April 4th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes
By: D'Arcy McGrath
More injuries … no problem.
The Flames iced a decidedly disadvantaged hockey club tonight that featured two pugilists, three college forwards playing their first half dozen games apiece, a rookie third defense pairing, and a goaltender that is used to backing up … in the American Hockey League.
True their hosts, sitting 28th overall in the standings aren’t exactly powerhouses themselves, but given the situation the Flames should have been ripe for the picking.
The result? Flames win 2-1.
The Cammalleri parade continues as the pint sized forward continues to pile up the goals and points. Tonight he scored his 26th of the season to register his 500th NHL point. Great work little man.
Joey McDonald has had an odd season in Calgary. Showed up to camp out of shape, got in trouble chastising his team before Christmas, and was sent to the farm. The man was on fire tonight, as he led the way for the Flames by turning aside 34 Panther shots.
Wow … TJ Brodie took to the ice almost 28 minutes tonight to lead the team. He was even and lead the team with 4 blocked shots.
Very good night for college hockey players.
Kenny Agostino scored his first NHL goal on a quick release redirection off a McGrattan failed shot. But what was more impressive was his ability to calm down, and use his skills to make plays and contribute. He’s looked way over his head in previous starts, but the kid looked really good tonight.
Bryce Van Brabant followed up a big step last night with another step tonight. He was on the ice for 12.30 of time, was plus one, had a huge hit and was very involved in the play. He’s never going to be a true top six forward, but he appears to have more game than I thought, and could play a great role riding shot gun with skill players.
Another point for Chris Breen, who was more noticeable tonight then he was last night in Tampa. Probably his most calm and collected start of the season for the stay home 6/7 blueliner.
Draft Implications / Scoreboard
Getting obvious now … Flames win, pass the Islanders by a point, but New York has two games in hand. The Flames did get in the face of their provincial rivals however, by keeping the Panthers in striking range of the Oilers.
Did that last 5 seconds not epitomize the Flames season? Puck to point … blocked shot by Bouma, rebound to point to the point … blocked shot by Giordano. So consistently showing up every night all season. Great building block campaign. … Hartley had to shuffle some lines because of injuries, and one of beneficiaries was Van Brabant who got to patrol the wing with Cammalleri and Hudler, not a bad hook up. … That Colborne mic-up on the Flames site today was interesting. Really showed the friendship between Monahan and Colborne forming for the linemates. As Calgary fans we all had to stomach the VHS tape Boys on the Bus Oiler production 30 years ago but it does show what young friendships can do to team building. … Shame to see Backlund missing time and coming short of the 20 and 40. … With injuries and call ups the Flames ice time chart is really leveling out. Westgarth and Hanowski were the only two players not to play 10 minutes tonight. … Flames chances at 4th overall slip to 57% with tonight’s game according to clubsportsstats.com.
A hand injury to Mikael Backlund forced him out of the lineup, resulting in the insertion of Kenny Agostino into the lineup. McDonald starts in place of Ramo.
Where Do They Go From Here?
One more game to go on the team’s final extended road trip of the season, the swamp in New Jersey on Monday night.