Coming off of a very good Week Five, the Calgary Flames were bestowed with another honour as they headed into Monday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Mark Giordano was awarded with the NHL’s first star of the week, with Don Cherry even weighing in on the captain’s impressive leadership of the team thus far. Cherry firmly believes Giordano is a Norris trophy candidate, and the way the Flames’ season has been going lately, fans of the Flaming ‘C’ agree.
However, against the struggling Hurricanes in what was expected to be a surefire win, the Flames could not get a spark going. Although winger David Jones got Calgary on the board first, just past the halfway point, no one else could beat Cam Ward, while the Canes stormed Jonas Hiller throughout the night. Zach Boychuk tied things up at one just as the first period rounded out.With Devin Setoguchi sitting in the penalty box on a holding call against Alexander Semin, the Canes used their man-advantage to their favour. Justin Faulk’s slapper gave Carolina the go-ahead goal early in the second period. Almost a month since returning from a preseason-suffered concussion, Jeff Skinner is starting to find his legs again. He also found the back of the net in the second period to extend the Canes’ lead to two.
And in the third, Skinner found Tim Gleason and slid him a pass, which was then snapped past Hiller. In the second consecutive game in which Hiller allowed 4 goals, the Flames fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.
The good thing about being a team’s official starting goalie is that even though you allowed eight goals in two games, you still get to start the following game. With Hiller again in net, ready to shake off the loss to the Canes, the Flames hosted the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
But the night was all about centerman Paul Byron. The diminutive Byron had a big game, nabbing two goals and generating two big hits. It was Byron who opened up the scoring in the Saddledome at 11:06 of the first period. The Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan answered back a few minutes later to tie the game at one before the end of the period.
Byron once again gave his team the lead with a wrister just two minutes into the second period. That goal was followed up by a backhander by Sean Monahan (his seventh goal in a sophomore season that seems to be going pretty well). But with the Flames down a man due to a crosschecking penalty to Josh Jooris, the Coyotes managed to get within one again on a goal from Antoine Vermette. Not long after, Arizona’s Joe Vitale had things all tied up at three.
Thankfully for the home team, the Coyotes’ goals stopped there, while the Flames began to heat up. Calgary outshot the Coyotes 11-8 in the second, and with his sixth goal of the season, Mark Giordano broke the tie and gave the Flames back their lead.
David Jones scored the lone goal of the final period, and the Flames took the game 5-3.
With only two wins in their last five games, the Ottawa Senators paid a visit to Calgary, hoping to turn their luck around. And even though they did grab the first lead of the night, it didn’t go to plan.
Clarke MacArthur got his eighth goal of the season just over the midway mark of the first period. And despite putting 9 shots on net, the Flames could not beat Craig Anderson for the next sixteen minutes, and it wasn’t until the 8-minute mark of the second that the home team was able to get on the scoreboard.
Once again it was Paul Byron who got things started for the Flames, with his wrister being the lone goal of the period.
The Flames wasted little time in the third en route to a win. Two minutes in, Markus Granlund took a feed from Lance Bouma and backhanded it into the net.
With Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson in the box for hooking, the Flames powerplay was able to capitalize, and Josh Jooris continued his big league successes with his fourth of the season.
Bobby Ryan was able to tighten the Flames’ lead not long after Jooris’ goal, but the Senators could not get much else going beyond that. Lance Bouma and Markus Granlund teamed up again with less than ten minutes left to play, and this time it was Bouma who scored the goal to give the Flames the 4-2 victory.
Now fifth in the West, the Flames play the last three of their five-game home stand against the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils starting Tuesday, November 18th.
Stay tuned for Week Seven of The Flames Files and follow the Calgary Flames’ progress in the 2014-2015 season.
Graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program and a freelance sports writer from Calgary, Alberta.