So often, all we have to go on when a new player comes to the team are statistics, which do give us a good idea about results, but don't let us know much about process. Does the player hit often? Is he good along the boards? How about in front of the net? These are questions that I think are important, but are difficult to glean from the statistics at our disposal.
That's why I decided to write some scouting reports on some of the new acquisitions the Oilers have made over the course of the summer. The first scouting report focused on Colin Fraser, and his one will too. It's based on my observations on all of his shifts in one of his games during the 2009-10 season, in this case an April contest against the Calgary Flames. Now, it's good to keep in mine that the sample size for this will be tiny. I won't be doing more than a few games for any individual player. My hope is that these serve as a complement to the statistical work we've done on these players (like the work that Bruce did immediately after the trade that brought Fraser to Edmonton). If nothing else, it should give us some things to look for in pre-season.
But that sample size question is a big one, and that's why I'm asking the readers here for help. Is it more helpful to do a bunch of these on one player, or would it be preferable to get some variety, and do one or two for each new acquisition. That's where the poll comes in. The next scouting report will be up to you!
As for this time, you'll find a short "general impressions" section, as well as a detailed shift-by-shift report after the jump. Hopefully this will let us know what we can expect from Colin Fraser as we head into the 2010-11 season.
Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks Apr. 4 2010
Fraser wasn't used at all on the penalty kill in this one even though the Hawks used six different penalty killers (Bolland-Madden; Versteeg-Hossa; Brouwer-Sharp). Now, that may have been partially because there was only one penalty against the Hawks in the entire game, so I decided to go digging. It turns out that the last time Fraser played at least one minute on the PK was in a March 3rd game against the Oilers. Fraser played in twelve more games for the Blackhawks last season, and in several of them, he didn't play even one shift on the PK, presumably because there were better options available. He'll obviously be playing a much bigger role on the PK for the Oilers. Let's just hope that Quenneville and co. were wrong about his ability in this area.
Another thing I didn't notice was Jarome Iginla's name coming up. You could read through this entire report and think that Iginla must have been injured. He wasn't. That suggests to me that Joel Quenneville wasn't too interested in seeing Colin Fraser going against good players. Thanks to Vic Ferrari, we know that Fraser's most common forward opponents in this game were Kotalik, Nystrom, Mayers, Sutter, Bourque, and Backlund. There's one very good EV player in there, but in general, this was a scrub taking on scrubs, and that's probably indicative of his season. If the Oilers are hoping that he can move into the top nine, it would represent a big step forward.
In terms of Fraser's actual abilities, I have a feeling he might drive some people crazy. He was more physical in this game than the first one in terms of hitting, but the hits aren't really punishing, and he's not a physical player otherwise. He again didn't engage physically very often to win puck battles, and instead relied on very good stick skills, and anticipation to win pucks. That's not to say he didn't battle hard at all, just that he often felt like going in shoulder first wasn't his best chance to win the puck. He's probably right. That said, it won't always work, and there's something about watching a guy fish for the puck from a distance, or wait beside three guys battling that drives some people crazy when it doesn't work. I found myself saying, "Get in there!" a couple of times, only to then watch Fraser nab the puck with a stick-check a second later. Let's hope his excellent stick is enough to woo some fans. Finally, I imagine he's learned to play this way to overcome his lack of speed, because when he doesn't successfully anticipate the play, he's usually not quick enough to get there in time.
Shift by Shift
17:26 to 17:04 of 1st period, 0-0 tie, 5v5 - Fraser gets on the ice with the Hawks in control of the puck in their own zone. The Hawks had already botched a breakout, but the Flames are also changing, so it's still just a one-man forecheck from the opposition. Fraser moves to the near boards in the neutral zone to provide Duncan Keith an outlet, and Keith hits him with the pass. As Fraser approaches the blue-line, he dumps the puck into the near corner, and skates around Steve Staios who was trying to stand him up at the line. Fraser is first to the puck by at least a second, but he quickly puts the puck into a 50/50 battle behind the net for Ben Eager, and moves into the slot. Eager wins the puck and comes around the net, passing it softly straight back. It's close and soft enough that Fraser could reach for it, but Staios is on him, so he lets it go back to Niklas Hjalmarsson at the point. Fraser battles for position with Staios in the high slot as Hjalmarsson takes a big slapper that misses wide. His shot bounces off the boards to Tomas Kopecky at the side of the net, and Kopecky scores from a difficult angle. GOAL!
