I consider myself a realistic fan. As such, I assumed that the Flames' night was probably over when the Wings scored a power play goal to take the lead in the second period.
However, something about their 4-2 comeback victory in Detroit has me unreasonably excited.
This was a big game, and an even bigger win. Maybe the biggest of the season thus far. After a relatively dull first period featuring some good chances at both ends, Daymond Langkow tallied his thirteenth goal of the season on a bad angle slapshot, giving the Flames the lead. After responding with some continued pressure in Wings zone and almost scoring to go ahead 2-0, Detroit stormed back with fifteen second period shots and two unanswered goals to take the lead.
As statistics will tell us, the Flames don't really do comebacks, especially those of the third period variety, so when they outshot the team they're competing for the final playoff spot with 15-4 in the final frame and scored twice to take the lead, it was a thing of beauty. Chris Higgins sealing the deal with his first as a Flame--a short-handed empty-netter--was particularly special. This was a playoff-like victory. In a historically unfriendly building where the hosts had won four of their last five, the Flames didn't quit and were on the right side of some lucky bounces for once. Their best players came through and Kiprusoff looked extremely solid in goal, as he made important save after important save in his second straight win at Joe Louis Arena this season.
After losing 4-0 to Minnesota in their first game back from the Olympic break, the Flames have won three straight games and have outscored their opposition 14-7. I believe the Flames' 'magic number' hovers somewhere around the 94-point mark, and with 75 points they need to win approximately ten more games out of the remaining sixteen to have a real shot at the post season.
I have my cynical-and-jaded-sports-fan moments, more than usual these days, but at the end of the day, I want this team to be successful, which means making the playoffs. Making the playoffs in better than not making the playoffs under any circumstances, even if another first-round exit at the hands of an up-and-coming Western Conference powerhouse awaits.
The heart wants what it wants.
Go Flames Go.