Flames beat Stars on back of Kiprusoff

On the wings of Mikka Kiprusoff the Calgary Flames escape from Dallas with two points.

In a game that shouldn’t have even made it to the shootout -- you could argue for both the Flames and Stars on this point – the Flames kept their improbable run towards the playoffs afloat with a breathtaking victory.

For the Flames a shorthanded breakaway in the first period by Alex Tanguay, when already leading 3-0, could have put the game out of reach if Tanguay had been able to convert. Instead, the Stars scored one late in the 1st and tied the game up in the middle of the third. The Flames were mightily outplayed in the 2nd (outshot 15-4 in the period) and, if it hadn’t been for Kiprusoff, it could’ve been ugly. The Flames also had a couple of prime chances in OT to end it including a goal mouth scramble but failed to score. No one was surprised when Stajan was the Flames player who was unable to convert.

For the Stars, they had a power play with two and half minutes to go in the game which produced a plethora of quality scoring chances including a blocker/post Kipper save combo that proved crucial in the dying seconds of regulation. Not even mentioning the three on one the Stars had in OT that Kipper managed to stop. Goligoski didn’t get all of it, but Kipper made the save nonetheless.

What at first looked like a runaway blowout turned into a great hockey game. It would have been extra nice if the Flames could’ve snagged a flat out win in regulation and deny the Stars any points whatsoever, but, not to sound totally cliché, two points are all that matters.

Kipper started his 21st game in a row. Ironically enough the last game in which he did not start was against the Stars back on January 21st (the game after the 6-0 blowout to the Wild). He has been pulled only twice during the span of games (once in Colorado when the Flames were up 9-1, and the other against the Hawks last week). He is, how do you say, good at what he does. Calm under pressure, Kiprusoff is the ideal goaltender to have between the pipes.

The Flames sit in a tie for 4th, with more games played then anyone in the conference. Winning and winning often is must, if that hasn’t been stressed enough.

Bring on the Jets...

And on some non-related Flames news:

The hit on Chara. I know it’s been talked about and talked about but I just thought I would throw my two cents into the mix. Pacioretty has a concussion and fractured vertebrae, Chara feels shame and luckily wasn’t suspended, and the partition at the Bell Centre is still shaking.

Do I agree that maybe the 7-foot tall Slovak should have been given a couple games? Yes, a couple.

But the NHL, for too long, has always focused on being reactive versus being proactive in my mind. It shouldn’t be on whether or not the player gets hurt, it should be on the action itself and whether it’s considered malicious or not. The NHL has some serious issues when deciding on suspensions. It’s rarely bang on, and in this regard I think that you could see Chara gave him a bit of a push (according to Chara Pacs jumped...not sure why you would voluntarily face plant into the partition but each to his own). So in saying this, Chara should have been given a couple games at least.

Was Chara in the wrong? Yes.

Did MTL overreact today? Yes.

Did the NHL act accordingly? No.

Will Pacs be ok? By all accounts yes.

Will the NHL likely do anything about this incident moving forward like banning seamless glass and putting more padding on these partitions? Probably not.

Why not install more mesh? What difference would it make? It would be a heck of a lot safer for the players and isn't that the whole point of this debate anyways.

The spin-o-rama in the shootout: It needs to go.

If the debate is if the puck stops moving forward, I think it’s quite obvious that at some point, barring a Ribiero through the leg move, that it does. Therefore the move should be outlawed. Martin St. Louis’ goal tonight was nice, I’ll give him that, but he stopped his motion. Anyone else with me on this? Not that I was cheering for Chicago, but these are important points and if the result of the game is decided via a skills competition, that it should at least be ruled appropriately. Maybe I’m alone but I don’t think I am on this one.





George Prax's picture

I'm blogging about this as we speak so I wont waste too much much material on here, but basically, you talk about proactive vs reactive. When you consider that these two teams play in two weeks, and that this wouldn't have happened if the NHL sent a message last game, then yes, it would be proactive to suspend Chara for this. And even if you want to be proactive, does that mean you don't suspend players for offenses anymore? So, don't send me to jail because I committed a murder, instead make laws that will somehow force me not to commit one? That doesn't make any sense.

And I don't know what accounts you're reading, but Pacioretty is BY NO MEANS in the clear. The broken neck isn't so bad but he doesn't know whether he's ever going to play again yet and the concussion is SEVERE.

I'm glad you at least see that Chara was in the wrong, but knowing that player, the history, I cannot accept that there wasn't malicious intent, even if he didn't mean to break his neck.

