February 4th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
What happens when a 27th place team on a 5 game winning streak meets a struggling wild card team in desperation mode?
A tight one goal loss I guess, as that was the case on Tuesday night when the Flames were bested by the hosting Montreal Canadiens by a score of 2-0.
A good effort by the Flames, though they really didn’t test Carey Price all that much through 40 minutes, and were shut out for their efforts.
Have to give Reto Berra credit for a solid road start. The big swiss goaltender has had some tough outings (at least when he starts) over his past few outings, as the only goal to beat him was off his pad, off of Rene Bourque’s shin pad and in. Had his bearings (net) all night and was solid.
Hard to pick any other difference makers in this one. Russell, Giordano and Brodie were all solid in their own zone, all even, and all logging roughly 23 minutes for the Flames, but there just wasn’t a lot of showy play by any of the Flames puck moving players.
Like Lance Bouma’s game again tonight. Hit the ice for 14 plus minutes, was even and had five hits. Really noticed the ratchet up of his physical play with the confidence he’s added to his game.
Monahan had a quiet game (obviously pointless) though I do notice a comfort level with his physical play of late, something that is sure to get better as he adds some mass to his slim frame. One a few puck battles and fed the point well from the corner in the first.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
The Flames haven’t been doing themselves many favours of late what with their five game winning streak, but tonight they failed to pick up points and actually had some help. The Panthers beat the Leafs 4-1 and the Islanders beat the Capitals 1-0 meaning the Flames drop back into 28th spot overall. The Flames now trail the Panthers by two and the Islanders by three points.
Additionally the Canucks lost again tonight in Boston, and with the Jets win they now share the 8th and final playoff spot with the Jets, and could fall out all together should the Coyotes win tonight against the Stars.
Clear from the opening faceoff that the Habs had a scouting report on Berra and short side goals, they worked the tough angles and short side players often in the first few minutes. … This Flames edition is just so different than past Flames clubs in the past five or so years in that you just know they’re going to be in the game when they drop the puck. Sure there have been a few examples this year where they got blown out, but for the most part they show up every time out. … Not sure how I feel about those glove face off penalties. I think if the guy covers the puck then you already have that call on the books. If he bats it away who cares? Sometimes they invent unneeded calls in my mind. … The ensuing two man powerplay, Flames god love them just don’t do anything in a two man advantage. Nobody is moving around, getting open, setting up for shots, anything. It’s guys standing around. Skill issue? Coaching? … The French media in Montreal must love it when the Flames come to town. 27 or so teams in the NHL have all english speaking crews involving either a dearth of quotes or frustrating translation. The Flames? Three guys ready to was poetically in native tongues. …
With the injury to Kari Rammo, the Flames make Reto Berra their number one stopper for the road trip with Joni Ortio as his back up. On the return front Kris Russell returned from a one game absence, Chris Breen taking a seat in his place.
Where Do They Go From Here?
Now down to just two games on the schedule before the Olympic break, as the Flames travel to Long Island and Philadelphia on Thursday and Saturday.