Game Takes: Flames 2 Kings 1 (OT)

March 1st, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well that felt like a playoff game didn’t it?

A predictably slow start by the Flames and a bail out by the guy the Flames envisioned doing just that when they made the draft day trade with St. Louis to solidify their goaltending led the way as the Flames erased a 1-0 first period Kings lead on the way to a come from behind 2-1 overtime victory over the L.A. Kings.

Yes it felt like playoffs, but it could very well have a lot to do with making said playoffs, as the Flames move back out in front of the Kings by 6 points, but this time the guys from Hollywood only have one game in hand. And wait there’s more, their buddies from Edmonton beat the Blues in regulation giving the Flames a five point lead over the 2nd wildcard spot holder.

Still 18 games to go, but the Flames have gone a long way to make the playoffs somewhat likely over the last ten days.
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Game Takes: Flames 3 Hurricanes 1

February 26th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

At certain points in a team’s evolution a bubble position just sucks.

When Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff were winding down their tenures in Flame’s silks they often would finish 9th or 10th in the conference, a result that really hurt for the fan base. They didn’t make the playoffs, and they didn’t get the high draft pick, essentially the worst form of failure for a season’s group.

My expectations going into this season was exactly that, a bubble season, however in this case that reads success as the team is young, learning, and in or out the process is a gain in itself, regardless of the outcome.

With that said, this road trip was clearly large. The Kings were set to get Johnathan Quick back and put in a fierce push, leaving the Flames either in or out of the playoffs by a narrow margin. With four games left against each other, this road trip could have been the deciding factor between success and failure as the season moves into the stretch drive. The club needed 5 points at a minimum, but 6 or 7 would go along way in putting the Flames in a position of success heading home.

So clearly today’s win, a 3-1 victory in Carolina, was huge, as it gave the Flames 9 of a possible 10 points on the trip, sending them home to play 12 of their final 19. Now if they can bottle this game up in white and move it to the game they play in red.
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Game Takes: Flames 4 Panthers 2

February 24th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A look at the schedule before this five game road trip, showed 12 of the teams final 19 games to be played on home ice. In a heating battle with the Predators and Kings for the final two playoff spots, you had that feeling that surviving this road trip in decent shape would go a long way towards securing a playoff spot for the Calgary Flames.

A .500 trip was a must, but a six point trip would even be better as they headed out for their first game of the trip in Vancouver.

Now four games in and one to go, and the Flames have points in all four games, and three wins in a row in four nights, as they continued their hot streak in white silks in Florida tonight, turning back the Panthers by a 4-2 score on the strength of a great performance by back up stopper Chad Johnson.

On to Carolina to make a great trip potentially even greater.
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Game Takes: Flames 3 Lightning 2

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

You can’t play the Lightning without thinking what could have been in 2004, and you can’t play in Tampa without thinking of that hollow feeling after game seven 13 years ago.

Luckily the now isn’t such a bad place to be as well, as the suddenly cruising Flames continue their hot hand on this stretch drive road trip grabbing a 3-2 victory from the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting a damper on their playoff hopes while helping their own quite a bit.

The win gives the Flames five out of a possible six points thus far on the trip, guaranteeing a .500 trip as they set their sights on much much more.

This playoff thing could happen me thinks!

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Game Takes: Flames 6 Predators 5 (OT)

February 22nd, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When these two teams last met the Predators built a 4-0 lead only to have the Flames score three goals in two and a half minutes in the third period to make the end a nail biting 4-3 Predator victory.

So those thinking a 4-1 Calgary lead in the second was safe were clearly not paying attention to recent history.

The Predators not only erased that three goal lead, they took the lead, queueing the Flames for a third period tying goal and then an overtime winner to complete the comeback against the comeback in a thrilling 6-5 win in Nashville, a game that all kinds of playoff implications.

Not a game for the faint of heart.
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