14:48 to 14:10 of 1st period, 1-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser shifts on with the Hawks in control of the puck and moving up-ice. Jordan Hendry dumps the puck into the OZ and Fraser is the first man in for the Hawks. Mikael Backlund is the first man for the Flames and he rubs Fraser into the boards while kicking the puck back to Mark Giordano. The Flames come through the neutral zone and dump the puck in; Fraser comes down into the slot. Antti Niemi has the puck behind the net, but his pass is intercepted by Backlund in the corner, and he rushes back into position. Fraser moves slowly toward Backlund - he's trying to make himself big to block a pass. Nonetheless, the pass gets through to Kotalik in the scoring chance area beside the faceoff dot, but Kotalik is knocked down, and Fraser picks up the loose puck. Fraser moves the puck quickly to Kopecky who skates out of the DZ, through the NZ, and into the OZ. Fraser is the trailer, but Kopecky decides to take a low percentage shot just after crossing the line. The shot is on net, but Miika Kiprusoff directs it around the boards. Fraser is still high, so he comes across the ice to pressure Stajan who has the puck along the near boards, just inside the Flames' line. Stajan gets the puck out to Rene Bourque, but Fraser makes the hit on Stajan. Bourque taps the puck in, and both teams change with the Hawks in control of the puck in their own zone.
11:52 to 11:18 of 1st period, 1-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser comes out with Ben Eager and Tomas Kopecky. The Flames are in control of the puck in their own zone, and the Hawks are set up in a 1-2-2. Fraser is the middle group, and he's positioned along the far boards. The Flames dump the puck past Eager who is in the middle group on the near boards, and Duncan Keith decides to pinch. The puck gets by Keith, but Fraser has smartly come across the ice and covered for him. He deals with Mikael Backlund well, forcing him wide along the near boards. Fraser follows Backlund, who still has the puck, behind the net. Backlund reverses the puck to Rene Bourque in the near corner, so Fraser comes out front and loosely marks Ian White who came in from the point. Bourque has the puck along the near boards and he tries to force the puck out front, but it's blocked and the puck goes down below the goal-line. Fraser moves down toward the puck slowly, recognizing that Backlund will get there first. Once the puck bounces over Backlund's stick, Fraser races down and picks it up behind his own net. He's being chased by Ales Kotalik, so Fraser bounces the puck off the boards for Keith who hammers it down the ice, and the Hawks are called for icing.
11:18 to 11:12 of 1st period, 1-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - The FO is on the far side of the ice, and Fraser gets kicked out; Kopecky is now in to take the draw, and he wins it back to Keith who skates across the ice before dumping the puck out softly, allowing the Hawks to change.
7:33 to 6:52 of 1st period, 1-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser, Kopecky, and Eager come out for an OZ FO against Backlund, Kotalik, and Bourque. Backlund is kicked out of the circle and is replaced by Kotalik. Fraser wins the draw back toward Keith, but the puck is moving slowly and Backlund is out very quickly, forcing Keith to reach and tip the puck down the near boards. Eager and Kopecky engage against two Flames while Fraser waits close to the blue-line between the two Hawk defenders. The Flames win the puck back to Cory Sarich, who immediately moves the puck across to Mark Giordano. Once Giordano gets the puck, Fraser races toward him, but the gap is too big to put on any substantial pressure, and Giordano calmly moves the puck up-ice to Bourque who's stationed himself along the far boards at center-ice. Dustin Byfuglien (he's playing defense) pinches to challenge Bourque, and wins the puck. Fraser has come back down the ice and is now stationed just behind Bourque ready for a pass, but Byfuglien dumps the puck softly down the boards for Eager, who doesn't anticipate that play and misses the puck. This allows Giordano to control again in Calgary's zone. He passes across to Sarich who tries to pass the puck to Kotalik just over centre-ice. This time Keith pinches, and Kotalik can't control the puck. Fraser has dropped back to cover for Keith, but it's actually Kopecky who swoops down to pick up the loose puck. Once the Hawks gain control, Fraser moves up the ice to offer a passing option. The Flames aren't putting on any pressure as Byfuglien and Keith pass the puck back and forth in their own zone looking for a clean pass up-ice. Eventually Keith tries to move the puck ahead to Kopecky who's waiting at Calgary's blue-line, but the pass is in his feet and he can't control it. Fraser moves across, picks up the puck and tries to dump it in to Calgary's zone but it hits Sarich, who then steps up and hits Fraser. The Flames pick up the puck and dump it out. Fraser leaves the zone as Keith retrieves the puck in the NZ. Keith tries to dump the puck in as Kopecky heads for the bench, but he whiffs on it and scrambles to knock the puck back to Kris Versteeg, who's just replaced Kopecky. That could have been a lot worse. The Flames are attacking with two forecheckers against three Hawks, and Fraser goes to the bench.
