The Hawks have now swept two teams in the season series. I don't know the numbers.. maybe I'll look it up later.. but this must be the first time in a while the Hawks have swept any team in a season, let alone two. Phoenix, the only team that's occasionally younger than the Hawks, wasn't a big surprise but the Flames are division leaders with some great players. Yet the Hawks haven't had any trouble at all..
Mora just mentioned this as I was writing it (get out of my head Mora!).. but in this game Keith, Sharp, Toews, VERSTEEG!, Campbell and Kane were all held without a single point. The only "star" that had a point was Havlat with an assist on the first goal. Who was the highest scorer then? Well.. it's a tie between the always reliable pairing of Matty Walker (3A) and Andrew Ladd (1G and 2A). Bolland also extended his point streak to 5 games with a goal and an assist tonight. I can see why our friends over at St. Louis Game Time liked Walker so much.. he's starting to grow on me here and I always like seeing a guy have a great night when their Dad is at the game (call me a sentamental sucker). I'm already sold on Bolland too.. more on that line later.
How'd the Flames do though? Not so hot. Only Bertuzzi and Pardy ended the night with a + rating. The Flames biggest scorers once again were no where to be seen. Iginla ended the night -4 (again) and Cammalleri was -3. Iginla must be very glad he won't have to play the Hawks again - he's -9 in the 4 games this year.
Once again we saw a game where the opponent was supposed to come out with some fire and take it to the Hawks early to get back at them for being embarrassed in earlier games. The Flames certainly threw around their bodies but they couldn't get anything going with the puck and any good chances they had were stuffed by Khabby who had another great game. The Flames looked tired and sloppy out there at the end of the game it showed with some dumb penalties and frustration.
So sorry to the guy(s) who run Five Hole Fanatics.. hope to see you in the playoffs.
Sam just pointed this out to me - over at Flames Nation they had this to say about the non-Havlat part of the third line:
His regular linemates are Andrew Ladd and Dave Bolland - hardly world beaters.
5 points between those boys tonight - so here at SCH we're proud to announce the search for a nickname for the Ladd-Bolland-Havlat line. I suggest simply "The World Beaters"... Sam suggests "D. Ladd Soul". Neither of us is sure how Havlat relates to soul.. but it's too good to pass up. I think I might like his suggestion better - but we of course want you to suggest something too... so have it.
Still want more? Click below..
As I mentioned in the opener... the only real "star" with a point was Havlat.. and it was a great assist too - off a block by Keith, Havlat powers his way up the boards, pushes through a check and ends up throwing the puck across the crease where it finds Bolland who doesn't quite tallywhack it in.. but it goes in nonetheless.
The Flames struck back after they kill a penalty and Bertuzzi gets behind Keith who must have thought the thug was going to the bench.. He beats Khabby but the Hawks wasted no time in answering back with the prettiest goal of the night.
Less than 30 seconds after the Flames goal Brouwer starts a great play with a big check behind the Flames net that allows Bolland to pick up the puck and make a no look pass to the front of the net right to Ladd. Ladd snaps it right over Kipper to retake the lead.
After some back and forth Phaneuf takes advantage of misplayed puck by Walker behind the Hawks net - he brings it around and wrists one over Khabby.. we go into the intermission tied. By the way, despite this goal- Phaneuf is still overrated and was the cause of some big turnovers and general crappy play throughout the night.
In the second the penalty kill really took over as Keith goes a little crazy. He takes down Cammalleri behind the net and then shatters Pardy's stick just seconds out of the box. Kane also didn't help things as another high stick leads to another 4 minutes of kill - VERSTEEG! is happy they call it on the right guy this time.
Between the kills though a great shift lets the Hawks change lines with the puck in Flames zone. Burish gets to the net and is able to reach out a few feet and redirect a pass.. or shot.. or something from Walker into the net. It ends up being the game-winner.
In the third it was all Hawks. Another great shift from the fourth line and Fraser throws the puck towards the net and it goes off Kipper and in. During the celebrations the Flames show their frustration and start some fights. Andre Roy goes nuts and tries to fight everyone... Burish does what you're supposed to be when you're dominating a team and laughs him off.
Finally, to end the game.. Brouwer ends up actually hitting an empty net to ice the game. As said in the comments - perhaps his problem that he was just too close on all those other empty nets.
Hawks sweep and can go for another 3-3 in a road trip up north.. great game.