Fresh off the news of Kipper's long term deal the Flames, deep in their long home stretch, faced the Nashville Predators. To be fair, Nashville is having a rough season, the bulk of their core vanished in the off season and the near constant talks of moving the team must be giving Coach Barry a case of the 'trotz'. Regardless, the Preds have a lineup filled with cool sounding names like Bonk, Radulov, Fiddler and the ever feisty Tootoo so they should get some credit for providing the color commentators an endless stream of material.
To the game:
The star of this game was Kipper. How many times have we said that? Hundreds. But it's the first time this season that I've seen Kipper be, well Kipper (killed a minute long 5 on 3 don't you know). Was it a better showing from the Calgary D-corps? Maybe but the Preds racked up 40 SOG so it was a busy night for the Flames netminder. On a few occasions the Flames looked mighty scrambly but they would snap out of it and get back to what they do best this season, scoring goals.
It helps when your opposing netminder, Mason, has been leaking like a sieve of late but to Mason's credit he made some highlight reel saves. Nonetheless, Iggy converted twice, the Juice fanned in a dirty filthy five hole goal, Lombardi shoveled in a high speed backhand, and Nystrom tallied his first NHL goal in a 2 on 1with Moss late in the 3rd. Radulov tallied for the Preds on a PP ending their drought for road PP goals. This fact was highlighted with Trotz twitching a sigh of relief on the Pred bench. Tootoo was oddly absent in this game as the only thuggery was presented by Zidlicky with a late elbow on Mark Smith. As usual, it was a non-call (you can guess who was reffing), but hey, what's new?
So, an excellent performance but one to be expected when you play a team lurking in the NHL's basement. No offense to the Preds, they are in a tough spot (unlike some other teams Leafs and Canucks) and need to rebuild the team. A solid win for the Flames but tougher opponents lay ahead. I would expect the boys are getting ready to deliver.