After being edged by the Detroit Red Wings at home in the Saddledome on Friday, the Calgary Flames made a surprising comeback against the Blackhawks during Sunday nights draw in Chicago.
After sending MacDonald back down to the AHL Heat, Reto Berra made an impressive debut for the Flames organization. Berra, the Switzerland native who was a fourth round pick by the St. Louis Blues, averaged 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage with the AHL Abbotsford Heat. Considering the goaltending woes that the Flames have been going through since the retirement of Miikka Kiprosoff, Berra had a lot to prove.
The first period was a surprise with Berra looking very comfortable in net and our defense keeping up to the defending Stanley Cups champions, the Blackhawks. No goals were scored in the first period as we headed to intermission.
The second period saw Galiardi with a penalty shot because of a hooking call against Hossa which resulted in no goal. Not long afterwards, Patrick Kane put the Hawks on the board. The Flames answered back 50 seconds later with a shot from Wideman that was tipped in by Cammalleri. The second period ended with a score of 1-1.
Glencross played well all night and it finally paid off in the beginning of the third period as his goal put the Flames on top for the first time during the game. After some big hits by both teams in the third period, the Flames defense holding their own, and a couple of shots on the Hawks net by McGrattan, Butler took a holding penalty and Stajan took a delay of game penalty. I thought our chances were done. But, as is becoming the norm this season, the Flames have a way of surprising me during those moments when I start to prepare for the worst possible outcome. During the 5 on 3, Berra shone in net, making his first night with the Flames look effortless. Our special teams did a great job of fending off Chicago in our own zone until Butler’s penalty ended and he rejoined the group on ice. Just as the penalty ended, the Hawks scored to tie the game at 2-2, which ended Stajan’s penalty. The game was back to 5 on 5 to end the game in regulation.
And then overtime happened and surprised a lot of us. Kris Russell ended up with the surprise OT snipe that ended the game with a win for the Flames by a score of 3-2.
My 1 Star
Reto Berra. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a goalie make his job look THAT simple. Berra is fluid in net, focused, and makes his job look effortless (which it is NOT). I see a lot of similarities between Kiprusoff and Berra which leads me to believe that we may have found our next starting goalie. It’s early, but that was a great game for Reto Berra and, I believe, if he can keep up the level of play that he had on Sunday, the Flames may have found that missing piece to the puzzle.
Glencross seems to have hit his niche. He played well all game and led the team to a pivotal third period goal that set the stage for the OT win.
I miss Giordano. A lot. Just sayin.
The Flames need to stop taking ridiculous penalties late in the third period and faceoff losses seem to plague us. If we could fix these issues, we may have a better chance at more shots on net.
The Flames PK is looking great and I’ve been really impressed with the work by Calgary’s special teams.
Could Reto Berra be the answer to our goaltending issues since Kipper retired? Or will this be another temporary fix to a problem that will plague us all season long? I think it’s too early to tell, but Berra seems to be the only one who has seamlessly fit in with group this year.
Tuesday, the team takes on the Wild and I’m hoping they can keep the momentum from this game. We may be slipping in the standings but that doesn’t mean that the hockey isn’t exciting.
Thursday and Friday will be a test of endurance as they take on the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche before returning home to host the San Jose Sharks next Tuesday. It will be a tough week, but you can bet the farm that I won’t be missing any of the games.