I guess that’s why they … reacquired Craig Conroy

conroystunned.jpgFlames 4 Blues 2

I said it three times in the comments over at BoA, but it’s worth saying again: That’s exactly why the Flames brought back Craig Conroy. I was driving home from work today pondering the game, and spent a good amount of time considering Craiggers, and how he’s been kind of invisible since his first few games back. Well, consider him visible. Your veteran leaders have to step up in situations like the Flames faced in the third period, and a three-point period is damn well stepping up.

A couple of other performances are also worth mentioning, the first being Jarome Iginla’s. He could have had six points but settled for three, in a game he needed to have on the road. As I pointed out a little while ago, this hasn’t been his year away from Calgary, and positive trends start with your best player.

Then there was Brad Stuart, who was easily the best defenceman on either team tonight. He was always in strong defensive position, laid out Lee Stempniak with a Phaneuf-worthy hit, and had some offensive flourishes we need to see more of. The stats back me up: 24 minutes, four shots, +2. (I liked Jimmy’s idea in the first when he put Stuart and Phaneuf on the power play together, too. That’s worth trying again.)

So, obviously you don’t want to be going down 2-0, but it was a score the Flames were generally undeserving of. Hamrlik made an uncharacteristically weak play on Boyes that allowed him to feed Cajanek for the first goal, and Dvorak’s goal came after Calgary lost possession of a bouncing puck on the breakout. Sanford, meanwhile, was fabulous in the first, as the Flames outchanced St. Louis all period.

The big difference tonight over the rest of the year is that instead of getting frustrated and trying to do too much in their own zone to turn things around, the Flames stuck with the program, which was basically working, and it eventually paid off.

Finally:

• Who knew Wayne Primeau had that kind of breakaway speed?

• Someone should force Jim Playfair to explain the Amonte thing, and fast. He takes a stupid hooking penalty in the first and keeps getting a regular shift, while Lombardi gets called on a marginal hold and misses the entire second period and most of the third. Oh, and if anyone blows glorious opportunities and goes offside more than Amonte, please point him out to me.

• Zyuzin gets in again instead of Giordano and Hale, and he and Warrener play an appropriate 12 minutes each, but both end up -1 (Lombo and my hero Amonte the only other minus players). In 12 minutes, your 5/6 need to play better than they played.

• This isn’t saying much, but Peter Loubardias, annoying goal calls aside, is a far better play-by-play man than Roger Millions. He is, however, guilty of exposing his Millionseque prairie roots by constantly referring to players’ Alberta/Saskatchewan hometowns and/or junior teams.

So, five in a row ain’t bad. But I think we all know this run is nothing without a win in Nashville on Thursday. The Flames lose that one, and they lose all the confidence they’ve built over the past five games. I’m not saying they can never lose on the road again, but it’s time to make a statement.

And then I’ll say it’s OK.

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~ by duncan on March 6, 2007.

6 Responses to “I guess that’s why they … reacquired Craig Conroy”

  1. Amonte on a breakaway…MISS WIDE!!!

    Yep, Playfair needs to explain Zyuzin over Giordano, and Amonte’s continued ice time. Very frustrating. If he’s trying to get Amonte going he needs to give up and move on.

  2. at least warrener had a decent game. but again –warrener & zyuzin on the powerplay ???!?! i am really at a loss to explain how this happens night after night…

  3. Lombardi misssed a significant chunk of one of the games last week (the one against Minnesota) too….I remember making a note of it and thinking, huh, that’s weird.

  4. I swear I wrote my post-game before reading yours. The similarities are a coincidence…

    With that in mind, great post-game post!

  5. Did anyone notice Nilson not on the ice last night? Or in Edmonton? I had to go and look at the stats chart to even realize he was missing. Whoops! Sorry Marcus – I think that says something about your play, pal.

  6. MG: They weren’t that close, but I suppose great minds think alike.

    wi: I couldn’t believe they had Warrener on the power play. It was only for a few minutes, but c’mon. The only thing I could figure was that Hamrlik and Phaneuf were both so exhausted from a previous shift that they just couldn’t make it out.

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