be the Flames personal punching bag. For that matter, they are the leagues personal punching bag of late. (Read my take on the Oilers woes of late here)
Lee Stempniak had a break out game with a hat trick and an assist to lead the way. Stempers now has 12 goals and 12 assists in 49 games. He has 8 points in his last seven games and, with Glencross out for an extended period, he will have to continue his solid production.
It was a game of secondary scoring as Blake Comeau had a goal and two assists in his best game as a Flame, while much criticized defenceman Jay Bouwmeester also had a goal and two helpers.
Mikael Backlund continued his strong play on the top line with the first goal of the game, while Olli Jokinen continued to pick up points with two assists. Team leading scorer Jarome Iginla also had an assist.
For Comeau, this game was much needed as he has been invisible since coming over from the New York Islanders. In 29 games with the Flames he has three goals and nine points – three of which came last night in Edmonton. At $2.5 million he isn’t pulling his weight, but this game showed that the scoring touch is there and that he can be a valuable part of this team going forward.
As for Bouwmeester, he now has 3 goals and 21 assists and is on pace for his highest point total as a Calgary Flame. On the other hand, last night’s goal was only his 10th as a Flame and is still five short of the 15 he registered in his last season in Florida (REALLY?). His offense isn’t what it used to be – truth be told he’s been a complete disappointment in that regard. It’s quite nice though to see him starting to contribute more and it seems it may have just taken a good two and a half years to get accustomed to life in Calgary. He would great at $4 million per season, but at $6.68 he leaves much to be desired. Once again, thanks Darryl.
With the win the Flames keep pace in the chase for the 8th and final playoff spot. They now sit in 10th are two points back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final spot.
They are 5-1-1 in their last seven games and much of the praise should fall upon Miikka Kiprusoff who has a 1.71 GAA and a .940 SV% over that span. He’s been unconscious and continues to be the team’s MVP.
The Flames now play San Jose on Tuesday before heading into the All-Star break. By the time they return to action, they will have had an entire week off, which will definitely aid the injury woes this team currently has with Tanguay, Glencross, et al.
This team is playing their best hockey right now and will have to continue to do so if they hope to go anywhere as their upcoming schedule isn’t easy. Dates against Detroit, Chicago, the red hot Anaheim Ducks, back-to-back versus San Jose and Phoenix and then a Saturday night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks is what awaits this team following the break.
The Flames are in the hunt again. Stress level set to rise yet again.
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