Game Takes: Flames 6 Jets 2

December 10th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In a compacted schedule with 30, soon to be 31 teams, a lot goes on in the National Hockey League with very few eyes to actually take in what every team is doing.

Teams get hot, teams sputter but to most hockey fans the streaks are just blurbs and box scores as few people take in every move of every team. So with the Flames on a five game win streak and suddenly one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League, a Hockey Night in Canada matchup against another Canadian club was an excellent chance for the team to put on a show in front of a larger audience than usually takes in a Calgary Flames game.

The team didn’t waste the opportunity piling up four second period goals to forge in front 4-0 and eventually beat the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 6-2 on Saturday Night.

With six wins in a row the team is now in first place in the Pacific Division if you ignore games in hand, a remarkable turnaround for a team written off by Remembrance Day.

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Games Takes: Flames 2 Coyotes 1 (OT)

December 8th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Hockey clubs need a lot of ingredients to build winning records and win streaks.

They need improved special teams, great goaltending and consistent play throughout their roster. Most of all however, teams need their best players to be their best players an element that was killing them through the first quarter of the season.

That has all changed of late though, and tonight was no different as Johnny Gaudreau, Dougie Hamilton, Chad Johnson and other carried the mail as the Flames pushed their win streak to five games by defeating the sad sack Coyotes in overtime 2-1 on Thursday night.

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Game Takes: Flames 2 Stars 1

December 6th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

As a commodity trader you see thresholds that act as a ceiling or a floor, limiting to some degree, how far the market can go in a certain direction. A crude price of $50 dollars, gold at $1500, or Natural Gas at $4.00. Get to that point, but you just can’t get through it either up or two.

For hockey teams that have missed the playoffs in recent seasons that threshold or line can often be seen at the .500 point. Sure with overtime and shoot out losses the .500 line doesn’t mean what it used to be, but it does provide an emotional line between struggling teams and teams with a chance.

As for the Calgary Flames, on Sunday night they reached that point with a surprising 8-3 win over the Ducks, but tonight they faced that battle to push through that limit and be an over .500 hockey club. Tonight they faced that big barrier and pushed right through it with a clutch 2-1 win over the Stars giving the club a 9-3-1 record in their last 13 games, essentially re-writing the script in a season that looked lost.

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Game Takes: Flames 8 Ducks 3

December 4th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When players come off injury they can ride a wave of adrenalin before sometimes crashing back down to Earth when the rust begins to show and the energy dips.

For Johnny Gaudreau, a season that has been fraught with frustration and angst from a contract stalemate, to a slow start to a freak injury was hoping to get kick-started again tonight, when the skilled forward made a surprise return to the lineup after only two plus weeks instead of the four to six that many expected. He didn’t waste much time in getting the Flames on the board and putting up a two point night as the Flames dismantled the Anaheim Ducks to the tune of a 8-2 clubbing on Sunday night.

Eight different players had multi point games as the local club served notice that that this recent upswing may not be a fleeting event.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Wild 2

December 3rd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A team on a 6-3-1 run could feel good about themselves, you could argue they should feel good about themselves.

Yet this team just can’t. Start the season in a hole and you don’t have the luxury to rest on your laurels, you just have to keep on digging. String wins together, find points in games where you don’t play well, make sure you find two points in games where you do have the edge and just keep chipping away.

The Flames found a way to get a point in Brooklyn on Monday, then got ahead and secured two points against the Leafs on Wednesday, but they had to keep it going. So a shoot out win over the Wild on Friday night was a great result for a team looking to climb back into the mix in the Western Conference standings.

With two points the Flames move back into a playoff spot, though their games played statistics suggest they still have some work to do. It’s coming, but more work is ahead. One step at a time.

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