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HOMES BY AVI POWER PLAY MARCH UPDATE

CALGARY, AB -- In early February, the Calgary Flames found success on their power play with goals in three consecutive games as they went 2-0-1 in that stretch.
 
“I thought we were able to create some unpredictable flow to our power play early on,” said forward Michael Cammalleri, who also notched a power-play goal on Jan. 31 during a 3-1 loss at home to the Detroit Red Wings. “We were moving people and pucks a lot. Pucks ended up at the net. I think (opposing teams) found it a little difficult based on our unpredictability.”
 
Jay Bouwmeester started the month of February off in fine fashion by scoring a power-play marker on Feb. 3 as the Flames skated to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Three nights later, captain Jarome Iginla tallied a power-play marker during a 3-2 shootout loss to the Ducks in Anaheim. Olli Jokinen then bulged the twine during a man-advantage situation on Feb. 8 for the Flames, who went on to edge the Sharks 4-3 in San Jose.
 
“When we’ve had success, we basically run two units,” explained defenceman Mark Giordano, who plays the point on Calgary’s first power-play unit. “I think getting shots early is important and simplifying it. When we don’t have success ... it’s because we’re overthinking it and not simplifying it enough and making the easy plays.”
 
Over the next six games, the Flames went 0-for-15 with the man advantage, but still managed to compile a 3-1-2 record.
 
Jokinen and Giordano then tallied power-play goals in back-to-back games at home, although both were disappointing shootout setbacks (4-3 to the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 23 and 5-4 to the Philadelphia Flyers two nights later).
 
On Giordano’s goal against Philadelphia, the nimble defenceman actually jumped in the air to glove down a failed clearing attempt.
 
“Luckily I was in that exact spot where he shot it and once it turns over like that you just try to get it to the net as quick as possible because the goalie’s not really expecting it,” said Giordano, who adeptly put the puck down and fired a shot past Philadelphia netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. “It was all-in-all a pretty lucky play to catch it and then to fire a knuckler by him. Whenever it’s on edge like that you want to shoot it. Any goalie will tell you, those are the hard ones for them. It moves around and dips and all that.”
 
While Giordano made a quick head’s up play that led to the power-play goal against Philadelphia, he also credited forward Alex Tanguay for his work to set up plays during man-advantage situations for the Flames.
 
“For us, Tangs is a huge part of our unit,” Giordano said. “He sets plays up, he moves. He’s sort of like a rover out there.”
 
Another key component to help the Flames have even more success with the power play is to design plays to set up Cammalleri and Iginla for their lethal slap shots.
 
“Obviously Cammy and Iggy have two of the better one-timers you’ll see in the game,” Giordano said. “We have to work on getting them shots, but at the same time, the other guys have to shoot more because teams will tend to overplay those two.”
 
While he’s disappointed that he’s only scored a pair of power-play goals since Calgary acquired him from the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 12, Cammalleri said he has faith that the Flames can get back to the type of success they had in late January and early February.
 
“We’ll try to work our butts to get back to it, for sure,” Cammalleri said.

Check out previous editions of the Homes By Avi Powerplay Update
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