Calgary - November 24, 2011 - A solid two periods of hockey were quickly forgotten, as the Detroit Red Wings capitalized three times in the final period to down the Flames 5-3. A rough night for the penalty kill was ultimately the deciding factor in the game as the potent Redwings powerplay scored three goals on four opportunities. In a game in which the flames most certainly could have won, a few mental mistakes late in the game was all Detroit needed to put the game out of reach.
The first period proved to be a relatively even twenty minutes of hockey, as both teams took a few minutes to adjust to each other. Detroit however found their game first, as Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring for the home team after tipping home a point shot from the ageless wonder Niklas Lidstrom at the six minute mark of the first period. The remainder of the period was fairly uneventful as neither team was able to generate a consistent forecheck, the period drew to a close with both teams managing just eight shots on goal each.
Calgary came out of the gates storming in the second period, as Jarome Iginla tied the game just forty four seconds into the middle frame on a snap shot that beat Jimmy Howard five hole. Just minutes later as Calgary maintained the momentum, Flames forward Brendan Morrison streamed in from the neutral zone to unleash a slapshot that rang off of the post and in. Unable to hold the lead, former Flame Ian White managed to squeak a softy past a screened Mikka Kiprusoff to tie the game a two’s. From that point on Kiprusoff was relied upon heavily to keep his team in the game, and managed to do so as the redwings outshot the flames 16-7 in the second period.
A penalty filled third period resulted in both teams exchanging powerplay markers, Tomas Holmstrom netted his second goal of the game for the wings, while Olli Jokinen redirected in a brilliant cross ice pass from T.J Brodie to knot the game at three’s. With the game in their hands, Curtis Glencross became the scapegoat as he took an unnecessary and selfish penalty that put the team down two men. To no one’s surprise Detroit scored back to back goals to go on to win the game by a 5-3 margin.
It appears to me (and many others) that the players on this team are playing for the name on the backs of their jersey’s instead of the crest on the front. Time and time again we see this story unfold, and it’s about time we hear the players and coaching staff take some accountability for their poor results. Until that happens we will continue to see performances such as tonight, and for better or worse change must happen.
Jarome Iginla notched his first point in six contests; He may not be able to carry the offense by himself anymore, but a consistent effort night in night out should be expected of the captain of any team.
T.J Brodie continued his stellar play as he garnered yet another assist tonight and was actively involved on the offensive side of the puck.
The team showed great resiliency battling back twice after falling behind in the game, and by doing so they put themselves in a position with eight minutes remaining in the game to get two points on the road.
The penalty kill was far too passive tonight and it showed, they must be far more aggressive in order to limit the time and space of the opposing teams top players. The defensemen must also do a much better job at clearing the front of the net; Miikka Kiprusoff won’t stop the pucks he can’t see.
The overall lack of speed this team has was on full display tonight, countless opportunities were lost as a result of our dump and chase style of play.
FACEOFFS!!! 38% in the faceoff circle tonight, how do you expect to produce offensively if you are chasing the puck all night? (We are currently the worst faceoff team in the entire NHL)
1. Tomas Holmstrom
2. Pavel Datsyuk
3. Ian White