Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Red Hot Flames burn Canucks

Suddenly we were transported back to the start of March, a Canuck team that looked totally lost and unsure of what to do next. If fans were raving about the rebuilt Canuck lineup a few nights ago, they were wondering where everybody went on Tuesday.

Johan Hedberg who was replacing Dan Cloutier in the Canuck net found out the hard way that if your team mates aren't on the same page, you're going to have a very long night. And long it was as the Flames out hit, out played and out scored the Canucks 4-0, taking the series back to Vancouver tied at two games each.

Miika Kiprusoff collected his first NHL playoff shutout stopping all 20 of the shots directed his way by Canucshootersrs. His Calgary team mates doing their best to keep the Canucks off of their previously successful game plan of hitting in the corners and forcing turnovers. It was Calgary doing the hitting in this one, the two long time rivals featuring a number of crushing checks into the boards to send a message or two.

One of those sending out a message was Jarome Iginla, having tired of Mattias Ohlund's pounding of game three, Iginla took the game to Ohlund crushing him into the boards at the Saddledome. The Iginla/Ohlund feud has been one of the underlying aspects of this highly entertaining series.

For Calgary it was the first home game win in the playoffs in eleven tries. Attempt number twelve is guaranteed for Saturday night, If Vancouver doesn't recapture some of the urgency of the last two weeks of the regular season, they may end up hanging around in the fields until the preseason starts up again in early fall.

All tied up at two now, the series effectively becomes a best of three series. Hot goaltending and discipline can be the keys to winning, Calgary proved they had both in game four.

The Vancouver fans might be getting just a little bit nervous about the total breakdown of support in Game four. The Flames scored two goals in 27 seconds, a situation the Canucks cannot let happen again if they have any hopes of putting the Flames on the sidelines for the season. If they want to turn things around fast, the Canucks of one week ago had best report for duty on Thursday night, if the Canucks that were on the ice Tuesday show up, Calgary is going to enjoy their stay on the West coast.

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