Derrick Newman's picture

"Pacioretty also told TSN that he feels better physically than he thought he would after the incident. He explained that he has a sore neck and some other issues, but his head is clear and he has experienced no headaches."
If the headaches are gone already then it's just a matter of rehabbing or having surgery, isnt it? He might be out for the rest of the year, but he will play again next season I have to think.
I have a question for you. Is this any worse than when Kurtis Foster crashed/got pushed/tripped into the end boards chasing down an icing call a couple years ago and shattered his ankle? It's not the head but it took Foster a long time to recover. The issue has been looked at but still never resolved. Similar in that was it an accident vs intent?
Oh yeah, and the idea of charging Chara with criminal charges is absolutely ridiculous btw. It'll never fly and nor should it. People get injured all the time in hockey. Leave the police out of it, please.

Does this rile you up Prax??? I can't quite tell Wink

George Prax's picture

I don't remember the Foster incident 100%. You're trying to tell me that the player who tripped him did so on purpose because he wanted to hurt that player because their history?

Yes, it riles me up, because it's ridiculous that people are trying to find every excuse for Chara when it's clear as day that he intended to hurt him (not break his neck, but certainly hurt him). You don't have to try and counter me with examples of other incidents, you'll find no shortage of blogs, comments and forum posts from me condemning other players on other teams for such incidents in the past, whether it be Gillies, Cooke, or even Richards last year. I hate head shots no matter who's involved, but this one's extra bad because, yes, it's a player I care about more than the average NHL and because I KNOW in my tiger blood that he did it on purpose to some extent.

And you can't tell me that when a prosecutor, a Canadian federal minister and one of the country's biggest corporations, even the police, among others, come out and condemn and react to the hit that there isn't a problem. What ridiculous is that nothing was done by the NHL about this, not that the police - which has a history of charging players with assault. See: Jonathan Roy - feels the need that they need to react where the NHL didn't.

So ya, it riles me up. Ask yourself how you'd react if someone from the Canucks or Oilers chased around Rene Bourque for 3 games and then drilled his face into the turnbuckle.

Derrick Newman's picture

Watch this. You can't tel me that Mitchell doesnt push him a little. He didnt mean to break his leg, but he did. What I am saying is that this was a freak accident -- much like Fosters. I have heard numerous hockey "Experts" come out and say that this was a hockey play and that they agreed with the non suspension. While I agree it's moreso a hockey play than the Gillies play or the Bertuzzi incident, it still warranted a suspension, but a criminal charge...please! Spare me. This was more of a hockey play than the Roy incident, and therefore shouldn't have the police involved.

And as for if it happened to Bourque or any other Flames player, sure I'd be mad, but at the same time you (not you, but the greater you) have to try and look at things a little more objectively too. It's like fans who boo at a penalty that is clearly a penalty. It pisses me off.

Lets agree to disagree. The NHL was wrong and so was Chara, but not to the extent that he should be charged criminally.

And was Chara really "Chasing" him around for 3 games? I just know of the incident where he pushed him after the goal, so maybe you could fill me in on his stalking tendencies.

George Prax's picture

I never said charges should be laid and neither did the prosecutor. Read the blog I just posted on this. Quebec is just being consistent with what they've done in the past with cases in the Major Junior league. A guy gets seriously hurt in a public place, the result is an investigation. It's as simple as that. I doubt any charges will be laid but it sends a message to the league that they can't ignore these situations because it's just going to get worse.

For every "expert" that agrees with the non-suspension, there's likely another "expert" or just a normal human being that witnessed someone's life in the hands of a Neanderthal on Wednesday that disagrees with it. When a crown prosecutor, a Canadian minister and a major corporation come out publicly to condemn a hit, and the NHL does nothing but ignore it, there's a problem.

And whatever you may think about my homerism, I am looking at things objectively because I watch every game and I see how these teams and players play against each other. This has been escalating all season and it shouldn't surprise anyone that it led to this. Players know where the stanchion is, where the dangerous parts of the boards are, it's what they do professionally. You can't tell me that an elite player like Chara didn't know where he was or what he was doing.

Pacioretty pushed Chara 2 games ago. Chara lost his mind and started a scrum that would lead into the next game, where he gave him a double-handed slash to the back of the legs that forced Pacioretty to leave the game. Third game, he breaks his neck.

There's NO WAY you can say that there isn't a pattern here. And I don't like being balled biased or a homer because you'll have no trouble finding posts from me criticizing the team or even the players in other cases. But there's absolutely no excuse for this, regardless of what has or hasn't been done for these kinds of incidents in the past.

Derrick Newman's picture

Prax, I can tell you are very emotional about this and I agree that it is about the bigger message about player safety that needs to be sent. It's about respect in the sport and that went out a long time ago I think. (Think Mcsorley-Brashear , Bert-Moore) From here you could get into the instigator rule and so on. Something needs to be done but I think the NHL is just going to stand pat with their decision...as unfortunate as that may seem to some people.

This was a Flames blog with a small thing about the incident....it's infiltrating other blogs like a virus! Tongue

George Prax's picture

And that should tell you how much of an issue this is lol

George Prax's picture

By the way, I found the video of the slash: