Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Bruins
Five key elements from the Flames-Bruins game
TAKEAWAY ONE: Slow start
At the morning skate, several Flames stated they needed to ready to go as soon as they stepped onto the ice. While they may have come into the game with that mindset, it took the team a few minutes to get their bearings and the Bruins made them pay.
Less than a minute into the contest, the Flames cleared the puck into the neutral zone and several players immediately went to the bench for a line change. No one spotted David Krejci lurking along the boards near the blueline and as soon as he got a handle on the puck, he went streaming into the Flames zone. His linemate Milan Lucic went with him and was in perfect position to tip Krejci's pass past Miikka Kiprusoff just 0:59 into regulation.
TAKEAWAY TWO: Fired up
Just 10 hours after clearing waivers, Niklas Hagman hit the ice ready to prove he belongs in the NHL.
"I just have to do things better," he said after the morning skate. "I've got to work on it."
The move put extra jump into his step and Hagman was solid at both ends of the ice. He was physical on the forecheck, led the Flames with five shots on net and was reliable in his own zone. Hagman was consistently engaged in the play and never seemed to
His team expressed their happiness with his presence in the lineup against Boston.
"From a purely selfish standpoint, I am glad he is still with us because I think he can help us," head coach Brent Sutter said. "Hags and I had a long conversation this morning. There is no problem at all. It is a non-issue. We need Hags to be a good player for us and he will be."
TAKEAWAY THREE: Big Babs
While he may have had his four-game point streak halted, Anton Babchuk continued his impressive play with one of his best defensive outings of the season.
The 26 year-old made a clutch block late in the second period, stoning Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly on a two-on-one chance. Midway through the third frame he made another shot block that bailed out his goaltender when he was out of position, throwing his body to ice to absorb a shot from the point.
Babchuk had two shots on net, three blocked shots and one hit in his 15:27 of ice time.
TAKEAWAY FOUR: Thomas factor
The Flames weren't able to generate much offence against the Bruins thanks in large part to their netminder, Tim Thomas.
The Bruins goaltending held them in the game despite the fact the Flames held the edge in zone presence in the contest. He was in the zone all night, always in position and read the Flames perfectly. In one sequence late in the final frame, he somehow managed to get a glove on a quick wrist shot from Olli Jokinen that looked destined to end up in the back of the net. That kind of instinctual play handed the Bruins the win.
"He played very well," said Jarome Iginla. "I thought Kip played great too. There's no question the goalies were sharp today ... It was pretty impressive goaltending at both ends."
TAKEAWAY FIVE: Power play prowess
The Flames have the 4th best power play in the NHL at home and thanks to Curtis Glencross, that record remains intact.
Alex Tanguay carried the puck in, backhanding it to Glencross in the slot. The winger dished it off to Iginla, making Thomas shuffle over to the side of the net in case the captain took a shot. Instead, Iginla sent it back to Glencross and he deposited the puck into the back of the net.
Calgary boasts a 29/118 record with a 24.5% connection rate.