Friday, April 13, 2007


Flames-Wings: Game 1 Review

"Nowhere to go but up" is the theme on the radio today. I hope they're right, although if you're counting, that's 5 straight losses, and 3.5 of those games mattered. Watching last night's game, though, it certainly could have been worse. How? Let me count the ways.

1) Kipper was outstanding; his lateral movement was so quick, you'd have thought it was his 5th start of the year, not his 75th. If he was merely solid, the score would have been 7-0 after 40.

2) Phaneuf was handling the puck with all the dexterity of a blind man going through DTs. I'm stunned that he wasn't on the ice for a Wings goal; that's good luck and nothing more. I'm also shocked that he recorded 2 shots on goal -- I could have sworn that every single shot he attempted was blocked.

3) Same idea: if Iginla and Huselius handled the puck in the 3rd the way they did in the 1st and 2nd, there's no PP goal, and at least one more goal against.

4) Since it had no effect on the outcome, I don't know that you could call the reffing "atrocious", but it was very poor, and virtually all the bad calls (and non-calls) were to the Flames' benefit. The holding call on Zetterberg was a joke; the tripping call on Samuelsson was even worse. I have no problem calling the Goalie Interference penalty on Cleary, even though it was minor and pretty much accidental; however, how the Flames emerged from that whole scuffle with a powerplay (and how Stuart only got 2mins) is a mystery. (Note: that's one thing you can say for Phaneuf -- the man knows how to get his money's worth out of a 2min roughing penalty. The consequences, all-around, for slugging Zetterberg in the face could have been a lot more serious.)

5) Zyuzin could have mishandled the puck and turned a 2-on-2 into a Datsyuk breakaway where he scored. Langkow... never mind. He couldn't possibly have been less effective.

6) Someone else could have gotten injured.

7) It could have been Game 7.

That's the biggest silver lining, really. It was Game 1. Things for Flames fans to pin their hopes on?

1) I know the Wings scored 2 PP goals (only 1 officially), but going forward, I think special teams play looks like Advantage: Flames. The 3rd period PP where they scored was, subjectively speaking, the most effective PP by either team on the night; I know it's his specialty, but Schneider's not going to pot one of those seeing-eye goals every game; and the Lidstrom goal was an unlucky carom.

2) Tanguay looked pretty good all night, I thought, and it looked like Iginla and Huselius were starting to come around a bit later on. They will create more scoring chances in future games; the only question is if it'll be enough.

3) Regehr might come back, at least for Game 3. As fans in these parts know, losing your #1 D-man has a ripple effect, as every guy down the line is asked to do a bit more, and some fail.

4) There's still at least two games in the Saddledome.

5) Babcock might actually insert Bertuzzi for Game 2 -- in place of whom I don't know -- and who knows what happens to the Wings' applecart in that event.

6) Giordano might draw in and make some stuff happen. (Or McCarty -- surely he can take Ritchie's 6 shifts without sacrificing much.)

7) Now Datsyuk isn't due to score again until 2012.

Go Flames.


Nowhere to go but up?

Never underestimate lateral movements.

Let's remember that you're the Flames—you don't win on the road. You'll lose tomorrow, win two back at home, eventually end up in game 7 and lose that because you don't have home ice advantage.

- Mustafa Hirji

eventually end up in game 7 and lose that because you don't have home ice advantage.

Never, never, EVER underestimate the Jeff Friesen factor. He's got to be good for something, right?

Predicting OT on Saturday, Amonte scores the winner off his face.

WINGS IN FOUR. (spits)

I agree with points 1 through 1 of your game positives, Matt. Is it me, or did the Flames take up where the left off in game 7 against the Ducks last year? Just awful, awful play by the Flames to the point where Detroit did not have to expend any significant amount of energy to beat them. I can honestly say I have never seen any team play at such a low level (except, again, last year against the Ducks) and display such a lack of will in any game. It's one thing if they come out, skate their asses off, throw the body around and lose because they made some mistakes, it's quite another to lose because you failed to show up at all. They should have been loose and playing with an edge last night, no one expected them to win, and they would have had a second chance on Sunday to split the first two roadies had they failed. I know I sound trite when I say this, but Phaneuf's Face Punch On Zetterberg was my game highlight, not because I think he should be cheap shotting anyone, but at least he did freaking something.


...Jeff Friesen...He's got to be good for something, right?

I heard Playfair is taking suggestions.

I was listening to the fan 960 pretty much all day, and not once did someone mention how unbelievably bad Zyuzin was. That was a historically bad performance. I would be absolutely amazed if we saw him again in the playoffs.

the difference between last years Wings and this year's Wings..

The Oilers played well in Game 1 but lost on a fluke goal

The Flames didn't play well AT ALL and if it weren't for Kipper, would've been 7-1...

I think we can agree that the Flames have more talent ON PAPER then the Oil last year.

I like the Wings chances A LOT better then previous years

Wings in 3

Maybe that beating Dion suffered at the hands of Lappy in the last game of the season is the cause of his lousy play.

Or maybe he's just not that good.

I think we can agree that the Flames have more talent ON PAPER then the Oil last year. This awesome Flames team had exactly 1 more point than last year's Oilers team and its goalies don't take the ice to that circus music, you know, "Do do do duh-a-loo du-do do do do, do do do duh-a-loo du-do do do do..."

Also, it seems to me that Craig Conroy is not a very good hockey player anymore. He makes bad decision after bad decision, game after game. I think that $4 million for next year will end up being the biggest albatross on the team.

Phaneuf has looked like crap for most of the last 2 weeks, so Thursday was no shock. I can't remember a meaningful shot that he both (a)got past the shot blocker and (b) hit the net with.

Nowhere to go but up is certainly true, but they can play a lot better than Thursday and still not be very good. Here's hoping the the magic 'on' switch that ignites the entire team at the same time.

I'm torn on this. On the one hand I picked all of Iginla, Phaneuf and Huselisis so there's no way that I don't believe in this team's playoff chances but maybe me spending 20 bucks on a playoff pool that's predicated on Flames success mirroring my own has somehow turned the tide against the Horses with gay moustaches!!!

Of course I'd be sure to fuck my pool and waste 20 bucks every year if this happened to be the case;)

Maybe the absence of Reghr does mean this much, I certainly don't think it helps, and maybe the Wings have extracted some of the sugar from this playoff gastank but I'm still saying that the Flames come out and kick ass in G2 and take this series in 6.

And if I'm wrong about that? Well I'll have lost some money but gained some summer ammunition for the blogbattles;)

That comment about last year's Oilers was stupid. People really don't get that team. The cindarella run thing shouldn't really quality for them when they were so clearly better than their position.

If the Oilers had a starting goaltender in 05-06 that didn't suck complete rocks, that's a first place team in the North West.

7) Now Datsyuk isn't due to score again until 2012.

You mean 1:02 into the next game. BWAHAHAHA! No Flames!

I don't even think it's worth responding to guys who didn't know that the Oilers had a really great team once Roli showed up, but it's more than Anons who believe that shit, Duhatschek was parroting that garbage in the Globe last month and I blurbed on it over at IOF.

As for the Flames today, I know they sucked on the road all season but this is a disgrace. Then again the Pens weren't great for five periods and they're back at home with the series tied.

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