October 21, 2011
Going with Karlsson good move by Sutter
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - You knew a Swedish goalie named Henrik was going to win the game.
The one you’d have expected to be the difference came out on top, with Rangers netminder Henrik Lund-qvist being the difference in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
For the Calgary Flames, though, Henrik Karlsson’s performance does bode well and make the decision by head coach Brent Sutter look like the right one.It was a given Swedish goalie named Henrik was going to win the game.
It ended up being the one most figure would make the difference, New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, in a 3-2 overtime tilt with the Calgary Flames.
For the Flames, though, Henrik Karlsson’s performance was good enough to make the decision by head coach Brent Sutter look like the right one.
As outstanding as No.-1 goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was in the previous game, Sutter decided to continue with the summertime plan and start Karlsson.
The lanky goalie provided a strong 26-save performance, spoiled by a unlucky bounce with just two seconds remaining in overtime.
Dan Girardi’s long shot went wide of the net but bounced off the end boards right to Ryan McDonagh’s stick on the other side of the rink, and he buried the chance to ruin Karlsson’s outing.
“I felt good, but it doesn’t help. We still lost,” Karlsson said. “But I’m going to keep working. I feel pretty good out there, but it wasn’t enough.
“I thought there was 30 seconds left, I was really disappointed to hear there was two seconds left. It would have been fun to have a shootout there.”
Karlsson’s career record is a substandard 4-6-7, but he couldn’t be faulted in this one.
In fact, his teammates let him down, mainly by wasting a pair of second-period powerplays and another chance in the final minutes of regulation.
It’s time for Karlsson to take the next step and start winning more often, but performances like Thursday night’s will give him a better chance.
IN THE CORNERS
For all those Flames fans who figured Brandon Prust was just a no-mind scrapper, guess again. The two-time Flames winger who is now a fan favourite in New York is also a big Broadway show fan, making the Big Apple a great city to live in for him. Prust’s introduction to theatre stems from his uncle, Paul McQuillan, a multi-talented actor, singer and musician, whose credits include Buddy, the story of Buddy Holly, Beauty and the Beast and Blood Brothers. The latest performance Prust recommends is Rock of Ages. In fact, McQuillan was going to live at Prust’s place while with the travelling company of Beauty and the Beast, but that’s when Prust was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes ... Flames rookie Roman Horak took the warmup but didn’t play. Seems like a missed opportunity seeing as he was drafted by the Rangers and would have had some extra jump ... For those who think the media reaction to Karlsson getting the start in net for the Flames was harsh, take a gander at what the Vancouver Province did. The paper wrote an editorial imploring the Canucks to deal away embattled goalie Roberto Luongo to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vincent Lecavalier. Among the lines: “Tampa needs better goaltending; we need a power forward. Lou’s wife could finally be closer to her family, and Lecavalier could play hockey again in a city that actually cares about his sport.”
OFF THE GLASS
It was no surprise but sure strange to hear the boos rain down on Tim Erixon. How many rookies playing their fifth NHL game are greeted in that manner? Then again, not many pull the “I don’t want to play there,” so it’s to be expected ... Tom Kostopoulos won’t score many goals, but had to think he was for sure on the board in the first period before Karlsson robbed him with a great stop ... Back to Mr. Prust, you have to wonder why the Flames never tried him in the roles he has with the Rangers, killing penalties and checking. All he seemed allowed to do was give energy by fighting ... The Flames really must work on their powerplay. Two chances in the middle of the second period and no shots ... Can’t help but think Tim Jackman was told to play with more grit in his game than so far this season. He had his best outing by far, not by because of the first-period scrap with Mike Rupp but by forechecking and driving to the net ... For those keeping track, Jarome Iginla has 12 goals and eight assists in 18 career games against the Rangers.
#Flames fans doing an outstanding job of Booing #Erixon tonight. Their concentration is impeccable. Well done, fellow fans, well done!