Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 1

April 19th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In the summer I felt a good campaign for the Calgary Flames would end with a battle for a playoff spot, a 7-9 finish in the West and a photo finish. Everything else would be gravy.

As much as it hurts tonight they had some gravy, a pretty good serving.

The Flames had to survive a tough start, with an inexplicable short side goal minutes in from Brian Elliott, but they settled in and gave it all they had in a 3-1 empty net goal finish as the Ducks completed a very surprising sweep in the first round of the playoffs.

The Flames were even up in the first game, and likely the better team in the final three, but just couldn’t find that save, that bounce, or that finish to find the win column.

It hurts today, but I honestly think bright things are coming for this hockey club.
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Game Takes: Ducks 5 Flames 4 OT (Ducks lead series 3-0)

April 17th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I’m just not a conspiracy guy.

I think I turned that corner when that Alien Autopsy show was on TV about 20 years ago, the foolishness of the whole thing had me seriously wondering about people that believe there is always a fiendish plot at work. Things got worse around 911 and the truthers, and from that point on I decided I wouldn’t join the masses and look for Machiavellian story lines where they didn’t exist.

That’s still the case in case you’re wondering if I’ve turned over an odd new leaf. I’m not sure I agree with the non goal call in Anaheim on Saturday, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen a replay that shows the Nate Thompson goal should have counted tonight, a death knell of a goal that helped bring the Ducks back from a 4-1 deficit in besting the Flames by a 5-4 overtime score on Monday night. But I still believe they’re independent events all of which seem to be going against one hockey club but will even out in time.

Perhaps if I go back and watch the 2004 playoffs I’ll see enough evidence of good bounces to explain why the Flames have to endure every bounce going against them in a playoff series, but I’ll let you know.
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Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 2

April 15th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I’m not a superstitious person. I don’t worry about walking under ladders, black cats are just darker than brown ones. I’ve broken many mirrors without a lot of thought. I don’t see the number 13 as all that foreboding and I don’t think the fallen limb from a rabbit is my key to success and happiness.

But even I have to admit something is up when the Flames play in Anaheim.

For the second time in three nights the Flames played a very solid road game, outplayed the Ducks for great stretches, should have been up handily through two periods, but then weirded their way to a 3-2 loss in a barn that they just can’t win in.

If I’m Glen Gulutzan I’m simply gobsmacked after seeing my hockey team do almost everything in the game plan but still find a way to lose through stupid penalties, bad bounces, and some very inexperienced decision making.

Maybe I’ll keep an eye out for cats from now on.
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Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 2

April 13th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Lessons, you’d rather have a hockey team learn them in the preseason, or the regular season early. Heck if it’s really necessary push it to the middle of the season when the dog days appear in January. OK fine, a late season lesson with a playoff spot sewed up is fine, but get it done; learn your stuff and get ready for the real season when the puck drops in mid April.

This sadly wasn’t the case for the Flames, as they took a good hard lecture on beating oneself, discipline, and what it takes to win a playoff game tonight, self destructing in the second period and turning a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 loss in game one of the 2017 Stanley Cup first round playoff series.

Too many penalties and a terrible line change wiped out what should have been a very good road hockey performance by the Calgary Flames. At least they get another chance at the split on Saturday night.
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Playoff Preview: Flames and Ducks Renew Hostilities

April 12th, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A return to the playoffs is magic. Be it every year, missing a year, after five years, or like up in Edmonton ten years.
Back in 2004 when the Flames returned to the playoffs after missing 6 seasons in the post season the building was electric. People were in their seats before the warmup, the building almost 90% full 45 minutes before the puck drop; the players hit the ice to loosen up to a chant of “Go Flames Go”.

Two years ago that feeling was back, not to the same extent, but it was back.

This year the Flames are back in the dance, and to a man you can tell they feel like the deserve it; it’s no longer a surprise. They made it on their skill, their depth, and not on late game comebacks, or unsustainable metrics.

A first round match up with the Ducks is an interesting case study in the two playoff teams as they are facing off against their second round opponent from two years ago. The Ducks an experience team are just that little bit more experienced. The rebuilding Flames are just that little more built.

To change things up, we’ll diverge from the usual “how they match up” analysis, and look more at how much the two teams have changed. – Full Article –

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