0:54 to 0:24 of 1st period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser, Kopecky, and Eager come out for the NZ FO following the Hawks' second goal of the game. The Flames counter with Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, and Kotalik. Fraser wins the draw back to Niklas Hjalmarsson who skates with the puck behind his own net. Fraser skates back to his own zone, and goes around his net as Hjalmarsson launches a pass to Kopecky at center-ice. Kopecky is engaged by one of the Flames, but he manages to get the puck over the line and Eager races toward the loose puck. The Flames are there first, and Fraser is hanging back by the red-line as the Flames take control and move up the ice. Kotalik receives a pass in stride at center-ice close to the near boards and skates into the Hawks' zone. Hjalmarsson angles him toward the boards, while Fraser covers the middle of the ice. As Hjalmarsson rubs out Kotalik, Fraser moves in behind them looking for a loose puck. The puck, however, ends up in the corner. Hjalmarsson follows it and tips it around the net to Kopecky. Both Eager and Frasr are back deep, so Kopecky just slams the puck down the ice, and the Hawks are called for icing.
0:24 to 0:00 of 1st period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Sutter decides to leave Stajan, Kotalik and Hagman on the ice for the draw (why not Iginla here?) in the Hawks' zone. Fraser and Stajan scramble the draw with both guys falling down. Hagman comes in to get the loose puck back to Jay Bouwmeeter, but Kopecky is out quickly, and Bouwmeester sends the puck along the boards to Kotalik instead of attempting a shot. Fraser is up and reads Kotalik's next play, skating to the corner before Kotalik has made the pass. Fraser intercepts the pass, and sends the puck back up toward Kotalik and Kopecky. Kotalik immediately knocks it back down to Fraser and Hagman, and Fraser whacks it back up to Kotalik and Kopecky. This time Brent Sopel joins the fray, and Kotalik can't control the puck. When Fraser sees that the Hawks are winning this battle, he moves up from the corner, and sets up camp just off the boards in case the puck squirts loose. Instead, Sopel chips it softly up the boards, and Fraser hurries over to pick up the puck and skate it out of the zone. The Flames are backchecking hard, so Fraser dumps it softly past Bouwmeester, and Eager skates in on the forecheck. Fraser cruises through the slot in case a puck comes his way before the buzzer, but it doesn't and the period is over.
17:50 to 17:32 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser comes out with the Flames in control of the puck in their own zone, but the puck is quickly moved to center-ice by Bouwmeester and then into the zone before the Hawks get organized. The Flames move in with a two-man forecheck, but Fraser stays in front of the Hawks' net despite there being no one to cover. Jordan Hendry is under pressure below the goal-line and he dumps the puck to the near boards. Jamal Mayers is there first for the Flames, but Fraser moves in, steals the puck, and makes a pass across the ice for Brent Sopel. The pass, however, is off-target and Sopel is forced to retrieve the puck along the far boards. The Hawk forwards are all hanging out near the blue-line, but the forecheck is such that Sopel is forced to dump the puck along the boards rather than make a pass. This time Kopecky is the first one to the puck. He tries to clear, but the puck ends up going into Calgary's bench.
