Sustained Winning

April 30th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Not sustainable.

In Calgary we’ve heard that battle cry in November, it was mentioned in December as a gotcha moment when the Flames suffered an 8 game losing streak. It was all quiet in January when they returned to winning, but returned in February and again in March when the club lost their captain and best player.

When the West ramped up and all of the 2nd tier teams began a torrid winning pace the Flames were the club picked to fall out. They didn’t have the horses, they were playing an unsustainable brand of hockey, their luck had to run out.

In the end the Flames finished 28th in possession stats in the NHL (44.5%), they should have been the same in the standings, hey with that result they would have won the lottery. Instead they made the playoffs.

Things haven’t stopped there.
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Playoffs ’15: Flames Ducks Preview

April 29th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well this is rarified air isn’t it?

Calgarypuck.com came to be during the spring/summer of 2000, 15 long and winding years ago.

In that time the Flames have missed the playoffs nine times, lost in the first round four times, and now have advanced to round two twice. Twice.

Out of the six playoff years in that time frame this year was certainly the least likely to find postseason success yet here we are because of a physical, gutsy playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.
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Game Takes: Flames 7 Canucks 4

April 25th, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

There are special nights then special nights. This one was well pretty special.

To really appreciate a win I think you have to taste or comprehend a tough loss. Starting a key elimination game down 3-0 certainly does the trick in pondering defeat. It feels hopeless yet also hopeful given the chaotic come from behind wins that the Flames have enjoyed all season. As a group in the building we discusses how early they got down and how that essentially plays into their hands. They’re not a good team with the lead, but they’re deadly when they’re behind, and when the behind happens early they have all night to come back.

And they did.

The Flames stared into the face of a 3-0 first period crater, shook it off, outscored the Canucks 7-1 the rest of the way in a thrilling come from behind 7-4 win at the Saddledome.

Bring on the Ducks!
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Game Takes: Canucks 2 Flames 1

April 23rd, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In both games three and four the Flames carried first period leads coast to coast, winning both games and putting a strangle hold on the series.

Tonight they walked out the same recipe with a 1-0 first period lead, but this time abandoned a few key ingredients like fore-checking, push back, and keeping things simple in an enemy barn. Instead the Flames tried to sit on the lead, relied on Hiller far too much and inevitably found a way to lose the game 2-1 forcing game six in Calgary on Saturday night.

The roller coaster ride continues. Hold on!
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Rebuild Gravy

April 23rd, 2015 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

gra·vy
ˈɡrāvē/
noun
1. the fat and juices exuding from meat during cooking.
2. NORTH AMERICANinformal unearned or unexpected money.

Not entirely sure if the first definition of gravy applies to the situation but the second option certainly does.

Ask the team or the city in October about heading into Vancouver up three games to one with a chance to finish them off and move on to a second round matchup with the Anaheim Ducks and I would surmise you’d be laughed off the sidewalk.

The baseline was in the McDavid mix.
The upside was a battle season that has them out near the trade deadline.
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