Game Takes: Kings 4 Flames 1

March 29th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Two years ago the Flames clinched a playoff spot against the L.A. Kings on Saddledome ice, ending a 5 year drought of missed playoff seasons. The result was somewhat of a surprise, as they ousted a team that seemed so much deeper, and more experienced then an upstart Calgary team that was supposed to be at the precipice of a rebuild.

Two years later and the two teams met up again on the same ice with the same stakes, but it’s amazing how much has changed in 24 calendar months. The Kings are somewhat of a let down, but its the Flames that have changed the most in that time frame, their youth more experienced, and their supplementary players more impactful.

And that wasn’t all that changed, as this time it’s the battle tested warriors with a firm “Not Yet!” delivered to the upstart young squad that was perhaps too focused on retribution and score settling and not ready for the game in hand in a 4-1 set back to the Kings on Wednesday night.

The Flames have 5 more kicks at the cat to get it done.
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Game Takes: Flames 4 Avalanche 2

March 27th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames have played a lot of tough games, and in a lot of tough buildings of late, so hosting the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night certainly set up as the classic trap game. With 7 dates left on the schedule, and this only light tough left (assuming the Kings still have something to play for), the game set up as a great test for the professionalism of this edition of the Calgary Flames.

So how did they do?

Meh.

They were professional enough to get things done, so you can give them a check mark for the final result, but the 4-2 nail biter over the Colorado Avalanche was certainly not the intense, system laden effort that we’ve seen from this team in recent weeks.

But then how could it. Magic number down to 2, and move on to the California teams.
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Game Takes: Flames 3 Blues 2 (OT)

March 25th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

There are certain “arrived” buildings in my mind in the NHL circuit. Barns where the Flames always seemed to get wildly outplayed, usually massively out shot, and quite often hugely out scored.

The Scott Trade Center in St. Louis is one of those arenas, a place that feels like a loss before it begins because of the strength of the St. Louis Blues over the past decade of NHL action.

Tonight the Flames showed they are right there, as for the third straight game on this three game road trip they were very much in the fabric of the game, but this time they end up on the right side of things with a come from behind overtime victory in St. Louis. The 3-2 win keeps the gap between the two teams alive as they desperately try and avoid the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs.

Doesn’t that have a great sound to it? A Calgary team playing to avoid certain first round matchups.

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Game Takes: Predators 3 Flames 1

March 23rd, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Being able to carry the play and out chance the opposition is a great step towards becoming a perennial playoff team and a potential contender, but hockey teams that don’t execute just can’t win, and that was the case for the Calgary Flames tonight.

Tonight the Flames bobbled, whiffed, stumbled, bumbled and stumbled their way to a 3-1 loss in Nashville in a game that featured enough scoring chances and bad bounces to win three games in the first two periods.

Some nights are just not your night, better to shake it off and move on, this was one of those for the Calgary Flames.

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Game Takes: Capitals 4 Flames 2

March 21st, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Beating top teams on the road is a tough task, a task that comes with a pretty firm game plan.

Paramount on that bullet list is to stay out of the box when you’re playing the Capitals as their 8th ranked powerplay is ultra dangerous with the soft passing Niklas Backstrom, the rocket launcher in Alex Ovechkin and a myriad of options to fill out their top unit both up front and on the blueline.

Take penalties and put yourself behind the eight ball, something the Flames certainly did by taking three minor to the one taken by the Capitals in losing the special teams battle and the hockey game by a 4-2 score.

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