17:32 to 17:12 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Sutter leaves his group of Jamal Mayers, Brett Sutter, and Eric Nystrom on the ice, so Quenneville leaves Fraser's group out there for the DZ draw. Fraser wins the FO back to Hendry, who sends it quickly to Sopel behind the net. Fraser is moving through the center of the ice as Sopel dumps the puck high off the glass. The puck takes a strange bounce off the glass and stays in the zone. Fraser tries to change course to pick up the puck, but it hops over his stick and right to Nystrom who moves it to Sutter on the near boards. Fraser curls down into the high slot, but Sutter just dumps the puck on goal. Niemi calmly taps it into the corner, and Sopel goes after it to battle with Nystrom. At first Fraser stays in the slot, but once he sees Hendry is there too, he moves down below the goal-line waiting for a loose puck to come free. After Sopel hits Nystrom, Sutter comes down to the corner to grab the puck. Fraser gets his stick in the fray and chips the puck away from Sutter toward Kopecky. Kopecky tries to flip the puck out, and although it's caught by Mark Giordano, the Flames' defender is just offside and the whistle is blown.
14:39 to 14:26 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser comes out with the Hawks in control of the puck in their own zone. Fraser and Eager are on either side of the ice waiting to forecheck, and Hjalmarsson eventually passes the puck up to Eager at Calgary's blue-line. Eager steps over the line and dumps the puck on goal. Kiprusoff easily knocks it away as Fraser skates into the slot. Jamal Mayers picks up the puck to the right of Kiprusoff and skates behind the net. Fraser chases him and steals the puck with a stick-check; he quickly passes the puck in front to Eager in the slot, but the puck hits Eager in the skate and he can't find it, at least partly because Giordano is right on him. Kiprusoff sees the puck and freezes it.
14:26 to 13:54 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Neither the Flames or Hawks change personnel, so it's Fraser and Mayers on the draw, and Mayers wins it. The Flames move the puck from the near side to the far side, and shoot the puck out of the zone. Icing is waved off and the Flames are forechecking hard. Fraser comes back deep into the zone. Jordan Hendry has the puck for the Hawks, and he gets double-teamed. Fraser stakes out the middle of the ice to take away the most dangerous passing lanes in case the Flames get the puck. They do briefly, but the two Flames get in each other's way and Hendry gets the puck back. He passes it across to Duncan Keith who dumps it out to center. Steve Staios picks up the puck for the Flames and Fraser chases him back, taking away the middle of the ice. Staios dumps it up the boards for Sutter who works it to Mayers as they cross the line. Kopecky pokes the puck into the DZ corner and chases it down as the Flames' forwards change. That leaves three Hawks and one Flame in Chicago's zone and the puck comes to Hendry wide open. Eager and Fraser are waiting for a pass on Calgary's blue-line. Hendry tries to give the puck to Eager, but he misses him badly and the Hawks are called for icing.
13:54 to 13:36 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - After the icing, the Flames send out Craig Conroy, David Moss, and Nigel Dawes. Fraser gets kicked out of the faceoff circle and Kopecky loses the draw cleanly to Conroy, who gets the puck to Dawes inside the circle. Fraser tries to get in Dawes' shooting lane, but the play is too quick in developing and Dawes gets his shot off, though he misses the net. The puck goes all the way around to the far boards, but Fraser stays in the middle of the ice with Dawes. As Dawes moves to the boards to support the puck, Fraser slides into the high slot. The puck comes around to the near corner, and Hendry picks it up, skating with the puck toward the blue-line. Fraser skates with him, which gives him a passing option, and forces the Calgary defender to back off. Hendry crosses the blue-line and dumps the puck off the boards, and into Calgary's zone. Fraser skates to the bench.
10:07 to 9:48 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser jumps on the ice with both teams changing and the Hawks moving up the ice. The Hawks decide to dump the puck in, and Fraser is the first man in on the forecheck. Mark Giordano picks up the puck behind the net and skates to the far corner, but Fraser uses a stick-check to win the puck from him, and gets it to Kopecky behind the net, who tries a quick jam play. The puck is loose in front; the Flames get it, and dump it down the ice. Keith touches up and the Flames are called for icing.
