Game Takes: Flames 4 Blues 1

October 25th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I’m not an alarmist, never have been. I tend to underreact more than overreact to results in small sample sizes.

With that I wasn’t finding a bridge to jump from when the Flames floundered their way to a 1-4-1 start, their second straight season where October seemed a lot more spooky than it should with Halloween coming at it’s close.

Tonight the Flame’s walked out their new and improved game execution for the second time in two days on a death valley road trip that could have seen their season really getting piled on, and bested the Blues 4-1 in a building where they pretty much never win. The victory gives the team a 3-4-1 record and pretty much brings them right back into the mix.

So all is right in Flame’s land right?

Not so fast, I don’t overreact the other way either!

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Chicago 2 (SO)

October 24th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

High Danger Scoring Chance.

New lingo from the National Hockey League used to describe those saves that leave a goalie high and dry and abandoned, but also create chances for masked men to steal away scoring chances and give their teams big wins.

To this point in the season, Brian Elliott could largely be defended since the opener in Edmonton for making all of the easy and average saves, but struggling to come up with that show stopper to turn a game on it’s ear and give his new teammates a much needed lift.

Tonight, in a 3-2 shoot out win in Chicago, he laid that rut to rest, turning in a half dozen 10 bell saves over the final 15 minutes of action giving the Flames a crucial win to start this two game road trip.

The Flames upgraded their goaltending this summer, we saw it in the play of Chad Johnson early this season. Tonight we saw it in the new number one man, Brian Elliott

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Games Takes: Blues 6 Flames 4

October 22nd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

It sure feels like this city needs a silver lining.

Sure the Flames dropped another one, this time 6-4 to the St. Louis Blues, moving their record to 1-4-1 and frighteningly close to the rough October witnessed 12 flips of the calendar ago.

However, the Flames did start to generate chances and built some cohesion later in the game. I won’t over state this as they’re still a long way from anything that could be described as chemistry or flow, but sure your silver lining is it’s coming.

The question though; will it be too late?

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Games Takes: Hurricanes 4 Flames 2

October 20th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

We were told it might take some time, this adjustment to a new coach, new systems and a different style of play.

In the summer that seems like a theory, lip service as to what could happen, but it all feels so far away it’s hard to raise the ire or find a concern. Well that theory is becoming pretty real now as the Flames drop their fourth game in five (one in overtime), this one 4-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes in a game that featured almost zero flow, an anemic powerplay, too much individual play and a really tight hockey team that frankly seems lost.

Sure they won the other night against a depleted Sabres team, but it was a sloppy, erratic game in itself.

Change takes time, I’ll be the first to admit, but time is ticking on a “start”, we’ve seen this script before..
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Game Takes: Flames 4 Sabres 3 (OT)

October 18th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Winning solves everything?

OK, that’s a huge stretch but you get the point. Sometimes when a team as a collective is gripping the stick a little tight a simple result can go a long way in releasing said pressure and getting a hockey team back to who they are.

At least that’s the lecture Gultuzan will be giving tomorrow on Saddledome ice.

The Flames fought their way to a stirring third period comeback, 4-3 overtime victory against the Sabres on Tuesday night, in a game that clearly demonstrated just how tense the locals have become. Sure systems are being adjusted too, but the number of unforced errors, bobbles and mental mistakes was staggering.
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