March 22nd, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
When Nashville and Calgary meet the end result is more than a little obvious.
One goal game.
The count to get to that one goal differential wasn’t exactly the path these teams usually travel last night nowever. It wasn’t 3-2, it wasn’t 2-1, no it was tossy turvy, goaltending challenged chaos as the Predators outlasted the Flames 6-5 on Saddledome ice.
Mike Cammalleri is the Webster definition of difference maker right now as the tiny winger continues to pile up goals and points, this time popping two goals for the Flames. Seems to be working really well with Mikael Backlund, something they should keep in mind in the off season if he has any interest in re-signing.
Kris Russell’s first three point game of his NHL career, scoring once in the first and adding two assists. Plus 1 on the night and four shots on goal.
The rest of Cammalleri’s line also gets mention as both Backlund and Byron had great nights at +3, Backlund had a goal and an assist.
Joni Ortio’s toughest start to date as he fought the puck early; giving up goals on each of his first two shots, had no chance on the third, and was awful on the post for the fourth. He was sent down after the game but that wasn’t due to his sloppy period and a half but due to CBA rules on injury recall and Rammo coming back..
The biggest young player story in this game for me was Tyler Wotherspoon. With veterans making mistakes all over the ice he was cool as Fonzie in his own zone, finding safe alleys for the puck, playing physical, and staying on his man (he saved a goal by tying up a Predator forward in the second). Was -1 on the night but really impressed me.
Sean Monahan was robbed with less than a minute to go and the goalie pulled for his 20th of the season. Would have been a good story. Saw his first open ice smack down of the season as he laid a Predator out in the neutral zone. Still fighting the puck approaching his 20th I believe.
Tough game to evaluate Kenny Agostino, as the first game player was jittery, and didn’t get a lot done. His first shift was a shot on goal and an almost assist, but largely invisible the rest of the way. Got stapled a few times.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Back and forth crazy game that comes down to the wire with the crowd electrified, applauding the Flames and laughing … and no points! Perfect rebuild night!
The Hurricanes lost to Chicago, meaning the Flames are still 6 points behind the Canes and the suddenly sinking Ottawa Hemskys. The Predators are now 7 points up.
I’m no CBA wizard but I believe the recall status of Ortio has to be protected in order to keep their count for non injury post deadline recalls of 3 in tact. I think they have one of those left, and they probably want to take a look at another player. Have to wonder if Hanowski is on emergency as well. … Does Cammalleri ever not shoot? The guy shoots from every angle all the time, sometimes passing up what I think are better dish opportunities. I was a passer as a hockey player so I guess I was equally guilty of passing up shooting opportunities, as his second goal showed. …. Monahan’s 200k bonus for his 20th goal likely isn’t the tension point, but the kid is likely thinking a lot about that next goal these days. …. Meanwhile Backlund is within two of the mark, and only 3 points shy of 20 and 40 this season, something even the most ardent supporters didn’t see coming. … The final 2013-14 book (I assume) on Ortio is 4-4-0 with 2.51 GAA and .891 save percentage. His numbers slid quite a bit with four goals on 13 shots in only 35 minutes last night. Has a future though. … I assume the Flames will come to camp with battles in all positions, they won’t just open spots based on play of young players in the last 20 games, but you have to wonder if Wotherspoon is on the radar to play in Calgary next season. Sadly have to wonder if Granlund would have been as well if he didn’t get hurt. Hope he returns without a seam. … Odd game in that the veteran line were all -3 and awful, the rookie line was largely invisible but even, and the tweener line got it all done! Glenross over passing the puck was painful to watch.
Agostino in and Hanowski out ironically. Hudler returns to action as well.
Where Do They Go From Here?
Its Healy Night in Canada again where Flames fans get to hear how a 3-1 Flames win in Edmonton was a case of Will beating Skill as the Flames have none.