9:48 to 9:02 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser's crew stays out for the OZ FO, and Fraser wins the draw back to Jordan Hendry who takes a slap shot, but it hits someone in front, and bounces to the far boards. Fraser skates over to the loose puck, and he brings it down into the far corner where he's met by Jamal Mayers. Mayers squeezes Fraser against the boards, but Fraser manages to kick the puck to Kopecky. Mayers releases and Kopecky punches the puck back up to Fraser who uses his body to shield the puck from Mayers as he skates up the boards toward the blue-line. Once Fraser gets most of the way up the boards he turns and rips the puck high into the corner. Kopecky knocks it down, but loses the puck. The Flames break out up the near boards. Sutter gets the break-out pass on the near boards, and Fraser comes across the ice to hit him. The hit is made, but so is tha pass, and the Flames are out of the zone. The puck finds its way down into the Hawks' zone, and there are three Flames in pursuit, although only one close to Hendry who has the puck. Both Fraser and Kopecky have come back to the defensive zone. Hendry skates behind his net and two Flames converge on him. He decides to chip it up the near boards for Fraser. Fraser gets there in time and dumps the puck into the neutral zone. Before the Hawks can get out, Mayers has already slammed the puck back in, and the Flames' forwards change. The Flames are now in a 1-2-2 as Fraser grabs the puck along the near boards and passes it to Sopel behind the net. Sopel moves it to Hendry in the far corner, who has lots of room to skate the puck out. Hendry is challenged just before the red-line and ices the puck. Wow - terrible decision by Hendry.
9:02-8:34 of 2nd period, 2-0 Blackhawks, 5v5 - The Flames send out Conroy, Moss, and Dawes to take the OZ draw against Fraser's group, who have been out there for over a minute. Fraser gets booted from the circle again, and Kopecky comes in to take the draw. Conroy beats him cleanly (again), and the puck goes back to Giordano at the point. Eager is out quickly on Giordano, as is Fraser on Bouwmeester, so Giordano moves the puck to Dawes along the far boards. Fraser slides into the high slot, but isn't covering anyone. A shot from the far boards bounces off a skate and comes to the near point. Fraser races after it, but Bouwmeester is there first and makes a great pass to Conroy in front who muffs the deflection. As the puck goes into the far corner, Fraser follows through on Bouwmeester with a hit, and then circles back to his position, although he's staying closer to the blue-line now. Dawes gets the puck in the corner, and moves it to Giordano who takes a wrist shot through traffic. Sopel blocks it and controls the puck. After seeing Sopel knock the puck down, Bouwmeeter bailed, which lets Sopel rim it around the boards hard to safety. Fraser and Bouwmeeter engage in a battle along the bords in the NZ. It seems like Fraser has won it, but as he sets to make a pass, Bouwmeeter knocks the puck back into Chicago's zone. Fraser and Sopel get caught playing "I-got-it-you-got-it" by Moss who snags the puck, and makes a pass cross-ice to Dawes who takes a shot with Moss heading for the net. Niemi makes the save and holds on for the whistle.
3:26 to 2:48 of 2nd period, 3-1 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser, Kopecky, and Eager come out for the FO after the Flames first (and only) goal of the game against Conroy, Moss, and Dawes. Fraser loses the draw to Conroy, and stays high in the neutral zone. The Hawks are supposed to be in a 1-2-2, but Kopecky overpursues when he's supposed to be hanging back, which opens a huge passing lane. Dawes, however, can't handle the pass from Sarich cleanly, and it bounces off his stick to Sopel, who promptly dumps it back into Calgary's end. The Hawks set up their 1-2-2 again, this time with Kopecky in as the first forechecker. No big holes this time, but Fraser makes an error by challenging Dawes on the Hawks' side of center. That allows Dawes to dump the puck deep. Fraser hustles back into his own zone to provide support for Sopel who's the first man on the puck. Sopel turns away from a Conroy hit right into Dawes who looks like he's going to take the puck. Fraser, however, fishes it out with his stick, and moves the puck up the boards for Kopecky. Kopecky dumps it into the NZ, and Eager chases with a nice forecheck, forcing a quick pass up the boards from Sarich. Giordano receives it, and flips the puck toward the middle of the ice. Fraser tips that puck out of the air down toward Sopel, who makes a good pass to Kopecky. The Hawks break into the zone 3-on-3, after Kopecky hits Eager with a pass on the near boards. Eager takes a slap shot at the net from a bad angle with Fraser and Kopecky headed toward the goal. Kiprusoff makes the save and leaves a rebound at the side of the net. Kopecky gets a weak shot off from there, but it's an easy stop. After the whistle Fraser shoves back and forth with Giordano and Sarich, but there are no penalties and Fraser heads to the bench.
