It was a night full of effort, retribution, and good hockey as the Calgary Flames were hosted by the San Jose Sharks.
There was a lot of confidence on the Flames teams that has been missing for a while. Their efforts paid off when Jiri Hudler, after digging the puck out of the corner in the Sharks end, carried it in front of Antti Niemi and scored almost seamlessly. Joe Pavelski came back to tie the game a while later, and barely 20 seconds after the first Sharks goal, Tommy Wingels netted another one to put San Jose ahead on the scoreboard.
In the later part of the first period, Bob Hartley’s Energy Line made another comeback in the wake of a media and league shake-up, proving why Hartley has every right to start his fourth line players. Kevin Westgarth tied the game at 2 when he skated down the ice towards the front of the net, picked up a rebound from a shot by Brian McGrattan, and scored to tie the game. This storybook goal could not have been written any more perfectly than it was. It was a great goal that earned a celebration on ice.
The second period saw the only other goal in the game when San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored again, thus retaining his status as one of the top goal scorers in the NHL right now.
It was a good game of hockey against a worthy opponent. The Flames did their best to hold off the Sharks and the shots on net were abundant. The offensive defense worked hard to keep the Flames alive. Paul Byron left the game in the second period after blocking a shot in the Flames zone, not to return.
I’d be more upset about losing this game, but the Flames played with confidence, heart, and effort through all three periods. Yes, it’s a loss, but it’s not a typical 7-1 loss, it wasn’t a blow out. The final score was 3-2, which tells me that the Flames are getting better with each game. As a true Flames fan, I cannot be angry at a solid effort by the team.
My 1 Star
Jiri Hudler. With almost 22 minutes on the ice and one beauty of a goal, he started off the offensive fight for the Flames and kept the momentum going with 3 shots on net. Everyone has been talking about how disappointing it was for Hudler to be left off the roster for the Czech Olympic team, but I’m sure the team selection committee is probably kicking themselves right now. Besides, if Hudler was on the Czech team, other countries would be hard-pressed to win the gold with Hudler as an opponent.