In another game that could have gone Calgary’s way, it did not. The New York Islanders are not exactly Stanley Cup contenders this season. This was a very beatable team and beat them they did not. A bad 3rd period got Calgary on the losing end of things when they had control over the Islanders. This can definitely prove costly to Calgary, because as mentioned before in previous articles, Calgary don’t exactly have the lightest schedule.
The Calgary Flames schedule will definitely have to have them play their best hockey. Only 1 out of their remaining 8 opponents are currently out of the playoffs and that is the Minnesota Wild. The same Minnesota that Calgary recently lost 4-3 to. Basically things can be as bad as they can get for the Flames.
Before we start looking more into the Flames’ playoff chance though, let’s recap this hockey game and see what went down here.
The New York Islanders would open the scoring in this one. At 8: 23 Trent Hunter beat Miikka Kiprusoff to make the score 1-0 for the New York Islanders. The assists on this one came from Frans Nielsen and Jon Sim. So with the New York was beating the playoff hungry, Calgary Flames. Would they tie the game up early on?
That they would. It wouldn’t take too long for the Calgary Flames to answer the New York Islanders tally on the scoreboard. Nigel Dawes scored at 9: 13 to tie up the hockey game 1-1. The assists came from Cory Sarich and Eric Nystrom. With that the 1st period scoring would be put on hold. We left the 1st with the game tied at 1 a piece, who would draw first blood in the second?
Around the middle of the 2nd period the Calgary Flames would put one in. Eric Nystrom tipped in a puck at 13: 08 to make the score 2-1 for the Calgary Flames. The assists came from Jamal Mayers and Niklas Hagman. Thanks to that goal the Flames had the momentum in the hockey game. 2-1 is how the second period would wrap up, you had to think that the Flames were feeling pretty good about themselves, but maybe they were feeling too good.
What do I mean when I say they were feeling too good? Well 28 seconds into the 3rd period the New York Islanders tied up the hockey game. Matt Moulson got it in the back of the net to even up the score at 2-2. The assists came from Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo. Giving up a goal that early? Ouch, there goes all the momentum they had going for them.
The score was tied, Calgary could still take advantage of this. It was a very tight hockey game between the two. Could they pull out the win?
Sadly the answer is they could NOT. The Flames allowed the Islanders to score another to make the score 3-2 for the New York Islanders. Bruno Gervais got the goal for the Islanders. The assist came from Mark Streit. So with that the game would wrap up with the Flames losing 3-2 to the New York Islanders.
Is the flame burned out?
In a great chance to gain some ground on the 8th place Red Wings, Calgary did the opposite pushing themselves away from Detroit. They once again gave Detroit the game at hand and let them keep their 4 point lead over the Calgary Flames. Neither of those are good things. The Flames are going to have to play some good old fashioned hockey for the last 8 games if they play on somehow squeaking into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If not they’ll be watching from how, waiting on the start of next year’s season.
The Flames in my mind, need to work on protecting their netminder, Miikka Kiprusoff. He has without a doubt played some of his best hockey this season and will likely be locking horns with Ryan Miller for the Vezina Trophy this season. This guy is a great asset to have on the team, he’ll bail you out on those bad breaks. His skills can not be misused though. What I mean by that is the Flames obviously know that Kiprusoff is a tremendous goalie, but they can’t go around giving the puck up thinking ”Kiprusoff’s got my back, no worries.” That would be the absolute worst thing you could do!
They need to run up the score and then switch gears right back to defense. That would definitely get them the nod in hockey games. Let’s look at it hypothetically. Ok, Flames get 2 goals early to make it 2-0 Flames. They kick it right back to defense after. The Calgary Flames do not score anymore goals, but manage to only allow 1 goal. Doesn’t that mean they win the game 2-1? Sure it’s close, but it’s a win, hence proving that the strategy could and would be effective.
Calgary Flames’ next 5 opponents of the NHL season:
Saturday vs. Boston Bruins (3/27/10)
Sunday vs. Washington Capitals (3/28/10)
Wednesday vs. Phoenix Coyotes (3/31/10)
Friday vs. Colorado Avalanche (4/2/10)
Sunday vs. Chicago Blackhawks (4/4/10)
With the exception of a Boston game that could go either way, those should be some of Calgary’s toughest games. Chicago and Phoenix are two of the best teams in the Western Conference. Washington is the best team in the entire NHL! Colorado have never been the easiest team for the Flames to beat (even though they did it not too long ago).
8 games are left, 8 chances, 8 opportunities, 8 potential wins, 8 potential losses, 8 games that will test the true talent of the Calgary Flames.
I really do believe they can get into the playoffs despite the overwhelming schedule they have and the light schedule Detroit have. There’s just something saying that the Flames are going to win, that they’ll make the playoffs. Something is out there that is convincing me that they will bring something extra to their play. Well we are all going to see over the next little while.
So Calgary Flames fans keep watching because things are getting really intense in the Sea of Red.
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "Out On The Lonely Isle: New York Islanders beat Calgary Flames 3-2." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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