0:45 to 0:42 of 2nd period, 3-1 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Madden heads to the bench with the puck moving toward Chicago's zone. Fraser jumps out, but the Flames are off-side, and he never gets into the play.
0:10 to 0:00 of 2nd period, 3-1 Blackhawks 5v5 - Fraser comes on with the Flames in control of the puck in their own zone. The Hawks are in a 1-2-2 and Fraser is the forechecker. Fraser does well to get himself in Giordano's way, and the Calgary defender eventually moves the puck high off the glass. The Flames end up recovering that puck and getting a shot from the top of the far circle as the buzzer goes to end the period.
17:20 to 16:43 of 3rd period, 3-1 Blackhawks 5v5 - Fraser, Kopecky, and Eager come out after the Flames have iced the puck. Stajan, Bourque, and Hagman had been out for about a minute, so this is a nice opportunity. Fraser beats Stajan cleanly on the FO, and gets the puck back to Byfuglien (again, he's a defenseman on this day), who winds up for a big slap shot. Fraser heads to the net, but Byfuglien's shot is blocked and the Flames clear the zone, allowing the forwards to change. The Hawks get the puck up-ice quickly, which forces the defenders to stay out, but Byfuglien fakes out Kopecky by not dumping the puck in as expected. Then Byfuglien does dump it in and follows before seeing that he's offside... so the Flames have some time. They come up the far boards, and Fraser waits at the blue-line. He tries to stick-check Brett Sutter, but Sutter skates around him on his way out of the zone. Sutter then dumps the puck to the near boards at the Hawks' blue-line. Duncan Keith clears the puck back into neutral ice as the Hawks are all coming back. They move into a 1-2-2, and Fraser is on the forecheck. The Flames go cross-ice from one defender to another, but Sutter misses Bouwmeester's breakout pass, and the Flames are called for icing.
13:48 to 13:01 of 3rd period, 3-1 Blackhawks, 5v5 - The Flames get a great scoring chance, and the rebound is cleared into the NZ. The Hawks' forwards head to the bench and out comes Fraser. He immediately covers for Keith who is skating up the ice on the forecheck (that is one aggressive defender). The Flames get control, and chip the puck in softly. Byfuglien recovers the puck, and moves it cross-ice for Fraser, who's in Keith's normal spot. Fraser sends a nice pass into the NZ for Eager, who dumps the puck into Calgary's zone and chases after it. Chicago's defenders are changing, so Fraser is cautious heading toward the OZ, eventually setting up along the far boards. The puck come up to Sutter along the far boards and he runs right into Fraser. They hold the puck there while Kopecky and Mayers arrive. Kopecky ends up with the puck close to (and facing) the blue-line, but Sutter is right on him. Kopecky is knocked down by Sutter, but Fraser is waiting behind both of them and nabs the puck. He turns around and dumps it softly into the far corner for Eager. Eager corrals the puck behind the net where he's engaged by Ian White. Bouwmeeter and Fraser both arrive at about the same time to provide support, and Kopecky moves to the other side of the net, leaving all three Hawk forwards below the goal-line. White chips the puck around the boards, and Hendry pinches down, beating Nystrom to the puck. Wow, that's aggressive. Anyroad, Hendry puts the puck back behind the net, although the area's been vacated by all five players who were there seconds earlier. White ends up with the puck and he throws it around the far boards. Keith holds the puck in at the line (he didn't move back to the neutral zone on Hendry's pinch), and passes to Fraser who is now stationed along the far boards. Fraser dumps it down into the corner, and his line goes to the bench.
