Flames Game Notebook
Langkow suffers concussion
Flames forward Daymond Langkow, heading to retrieve a puck in the Flames end, was hit from behind into the boards by Canuck forward Matt Cooke in the second period. Langkow hit his head on the glass and went down immediately. As he lay on the ice, the brouhaha got started. Dion Phaneuf challenged Cooke, who declined (what else is new?). Phaneuf continued and ended up going to-to-toe with Mattias Ohlund. Phaneuf was handed an instigator and fighting major, Cooke two minutes for boarding and Ohlund five for fighting so there was no power play for either team.
Cooke obviously didn't see the pleas of Patrice Bergeron earlier in the day. The Boston forward who is recovering from a hit from behind at the hands of Philadelphia defenceman Randy Jones and asked players to show respect and not hit a player when they see the numbers on the back of the jersey. Replays showed Cooke saw nothing but numbers.
"You have to hold back -- hitting is a part of the game, but not from behind. We have to respect each other a little bit more. I know I’m not the only one who has been saying that this past year. Something needs to be done. We have to think about the consequences when you’re on the ice," said Bergeron, wearing a neck brace.
Langkow left the ice under his own strength but did not return for the remainder of the game as he was being evaluated by Flames doctors. Following the game head coach Mike Keenan said Langkow had suffered a concussion meaning he is unlikely to play on Saturday against Edmonton.
Losing streak hits four games
The loss to Vancouver was the Flames fourth dropped game in a row.
During that span they have scored just five goals and had 15 scored against them.
Last season the Flames had two four game losing streaks, one in February and one in April.
"I'm more concerned with the goals against at this point," said head coach Mike Keenan.
Flames need 60 minutes
The Flames are scratching their heads as to why they are not putting together 60 minutes each game. Case in point is Thursday. The Flames were not sharp or committed in the first two periods against Vancouver but were on fire in the third period.
"We demonstrated a level of desperation in the third period," said coach Mike Keenan. "When you are playing at a desperate level, you are competing hard and you are getting results."
Keenan was asked why there is not desperation throughout the games?
"Is it possible? Yes. Is it expected? Yes. We expect our team to have that commitment from the start of the game and play hard hockey from the start of the game."
Added defenceman Anders Eriksson: "Why don't we play like that for three periods? If we do, we win the game. We have to figure it out soon or it will be too late. Why? I don't know. Frustrating. You can talk as much as you want but you have to do it. Hopefully we can carry that third period into the game on Saturday against Edmonton which is going to be an even tougher game. We did the simple things in the third. We went to the net and did the little things like they did for the first two periods."
Craig Conroy entered Thursday's game having not scored in eight games. And yes, it is bugging him.
"I'm tired of scoring in practice. I need to score in a game," said always affable Conroy.
He isn't alone in a slump -- another veteran, Owen Nolan, scored his first of the season, the Flames second of the night, having endured a 15-game goal-less streak.
"We are all pressing. We all want to score," said Conroy, who continues to centre the Flames top line."If me or Owen can get things going, it would be a big help to the team."
So, despite the slump, Conroy continues to smile.
"Having fun is a big thing for us. You see teams that are winning and they are always having fun, always laughing."
Iginla approaches milestone
Flames captain Jarome Iginla played in his 794th game in a Calgary uniform Thursday. He will soon pass Al MacInnis and move into first in all-time games played for the Flames. MacInnis, who is scheduled to go into the Hall of Fame on Monday, played in 803 games as a Flame. Iginla recently slipped passed Theo Fleury on the all-time games played list. Fleury played 791 games for the Flames.
The Big Save
The Flames didn't have many quality scoring chances in the first period but they might have had the best chance when Alex Tanguay, who had worked a nice, smooth cycle with Jarome Iginla, dished a no-look pass into the slot for Adrian Aucoin who was pinching from the blueline. Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo stood firm in his net stopping Aucoin's snap shot and keeping the score knotted at 0-0. The Flames were outshot 12-4 in the first by the visitors. Aucoin, by the way, had two of the four shots on goal.
However, Luongo made a number of huge saves in the third period as the Flames woke up and pumped 24 shots his way.
"They came at us hard in the third period. We had some penalties and that changed the momentum. They were throwing everything at the net in the third period. We managed to hold the fort," said Luongo, who eventually faced 38 shots from Calgary.
The Line Up
The Flames healthy scratch was Eric Godard. D Rhett Warrener was out with a throat infection while F Wayne Primeau is out with a high ankle sprain. Godard was replaced in the line-up by Mark Smith who had been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games. He joined Stephane Yelle and Marcus Nilson on the Flames checking line.
This and that
The Canucks entered the game with a perfect 4-0 record against Northwest Division teams. The Flames entered the game with a 2-2-3 record against divisional opponents...Alex Tanguay entered the game with a six-game points streak (4-6-10) and Jarome Iginla entered the game on a four-game point streak (4-2-6)...The Flames and Canucks are two of the more penalized teams in the NHL. The Flames entered the game averaging 17.1 minutes a game (26th in the NHL) while the Canucks were averaging 18.1 minutes a game (28th in the league)...Former Flame Byron Ritchie was spotted on the point of the Canucks power play a couple of times Thursday...
The Flames host Edmonton Saturday at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Game time is 8 p.m. The game will be on Hockey Night in Canada and The Fan 960 radio.