Saturday, February 23, 2008

Red Wing slide continues in Calgary

With his name prominently featured of late in the headlines as a possible trade candidate, Alex Tanguay has suddenly become a scoring force again for the Calgary Flames.

Friday night, he once again provided a key goal, the only one in fact as the Flames edge a weary and shell shocked looking Detroit Red Wings team 1-0.

The wings who have lost five of their last six, have been struggling immensely in the last few games, unable to score the key goal to change a games momentum and more likely than not to surrender one at a most inopportune moment.

Tanguay’s goal won’t be one for the highlight reels, but in a portion of the season when every goal counts and can make a difference between two points or one or none, it was probably a thing of beauty to coach Mike Keenan.

The Calgary goal was more than enough to keep the Wings at bay as Miikka Kiprusoff recorded the 29th goal of his career, turning aside all of the Red Wings shots, including a third period barrage which saw the Wings fire 13 shots at Kipruoff, while the Flames could only register two of their own in the final twenty minutes.

The Wings arrived in Calgary for their western swing without the services of their captain and leader Niklas Lidstrom, who will be out of action now for three, four or more weeks, after suffering a knee injury earlier this week in a game with the Avalanche. He may find some company on the injured list from Chris Chelios, who left the game after taking a shot on the back of the legs, it wasn't disclosed Friday, how serious the injury was or if it will keep Chelio out of action for any length of time.

The Wings now move on to Vancouver now, a team which like Calgary has turned things around over the last two weeks or so, currently on a winning streak of their own and featuring the always ready Roberto Luongo in the nets.

Scoring which never has been a problem in recent Red Wing teams is suddenly a lost art, while wins likewise seem on the endangered species list. The western road swing is normally a carnival like thing for the visiting American teams, they spend three games in hockey mad cities, where the game is front and centre.

This time around the story the read isn’t about an invincible red machine from the Motor City, but rather a struggling group of players who seem to have lost a bit of their swagger as they slide down the Western conference standings.

While the start may be a little late for the western Canada teams, the potential to move into the upper reaches of the Western conference is looking more possible as the conference leaders struggle through a horrible February.

National Post--Flames blank Red Wings

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