Bouma's first; Glencross express
Five key points from the Flames 2-1 win over Chicago
CALGARY -- Five Takeaways from the Calgary-Chicago game February 7 , 2011 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The win moves the Flames into a playoff position -- eighth -- and just two points out of fourth in the very crowded Western Conference standings.
TAKEAWAY ONE: First NHL point
A couple of rookie got together in the first period to score for the Flames. Lance Bouma, playing in just his second NHL game, fed a perfect breakaway pass to Mikael Backlund who buried his seventh of the season on a backhand. It was an impressive, patient play by Bouma, who took a hit on the play to spring Backlund. Coincidentally, the pair played against each other in the WHL and were enemies.
"We've had our battles before," said Bouma. "We're on the same team now. I like playing with Backs. He's a great player."
TAKEAWAY TWO: Line shuffle
Calgary is trying to get Rene Bourque going again. He has one goal in his last 22 games. On Monday they moved him to a line with Matt Stajan and Tim Jackman -- a group that has some grit and some skill and may bear some fruit in the future. Bourque scored an empty-net goal, his first in nine games and 16th of the season, to ice the win. With Bourque shifting to that line, Curtis Glencross moved to the second line with Olli Jokinen and David Moss and had plenty of energy. He played one of those gritty, annoying games. The kind of player the other team hates to play against. To top it off, Glencross wired home the Flames second goal of the game, giving the Flames a 2-1 lead in the third period. He is now one goal shy of his career high of 15 goals. Jokinen picked up an assist on the play -- his 600th career point.
TAKEWAY THREE: The penalty kill
The Hawks have the No. 1 power play in the National Hockey League. And, on this night, the Flames shut them down. The Flames killed two penalties in the second period and then one that overlapped into the third period (a bad tripping call on Cory Sarich who was diving for a puck and collided with Bryan Bickell). The goaltender always has to be sharp on a penalty kill, and Miikka Kiprusoff was very good. But credit guys like Glencross, Matt Stajan, David Moss, Brendan Morrison and Tom Kostopoulos who pressured the points on the Hawks power play and actually generated a good number of chances shorthanded. Stajan, in fact, rang one off the post shorthanded in the third period.
TAKEAWAY FOUR: Brendan Morrison
Veteran centre Brendan Morrison, who entered the game with a seven-game point streak, continued his strong, two-way play. He was a perfect 7-for-7 in the faceoff circle in the first period, helped kill penalties and played a big role all game.
TAKEAWAY FIVE: The Hawks Cup hangover
Do the Chicago Blackhawks really have a Stanley Cup hangover? That's what most like to attribute their inconsistency to this season. However, in the dressing room the Hawks are not using that as an excuse as they battle for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"You can't use the hangover excuse anymore," said defenceman Brian Campbell. "We've got 30 games here to set a tone. This is a playoff team. We haven't proven it yet but there are no more excuses in this dressing room."
A quick count showed that the Hawks are without nine of the players from last year's team that suited up against the Flames -- and won all four games of the season series.
"I think we are at the point that it doesn't matter who we play -- we have a standard we need to be at," said captain Jonathan Toews.