The Calgary Flames traveled to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Wild last night.
With Reto Berra in net for the Flames and Darcy Kuemper in net for the Wild, Hartely decided to start Markus Granlund even though Minnesota did not start Mikael Granlund. The brothers did see a bit of ice time together throughout the game including a faceoff in the second period, but nothing significant happened that made them stand out from any other shift.
With four shots in the first five minutes of the game, Calgary did a good job offensively even though Minnesota kept up their defensive play. Kuemper was solid in net all game, not allowing even the most skilled players to get the puck past him. Sean Monahan showed his physical side with a hit on Charlie Coyle behind the net and David Jones had a breakaway but couldn’t capitalize with a goal to end the period. The teams were scoreless after one.
The second period was when all the action happened. And most of it was in favor of the Wild. Mikael Backlund took the Flames first holding penalty on Zach Parise that gave Minnesota a burst of energy on the powerplay. Reto Berra kept the Flames alive during the penalty kill through all the pushing, shoving, and shots on net.
Later in the period, Berra made a mistake. He played the puck in the trapezoid behind the Flames net, but, because of miscommunication between Kris Russell and Chris Butler, the puck landed on Kyle Brodziak‘s stick and then into the net. Other than that, Berra played well in net for the Flames. Before the period ended, Mike Cammalleri took a pass from Dennis Wideman and made scoring look easy. The second period ended in a tie, 1-1.
Lee Stempniak opened the last period with a good chance on net but he couldn’t get it past Kuemper. Sean Monahan didn’t let up on the physical play and putting pressure on the Wild players. The Flames went on the powerplay when Keith Ballard landed inside the Flames net, on top of Reto Berra, but that man advantage was short-lived when Mark Giordano took a hooking call against Parise. The Wild scored and led the game 2-1.
With another goal by Parise later in the period, I thought the Flames were done, but Giordano proved me wrong when he sent a bullet flying at Kuepmer that got buried in the back of the net. True to form, the Flames rallied in the last few minutes of the game but couldn’t keep up the pressure enough to land one more goal.
The Minnesota Wild won the game with a final score of 3-2.
My 1 Star
While I’ve been watching him through the last two games, I’ve noticed that this 20 year old forward is solid and isn’t afraid to fight for his position on the ice. He has no fear of big players, and his main goal is to get the puck on the net. He works well with rookies, such as Sean Monahan, but he can also transition to fit the veterans plays as well. I think Granlund will fit in well with the Flames throughout the rebuild.