Iginla Leads Flames into Break
The Flames not only won, but they dominated for most of the game tonight beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Jarome Iginla led the way scoring back to back goals in the 2nd period; his 26th and 27th goals of the season. Iginla is now rolling with 5 points in his past 3 contests. He rose to the occasion the way a Captain should. He was skating hard, he was shooting the puck with confidence, and he was shooting the puck a lot more. He has averaged just over 5 shots per game in his past 5 games; the main reason for his recent surge. He has led by example as the Flames have out shot their opponents in 5 of their last 6 outings. Jarome now ranks in the top 20 in the league in scoring with his 2 goal performance tonight.
This was the first time in 5 games that the Flames managed to score more than 2 goals. Tonight also broke a 5 game losing streak against the Pacific division; losses coming against the Ducks, Sharks, Stars, Coyotes and Stars again.
The Flames are 11-2-1 when the game is played on Saturday, which is by far there best winning % on a given day. Sundays are their worst as they are 0-3.
The Flames go into the Olympic break 4-3-3 in their last 10 games. You can look at that in two ways: either they have been able to gain points in 7 of a possible 10 games, which isn’t too bad, or they have lost 6 of 10 games going into the break which is below .500 hockey, and simply not acceptable.
The Flames have the ability to be a good hockey team and I believed it showed in tonight’s performance. The key for them is to fore-check hard and pressure the opposing defence into making mistakes. They need to skate as a team or they will fail miserably. They do not have the talent to take shifts off and win games.
Kiprusoff goes into Vancouver starting the last 13 games; lasting the duration in all but the 9-1 Shark massacre. This, due in part to the Flames trying to lurch their way out of a tailspin and the fact that Kiprusoff has been nothing short of amazing. He has a GAA of 2.08 in the last 12 and a Save % of .923. He has deserved a better record but has not received the offensive support that he has desperately been craving.
I was secretly hoping that Jari Kurri would somehow name Backstrom the starter for Finland just to give Miikka some much needed rest.
Every Flames fan knows that the season starts and ends with #34 and if he goes down the Flames can kiss whatever hope might be left straight down the toilet.
On a non-hockey note: Congrats to Jennifer Heil for winning Canada’s first medal of the games. It’s too bad it was not gold. It’s also too bad those Americans couldn’t be more gracious in victory; arrogant pricks.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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