Game Takes: Rangers 5 Flames 2

December 16th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames are both playing well and horribly at the same time, something not often achieved in pro sports.

On one hand you have a team that seems to be in control, drives the play, creates chances and generally entertains. These teams generally win hockey games.

On the other hand you have a squad that gives up eye splitting blue chip chances four times a night, be it through terrible line changes, over committing to offence, or falling down, putting tremendous pressure on their goaltending and finding a way to lose.

The gaff prone Flames spotted the Rangers a 4-0 second period lead tonight despite only surrendering 13 shots to that point, and were unable to recover in dropping their 6th straight contest, 5-2 to the Rangers. - Full Article –


Game Takes: Hawks 2 Flames 1

December 14th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Taking the Hawks to the wire in their own barn is always a noble feat and one that would be a moral victory if not for heightened expectations and a belief that the club was playoff bound.

A late goal, and a failure to find that come from behind magic once again had the Flames loser by a score of 2-1. Now they dust themselves off, and return home with a five game losing streak and something to prove.

Interesting!

The Flow

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Better first period than I expected to be honest, as the Flames held their own on the shot clock, and also in the flow of play. Calgary gets in a little trouble at times in their own zone, but each team get a great chance … Andrew Shaw in close foiled by Hiller, and then David Jones hits the goal post.

The second period starts a little more sketchy for the Flames as the Hawks push the play and have the visitors reeling in their own zone. To their credit though, they settled in, and then actually went ahead when Johnny Gaudreau found Hudler as the late guy in a 3 on 2 that turned into a 4 on 2 to make it 1-0 Calgary. The Hawks tie the score just 6 seconds into a powerplay created when Dennis Wideman grabbed a hold of Toews; 1-1 through 2 periods, and pretty much exactly where the Flames wanted to be.

Just about the worst start of a period that you could map out with the Flames on their heels and just taking body shots from the Hawks through the period’s first ten minutes. They survive somehow, and the game remains tied through 17 minutes until Gaudreau blew a tire and caught his teammates flat footed, the turnover resulting in the go ahead goal and game winner. The Flames kill off a late penalty and then pull the goalie and go to work but can’t find the equalizer.

Three Stars

1.Jonathan Toews:Chicago captain sets up both Hawk goals to pace his squad to yet another victory.
2.Antti Raanta: Was solid in turning aside 23 of 24 shots directed at him by the Flames
3.Johnny Gaudreau: Made a great pass to set up Hudler on Calgary’s only goal, and had two or three other highlight moments with the puck as he continues to prove he’s a star at this level.

Big Save

Andrew Shaw forces Jonas Hiller to stretch right out but the Swiss goaltender on his front keeps his right pad on the line and preventing what looked like an easy goal.

The Goat

Mark Giordano. Not sure I’ve ever hung this category on him, but in a 1-1 tie you simply can’t skate past two Hawk forwards as the only guy back. Sure Gaudreau lost an edge and created the turn over, but it wouldn’t have been a two on nobody if he didn’t get carried away on the rush.

Mr. Clutch

I liked Joe Colborne’s game tonight, after being tough on him in Pittsburgh. Was good to see a return to his dominance on the wall down low, and his chemistry with Granlund on the club’s third line. Had three shots, four hits and 16 minutes of ice time.

Odds and Ends

With Hiller losing in Pittsburgh I wouldn’t have come back to him tonight in Chicago. Yes he single handedly beat the Hawks in Chicago earlier this season, but why help write that “not this time!” story? In the end Hiller was solid, so it certainly wasn’t a bad call. … Hope the Stewart to Calgary rumours are either not true, or that they tread carefully at least. That kind of player could be dangerous to a locker room. He’s not known for being cancerous necessarily, but a guy that ritually doesn’t show up is still a bad acorn to add to the forest. … Must have been an interesting game for Johnny Gaudreau, as the last time they came to Chicago he was invisible, and then scratched the next game, while back home in Calgary the media had him heading to Adirondack. This time? The most noticeable Calgary forward on the ice, and a big second period assist, and then the blown tire turn over goal that results in the game winner. Hey, far form invisible! … Thought Brodie and Giordano took a huge step back towards their exceptional “norm” of the first 28 games or so, poised in their own zone, out letting passes, and joining the rush. Great bounce back game. … Had to be hard on Brandon Bollig to be scratched with the game in Chicago, but still a call I would have made as well. … Well they’re still in a playoff spot, but now tied with the Jets and Kings for the 7th-9th because of a five game skid. They’ll have to right the ship on Tuesday if they want to remain in the top eight. Calgary officially holds the top wild card spot because of 17 victories compared to the other two club’s 15. The Jets play the Sabres on Tuesday, the Kings play the Blues. … Want a pick me up? Emile Poirier scored a goal and added an assist as the Adirondack Flames beat the Iowa Stars tonight in AHL action. Bill Arnold added the other goal. Poirier is tied for 1st in team scoring having played 5 less games then the still surprising Ben Hanowski. Will be interesting to see if he gets a look in Calgary. Speaking of Hanowski, hands up .. how many had him a) first in team scoring near Xmas b) ahead of Agostino in point production in pro hockey?

Next Up

Tough 4 game road trip is done, the Flames return to Calgary to take on the Rangers on Tuesday night, game time 7pm.

Lines:

Curtis Glencross – Sean Monahan – David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau – Josh Jooris – Jiri Hudler
Joe Colborne – Markus Granlund – Paul Byron
Brandon Bollig – Matt Stajan – Mason Raymond

Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Deryk Engellend – Raphi Diaz

Jonas Hiller


Game Takes: Pens 3 Flames 1

December 12th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Sustainability has been the big catch word surrounding the Calgary Flames for most of November, and honestly most did feel the Flames hot start was bound to slow up though possibly not cool off completely.

Winning when the underlying stats suggest you should be losing was clicking on borrowed time, but who’d a thunk the Flames would not only fail to sustain winning, but also getting out played.

A tough start, but a decent finish had the Flames come up empty for the fourth game in a row, this time a 3-1 loss to the Crosby-less Penguins. - Full Article –


Game Takes: Sabres 4 Flames 3

December 11th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: Enoch Root

Don’t mention Corsi or luck to the Flames right now .  After feeling like they deserved a better fate in Toronto, they rolled into Buffalo and outshot the Sabres by a large margin - 45 to 19 to be exact - but left town with another frustrating and probably undeserved loss.
For a second night in a row, they found themselves down a goal late and were unable to find any last minute heroics.  It was a solid effort for the most part, but give Buffalo credit for converting on their chances and finding a way to win.

Bottom line: a 4-3 defeat and their 3rd consecutive regulation loss. - Full Article –


Game Takes: Leafs 4 Flames 1

December 9th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Over the course of a season teams will win games they have no business being in, and drop games they likely should have won.

The Flames, 4-1 losers in Toronto tonight have dropped two straight games that would likely fill spots in their top ten performances this year, but have had the tied flow the other way too with wins in Chicago, and even last week at home against Colorado. It happens.

Key now is to win in Buffalo, if the Flames don’t halt the skid in that one they could be home and cool on a 5 game losing streak and their playoff spot in jeopardy. - Full Article –



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