Game Takes: Sabres 4 Flames 2

November 21st, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Can Brian Elliott ever catch a break?

Sure the guy has had his struggles to start the season along with his teammates, but with things looking up and the club playing better hockey in front of backup Chad Johnson the script was set for Elliott to return with more support and hopefully better results.

Instead the Flames came completely unglued in Buffalo, blowing a 1-0 first period lead by giving the game away in the second period through uninspired play and a complete lack of discipline in dropping a 4-2 game to the Sabres on Monday night.

The loss moves the trip back to 1-1-0 after two games, erasing some of the good vibes generated the night before in Detroit. Any hope that this team has figured things out will need to be put on ice once again.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Wings 2

November 20th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Its crunch time for the Flames for their season. With tonight their 20th game of the campaign it’s time to prove that some improved play of late is a sign of the team settling down and learning Glen Gulutzan’s system, and not just a brief intermission from what has largely been a first quarter of inconsistent hockey.

Tonight with a game in Detroit they started a six game road trip that could essentially write off their season. A 1-4-1 type of trip would put them too far behind. Winning the first one on a long trip can do a lot to build momentum and set up the trip for a season turning success, something thy managed to do with a 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Sunday night.

The win gives the team 3 wins in their last four games, and given the effort in the loss to Chicago on Friday one could argue they should have four in a row.

Great start to the trip.

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Game Takes: Hawks 3 Flames 2

November 19th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The process.

A bigtime buzzword around the Calgary Flames since Brad Treliving took the reigns of the franchise two plus years ago. Nothing over night, no quick fixes, methodical steps towards the ultimate goal of establishing a winning franchise, a perennial contender.

Well the Flames had a process like game at the Saddledome on Friday night. They limited mistakes, they drove the play, they garnered scoring chances, they blocked out the dangerous Blackhawks in and around goaltender Chad Johnson. They did almost all the things a team needs to do to be successful except that all important result on the scoreboard as they dropped a 3-2 decision to Chicago on a late fluke goal to Marian Hossa.

The loss snaps the Flames two game winning streak, but should send them on a six game road trip with a measure of confidence.

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Game Takes: Flames 2 Coyotes 1 (OT)

November 16th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames came very close to being “Hartley’d” by the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.

They carried the play, they narrowly carried the shot clock, but they dominated the possession game but found themselves down 1-0 with only 13 minutes to play despite a solid performance from backup goaltender Chad Johnson. Hold the funeral procession however, as rookie Matthew Tkachuk goes short short side on Mike Smith leading to a Michael Frolik overtime goal in erasing an annoying loss and replacing it with an great come from behind victory.

The win gives the Flames a two game win streak for only the third time this season, and puts a little bit of sunshine into a dressing room filled with gloom after the Johnny Gaudreau injury news.

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Game Takes: Flames 1 Wild 0

November 15th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

There’s never a better time than a win when the front page of a Calgary newspaper asks “Fire the Coach?”.

What rabid fans demanding answers and well heads to roll, the Flames played one of their better games of the season in a solid 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, ending a four game losing streak and perhaps keeping the wolves at bay for the time being.

Not only did Chad Johnson pick up the shut out, quite the feat for the NHL’s worst defensive club, but the game winner from Johnny Gaudreau was on the powerplay giving the Flames one of their few special team victories on the season.

Turning point? Blip in a sea of despair? We’ll start to find out quickly as they’re back at it tomorrow night.

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