While I don't think this team would let the early season start go to their head. A game like this reminds us all that we are not golden boys. We were outclass in the 1st and didn't have the gas in the 3rd.
The first period was a dominating performance by the Flames with a guest appearance of Rick Nash. The Flames were hungry tonight. Our defensemen would coast into corners and look over their shoulder to see a Flame full-go coming at them. This hadn't happened to us before tonight, we didn't adjust. The first five minutes had the looks of a route. Then we take two penalties... to two of our PK defenders. Pahlsson, Nash, and Klesla played a great 5 on 3. Nash buzzed by Phaneuf before he realized Nash was going for it. I can't comprehend how a team can score a 5 on 3 SH goal, but Nash has done it twice in the last two years.
I was concerned that our defensive injuries would show up on the road when we don't dictate the matchups. That happened tonight. Klesla-Methot was not a capable shutdown pair. This game if nothing else magnifies the value of the road/home games. A defense that looked capable last game... looked bewildered tonight. Calgary has a lot of fire power and a lot of speed and that did not bode well in the first. This was the picture in the 1st period.
Paging Dr. Hitchcock.
What a difference a powerplay can make. What a difference a period could make. What looked to be a 3-1 beatdown in a matter of two minutes in the second period turned into a 3-3 game. It is absolutely necessary you have a great powerplay to win games like this on the road. You got to love the names that hit the score sheet: Brassard and Voracek.
Our 5 on 3 powerplay looks really great so far this year. I'm glad to see Derick Brassard to find the twine because I think he's been gripping it really hard. Great to see the sweet assist 45 seconds later. Once he adjusts to playing against the best defenders and checkers in the league- he'll be a stud.
Mason played great tonight, but the softie on Phaneuf that broke the 3-3 tie is one that he has to make. That's two soft wristers in as many games.
I thought Mathieu Roy played a heck of a game. His skating is still suspect, but he is holding his own.
We need more from Umberger and Vermette, these guys didn't do anything tonight. We have to get them going.
In the third it looked like both teams were out of gas. The first period tempo is impossible to sustain for an entire game. The third period definitely looked slow-mo. The Flames capitalized on our aggressiveness just like you'd expect a good team to do.
Even though we didn't get the win, the 2nd period resiliency is a great sign. Take nothing away from the Flames who are a very good hockey team.
Mancrush of the Night: The captain was solid tonight. He carried his mail and I felt was the only forward capable of making offense tonight against the Flame defense. He came up with the goal when we absolutely needed it. He has a knack for doing that.
Whipping Boy: Kristian Huselius. He made three first period defensive zone turnovers... in a matter of about 3 minutes. Regardless of the rest of the game, he gets the whipping stick tonight for that.
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