This Is Where It Starts?: Flames 2, Hawks 3 (OT)

 

I've drawn the short straw here, and have to attempt to try and put into words what all that was tonight.  Is it even close to possible?  I'll do my best.  First, let me start with your Corsi and shift charts.  They both tell an interesting tale.  By looking at the Corsi, you might assume this was a game the Hawks dominated.  Couldn't be further from the truth.  For at least the first 30, and probably 40, the Flames played this one to a T.  They kept the Hawks to the outside, pretty much won everything along the boards, finished every check, and created a few chances of their own.  I wouldn't be surprised if they're feeling quite robbed at this moment.

The Shift Charts tell another story as well.  You'll see that Pahlsson drew the Jokinen-Iginla assignment, and once again Iggy was nowhere to be found.  Or at least for the first half of the game.  But the line of Bertuzzi-Langkow-Cammalleri was mauling the Hawks all night.  Bolland and Versteeg couldn't stay with them.  First Q tried shifting Havlat there, with Brouwer moving the to the fourth and Sharp to Daydream Nation.  That worked all right, but then he reunited D. Ladd-Soul, seeing as how that line kicked the Flames cock in all year.  This might be where you point to the game turning. 

As I wrote in The Indian, my big fear tonight was that the Hawks would come out so juiced in a rollicking UC (and it was as loud as I've ever heard it), they'd have nothing left after it.  It was quite the opposite.  They looked tentative and nervous from the get-go.  Luckily, they only found themselves down 1-0 after some good work by the Flames 3rd line.  It could have been worse, and if not for Khabby, it would have been.

Interesting sidenote here:  Which power play looked worse?  The Hawks eventually created some chances on theirs, though not many, while the Flames just looked bewildered.  Whoever gets theirs going first will go a long way to winning this.

Only halfway through the second did the Hawks start skating, and got what has to be a considered a slice of luck as Barker 2nd attempt, and much softer attempt, evaded Kiprusoff somehow.  From there it was just a grind. 

The 3rd looked pretty ugly for a while there, when Barker got caught at the Flames blueline, leaving Walker on a 2-on-1, which is basically a 2-on-.5.  It's here that I saw a lot of Flames fans bitching about Keenan's decision to pack it in, and they probably have a right to do so.  Giving the Hawks that much space is asking for trouble, and that's what they got. 

12 seconds?  Never has 12 seconds ever been so satisfying.  A big thanks to Jordan Leopold, who turned over the puck to start, then decided to make it better by pushing Ladd right into Kipper has Marty buried the winner.

I'm gonna go faint.  We have to do this again on Saturday?

Player Of The Game

Jesus_havlat_medium

Marty will save us.

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