A Wild Game: Calgary Flames Lose To Minnesota Wild 4-3

Svyato Rovenchuk@TorontosClassicSenior Writer IMarch 22, 2010

CALGARY - OCTOBER 24:  James Sheppard #15 of Minnesota Wild skates during the NHL game against the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome on October 24, 2007 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan /Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

One wild game is all I can say. The Calgary Flames went into Minnesota with a win on their minds and came out on the wrong end of a 4-3 hockey game. In a game that should have been an easy victory for the Calgary Flames they found themselves ashamed in their defeat to one of the worst teams in the NHL. This certainly does not help their playoff dreams, losing to such a weak team. With a tough schedule ahead of them this should have been a game where they could’ve played an easy game and still have won, obviously that was not the case.

They cracked the back of the net first, but from there on it was all downhill for the Flames. In the end, they tried to get the comeback, but it didn’t happen as Minnesota held on to the 1 goal lead.

So let’s see what went down in this game and when it all went wrong for the Calgary Flames.

Calgary opened the scoring in this one in the 1st period. Steve Staios scored first in this game making the score 1-0 for the Calgary Flames. At 12: 43 Steve scored on the power play to give Calgary the early edge in this one. The assists came from Niklas Hagman and Daymond Langkow. So with that Calgary had control and dreams of winning the game, but what happened next was not pretty. For those disgusted by a basement dweller team beating a legit hockey club we advise you to stop reading at this point.

At 13:17 it was a tie game again. The Minnesota Wild had put the puck in Calgary’s net to make it a 1-1 hockey game. Andrew Burnette was the man the put the puck in and got his team back into the hockey game. The assists came from Mikko Koivu and Nick Shultz. Unfortunately that would not be it.

At 19: 18 Minnesota scored another goal to make the score 2-1 for the Minnesota Wild. Guillaume Latendresse  had scored a powerplay goal for Minnesota to give them the lead in the hockey game. Assists came from former Flame, Owen Nolan and Cam Barker. With that goal the 1st period would wrap up 2-1 with Minnesota leading. The second period wouldn’t be too much better for Calgary.

3: 05 into the 2nd period they had extended their lead to 2 goals. Chuck Kobasew had put the puck in the Calgary net to make it 3-1 for the Minnesota Wild. The assist came from Kyle Brodziak. So with that the Wild had just made the Flames night that much worse, but Calgary wouldn’t be giving in yet.

5: 52 and the Flames came within 1 goal of the Minnesota Wild once more. Former Maple Leaf, Ian White put one in to draw Calgary that much closer to a victory. The assists came from Jarome Iginla and Matt Stajan this time. 3-2 is where we stand, Minnesota is still in the lead, but the Flames have the momentum with the last goal scored.

The period was winding down and with that came another Wild goal. Chuck Kobasew scored his second of the night to once again extend the lead to 2 goal for the Minnesota Wild. Assists came from Brent Burns and Mikko Koivu. So Minnesota would wrap up the second period with a 2 goal lead on the Calgary Flames, one more period, one more chance to come back for the Calgary Flames.

In the early stages the Calgary Flames would pull within 1 goal of the Wild yet again. Eric Nystrom put the puck past Josh Harding on this play. The assists came from Cory Sarich and Matt Stajan. 1 goal left to score and it only takes mere seconds for a puck to cross the line and for the light to come on signifying the goal. Could they do it, could they tie it up? Sadly the answer was no. Minnesota held on to win the game 4-3 and to put Calgary’s playoff charge on hold.

Vesa Toskala originally got the start in this one with Miikka Kiprusoff getting the night off, but after one goal on Vesa Toskala, Brent Sutter decided to put in Miikka Kiprusoff. I do not understand what the coach was thinking on this one, he had stopped all pucks to that point, why put Kiprusoff in? Why not let him continue his night off and give Vesa the benefit of the doubt? The answer eludes me.

Daymond Langkow left this game a hurt man. He got hit with the puck in the neck and did not return after that point. Although I doubt this injury is a serious one, if it puts Langkow out that will definitely hurt Calgary’s playoff push. Langkow is without a doubt one of the better players on the Flames roster and he would be a void that would be hard to fill on the Flames’ team.

Calgary Flames’ next games are as followed:

Tuesday vs. Anaheim Ducks (3/23/10) 

Thursday vs. New York Islanders (3/25/10) 

Saturday vs. Boston Bruins (3/27/10) 

Sunday vs. Washington Capitals (3/28/10)

Wednesday vs. Phoenix Coyotes (3/31/10)

3 out of the next 5 games should not be too hard of a challenge, but then again this game should have come as an easy win for Calgary too and look what happened here. The Anaheim Ducks always bring their top play against Calgary, but I truly believe the Flames can come away with a victory in that one.

New York is not too tough of a challenge either. The Islanders currently sit 13th in the Eastern Conference which is not much to worry about, but then again never under estimate what John Tavares can bring to a hockey game, you never know when he might want to pull a trick out of his bag.

The game with the Bruins should be like the first two, no challenge. The Flames and the Bruins are in similar positions, both fighting for playoff positioning. The game will have plenty on the line for both teams, but when all is said and done the Flames should have the win here too.

After that the schedule heats up with two hard games with the Washington Capitals and Phoenix Coyotes. Washington, best team in the NHL. Phoenix, one of the better teams in the Western Conference. Things will not be easy here, but I do like the Flames upset chances. They did beat San Jose after all, have to remember that.

We are getting so close to the end of the line, the question is when we get to the end will the Flames be inside or outside of the top 8 spots in the Western Conference. Flames have high stakes in front of them and they have to bring everything they have to the table for these last few games. The bright side in the possibility that the Flames miss the playoffs is that Miikka Kiprusoff will undoubtedly be up for the top goaltender award(Vezina Trophy). Plus you can always come back next year and try again.

However that is not me saying to give up on the Flames. No, that would be the last thing I would do or say. So Flames fans keep watching these last few crutial games and let’s hope that we’ll see our boys in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs!

This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "A Wild Game: Calgary Flames Lose To Minnesota Wild 4-3." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.

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