In a good test for the Calgary Flames they managed to pull off the victory. The Colorado Avalanche, as just mentioned was their test last night. They are certainly no team to be joked around with and the Flames took them dead serious. They worked hard from the start and managed to hold on to the lead in the end to come away with the win and move that much closer to their playoff dreams.
The Calgary Flames built themselves a 3 goal lead over the Avalanche in this game. Colorado would answer with two of their own, but Calgary would hold off the third one as they took the win.
With that they once again move to within 1 point of that 8th and last playoff spot. Not too far away now, but Calgary has to know they cannot afford to drop too many games now. Even if they have a very tough last few games ahead of them most of the results have to be a win for them to slide into the playoffs come the end of the season.
The Flames decided to give Kiprusoff the night off in this one in favour of newly acquired backup, Vesa Toskala. It was a great choice on their part. First off because they got to rest their starting goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff who was due for a rest for a very long while now. They also got a chance to watch Vesa Toskala and see if he is a suitable backup for Kiprusoff. Lastly because in the end they got the same result that they would have with Kiprusoff, a victory.
So let’s see what happened in this clash of the Northwest Division rivals.
You wouldn’t have to wait long for the first goal in this one, that’s for sure. 3: 12 minutes into the first period the scoring began. Rene Bourque scored a shorthanded goal for Calgary to make it 1-0. Bourque scored from a nice little wrist shot to put Calgary up. The assist came from Matt Stajan. The 1st period scoring from the Flames wouldn’t end there.
At 7:33 into the period the light was lit again. Eric Nystrom had scored Calgary’s second goal of the game. A nice backhand would get past Craig Anderson giving the Calgary Flames a 2-0 lead in this all important hockey game. He put a nice backhander in the back of the net for this goal. Assists came from Jamal Mayers and Curtis Glencross. And with that the first was over.
The second period was underway and we wouldn’t have to wait too long for the puck to end up in the back of the Colorado net. Rene Bourque scored a powerplay goal for Calgary to extend their lead to 3-0! The helpers came from Ian White Mark Giordano. The lead had been built and now it was time for Colorado to climb up the m0untain that was the Flames lead.
At 13: 44 Colorado would break Vesa Toskala’s shutout performance. Chris Durno would get a shot past Vesa Toskala to cut the Flames lead to two goals. The assists came from Matt Hendricks and Darcy Tucker. So they got momentum on their side, could they keep it going against Calgay? Well not in this period they couldn’t. Toskala stopped all other Colorado shots in the second period keeping the score 3-1 for Calgary.
Vesa Toskala would stay strong until the end of the third period. Nearing the end of the period, Colorado scored another goal against Vesa Toskala and made the score 3-2. Luckily this goal came at 19: 27 into the period so time for any comebacks was not really available. The goal came from Milan Hejduk, with assists from Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart. Seconds remaining and Vesa would wrap things up leaving the score 3-2 and getting Calgary the win.
That was truly a great game for Calgary because it helped them realize so much. First they got to see first hand all the potential Toskala has when it comes to being a backup to Miikka Kiprusoff.
Rene Bourque also had a great game. This guy is someone with tons and tons of potential in the NHL. If he can bring that kind of play in the NHL playoffs then the Calgary Flames are a team to be reckoned with if they make the playoffs.
You look at the first line of Rene Bourque, Matt Stajan and Jarome Iginla. That line will be a serious threat come playoff time. They can and will definitely put some pucks in the back of the net of their opponents.
But before we jump to any playoff dreams, we have to remind ourselves what position they are in first. If you remember right, they are still on the outside looking in. They are still 1 point back of the 8th place Detroit Red Wings. They are still not in yet. They have plenty of work to do if they want to make the hunt for Lord Stanley come playoff time.
12 games left, 12 chances for a win and 12 chances for a loss. The pressure is most definitely on them in this playoff run of theirs, but it’s a good type of pressure. It’s the type of pressure that should drive them to those wins in the end. It shouldn’t ruin their focus in the locker room, it should help them focus and help them get those needed wins. Will it? Time will tell Flames fans, time will tell.
Calgary Flames next 5 games:
Friday vs. San Jose Sharks (3/19/10)
Sunday vs. Minnesota Wild (3/21/10)
Tuesday vs. Anaheim Ducks (3/23/10)
Thursday vs. New York Islanders (3/25/10)
Saturday vs. Boston Bruins (3/27/10)
The next order is without a doubt one of the toughest tests they’ll have these last few games. If they can get away with a win they’ll be leaving with confidence that can last them throughout the rest of the season. San Jose are the second best team in the entire NHL. If they have the feeling that “Hey, if we can beat a team that good, we can beat them all!”
Well stay tuned Flames fans, because things are heating up in the Sea of Red.
This article was originally posted on FTS Sports Writing under the name "Lighting It Up: Calgary Flames beat Colorado Avalanche 3-2." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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