March 12th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
You just never know what you’ll get during a rebuild.
You eye the schedule and pick your better than average chance at wins, your more than likely to lose, and then your good odds you get blown out nights, and a visit from the Ducks is certainly one of those.
The Flames, and this improbable run at home ice would have none of that however, stinging the Ducks to the tune of 7-2 on Wednesday night, handing Anaheim their 4th straight loss.
Dominant game by Michael Backlund in all three zones and 200 feet of ice. Scored two goals, added a helper, blocked shots, shut down Ducks and made great reads defensively. Quite the player to watch this season for Calgary. Really hoping he finds the net four more times for 20, and dials in 7 points for 40, both pretty key milestones for a player moving into the top six.
Sick of mentioning Giordano and Brodie in this space, so instead I’ll talk about the pair. They get better and better as a defense pairing with every game. Solid in their own zone transitioning the puck back and forth and on the blueline with the attack. Dangerous players.
I thought Galiardi had his best game of the season since game one in Washington. Great touch on his goal, and good jam all night.
Solid game again for Paul Byron. He makes so much happen with speed and smarts. He’d be a dominant player in this league if he was 5 inches taller.
Another good outing for Joni Ortio as he continues to pile up the starts and build a future in Calgary. The young guy doesn’t give up many stinkers and is gaining poise by the game.
Corban Knight looked much more comfortable in Flames silks after looking jittery over the last week. Handled the puck on his stick with much more confidence and of course popped a goal late in the contest.
Ben Hanowski isn’t a flashy player, I don’t think he’ll ever be a flashy player, but he does seem to have added a gear in his skating stride.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Tough night for the rebuild with the Flames winning again, continuing their win one lose one streak after the Olympic break. It was the only game of consequence to draft positioning.
I get that Mike Cammalleri is a good guy, a fitness nut, good with the kids, leadership, but man he needs to pick his spots with tough angle shots. How many times in the past few games has he shot in a very inopportune time, or missed the net altogether killing momentum. You have control, the puck is getting moved around, pick your spots! … Have to chuckle at the linesman tossing Corban Knight’s puck into the crowd, what timing. Knight looked way more comfortable with the puck in this game, after looking really over matched in his first few contests. … I thought Reinhart played much better on this recall, so his demotion shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Think it’s a case of sending the young top six player down when the veteran top six player returns. Hanowski is a fourth line guy so he stays. … Calgary’s win moves them to within a win of .500 on home ice, a pretty good stat for a rebuild to say the least … Sportsnet had a graphic up stating the Flames and Heat have 18 players that have played on both rosters this season. The Flames have had 39 different bodies in the lineup. That’s a sign of a team with a lot of injuries, and an organization looking to see as many young kids as they can.
The injury woes had a turnstile tonight with both Glencross and Westgarth returning from injuries at the same time Markus Granlund exited with a shoulder injury. Tyler Wotherspoon was dinged up in the last one but played for Calgary. Max Reinhart was reassigned to Abbotsford.
Where Do They Go From Here?
Flames travel to Dallas to take on the Stars on Friday night, then into Phoenix to play the Coyotes on Saturday.