Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Flame snuffer

A four point night from veteran Jeremy Roenick proved to be too much of an offensive burst for Calgary’s Flames, who surrendered a lead in the second period for good and watched as Roenick laid waste to their hopes of advancing in this years Stanley Cup playoffs. It was a performance that will go down with the other stories of Roenick's ability to raise his game in the clutch moment of a game seven showdown.

The nine minute lapse in the second period proved to be all that the Sharks needed to finally put away the pesky Flames with a final score of 5-3, on a night where there would be no let up allowed and no remarkable come back in the cards, though the flames never gave up trying.

The night began much better for the Calgarians than it would end, as Jarome Iginla evened up an early Shark lead and then Owen Nolan scored a go ahead goal, giving many the feeling that once again history was about to hand San Jose a set back. However, the Flames could not capitalize on that momentum, when it became time to press the Sharks in their own and try to secure an insurance goal San Jose fought back.

Instead, the Sharks turned up the temp of the second period, led by Roenick who frequently found himself in the right places at the right times whether to dish off a puck or fire a shot at an embattled Miikka Kiprusoff, who still to that point had done much to keep his team alive. Too many Flames stood still in that eight minute breakdown, giving the Sharks much of the ice in the Calgary end to work with and taking advantage of the opportunities as they became available.

Mike Keenan returned to his Captain Hook days as he pulled Kiprusoff after goal number four, bringing Curtis Joseph back for an encore performance in this series. In part to change the dynamic of the game and perhaps to try and recapture some of the enthusiasm generated in game three after a similar situation resulted in that remarkable comeback. This time however, the Sharks struck quickly putting goal number five behind Joseph to push the margin just a little bit further and nip any comeback ideas in the bud.

Keenan's controversial decision to remove Kiprusoff with the main debating point for another long off season in Calgary, where early round playoff exits are becoming an unfortunately common occurrence.

Calgary earned back one more goal before the night was over, but they were sufficiently shut down by the Sharks that the outcome never really seemed in doubt by the time the midway point of the third came around.

The Sharks now move on to the Conference semi finals with the Dallas Stars set to arrive for Friday nights game one, a series that features two teams that have had troubles successfully closing out a series over the last few years.

It’s a record that suggests that yet another seven game series may be on the horizon.

San Jose Mercury News-- Sharks' best is plenty good
San Jose mercury News-- Roenick rides to the rescue
San Francisco Chronicle-- SHARKS TANK FLAMES
Calgary Herald-- Flames lose Game 7
Dallas Morning News-- Cue the theme from Jaws
. Stats Pack


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