9:43 to 8:59 of 3rd period, 3-1 Blackhawks, 5v5 - Fraser comes out for a DZ draw with Brouwer and Bolland after the Flames send out Backlund, Bourque, and Kotalik. Backlund gets kicked out of the circle, and is replaced by Kotalik who wins the draw across to Backlund. Backlund then moves it to Sarich at the point. After the FO loss, Fraser stays in the slot while the wingers head to the points. Sarich moves the puck across to Giordano who throws the puck in behind the net. The puck bounces to the near corner and Fraser follows a Hawk and a Flame closely in case the puck squirts toward the middle of the ice. Instead, it goes up the boards briefly, before finding it's way back down behind the net. Bourque grabs the puck there, so Fraser skates down and puts on the loose bear hug. Bourque ends up spinning away from Fraser and goes up the near boards while Fraser follows. Bourque passes the puck back to Sarich; both Bourque and Fraser stay close to the near boards. When Sarich moves the puck across to Giordano, Bourque heads for the net, and Fraser goes to the high slot. Giordano takes a shot, but it misses wide, and ends up back with Sarich at the near point. Fraser stands his ground in the high slot. Sarich moves the puck to Backlund who tries a wrister, but it's partially blocked by Bolland. The puck comes to Byfuglien in the slot who tries to flip it out to Brouwer, but he fans on it, and the Flames turn it back. Kotalik has the puck on the near side with Bouque driving the net on the far side wide open. Fraser gets low between them to take away the passing lane, and Kotalik takes a low shot from the top of the circle. Niemi kicks the puck into the near corner. That shot needed to miss on the other side. Anyroad, the puck is scrambled in the near corner and comes around to Byfuglien on the far side. Fraser and Bolland are coasting low in the zone, and no one is on the far boards. It seems like Bolland got confused about being on the wing for a second there. The result is Byfgulien taking a hit from Bourque and trying to reverse the puck, but there's no one there to support him, and the puck goes straight to Ales Kotalik. Fraser skates toward him moving his stick from side to side to take away passing opportunities into the middle, so Kotalik steps into the corner and passes it back to Giordano. Giordano mishandles the puck at the line, and the puck comes out of the zone. Brouwer chases the defenders back, which allows the Hawks to change.
0:52 to 0:46 of 3rd period, 4-1 Blackhawks, 5v5 (EN Cgy) - This one is pretty much in the bag at this point, but Fraser hops onto the ice with the puck in Calgary's zone, and two Hawks forechecking hard already. Apparently Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp really want that EN goal. Instead, Hossa draws a penalty when Robyn Regehr sloughfoots him into the boards (man that guy is dirty). Fraser never really got into the play.
0:46 to 0:00 of 3rd period, 4-1 Blackhawks, 5v4 - Fraser is out with Kopecky and Eager for some "reward time" on the power play. Fraser steps in to take the draw against Matt Stajan, and Stajan wins it back to Kiprusoff (yikes), who kicks it to Sarich. Sarich comes around the net and fires it up the near boards. Fraser is hanging out near the top of the zone in case the Flames get the puck, but Hendry holds the line. When Hendry dumps it down, Fraser moves in, but the dump hits a Flame, and now Stajan breaks in 1-on-1. Sarich, Fraser, and Hendry are catching up to the play, and Stajan tries to hit Sarich with a pass, but they don't connect and the puck is off to the corner. Fraser and Sarich race for the puck, with Fraser higher in the zone. Sarich gets there first, and tries to push the puck behind the net, but Hendry is waiting for it in the corner. Hendry and Sopel kill some clock passing back and forth before eventually moving it to Kopecky. Kopecky gains the zone with the puck and leaves it for Eager at the point. Eager finds Kopecky in the corner, and Fraser parks himself in front. Kopecky tries to give the puck to Eager, but Eager can't handle the pass, and the Flames ice the puck. Ben Eager is not a power play kind of guy. Sopel and Hendry kill the rest of the clock, and that's the game!