Game Takes: Flames 4 Canucks 1

December 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In an 82 game schedule there are plenty of games that don’t mean a whole lot, but still plenty that do but for different reasons.

The game before a break however, always has a special meaning for both players and fans as a loss before a break gives both the chance to stew on it for the four long days, generally feeling bad about themselves. But if you win that game, the family is more fun, the turkey more tasty, the presents more perfect. So really, it’s pretty selfish for a hockey team to give away those two points in such a game.

Yet that’s exactly what the Canucks appeared to do in getting massively outplayed in a decisive 4-1 Flames win on Friday night, sending the city and the hockey team into a break with a big grin on their collective faces.

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Game Takes: Sharks 4 Flames 1

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

On any road trip you look ahead and add up the points. You circle the games where you should find two points, and then you put a big question mark in games where the opponent is tough, or the building with a history of misery for the team. In the end you hope for an even split, in order to get home and make hay on home ice.

In this brief two games trip, it wasn’t hard to assign categories, with the basement dwelling Arizona Coyotes followed by the Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks, although the Flames have had a boat load of success in the Shark Tank over the past couple of years.

In the end the set went as expected with a win last night in Arizona but the team came unglued and got pounded behind some shaky goaltending and some spotty defensive work, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Sharks on Tuesday night.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Coyotes 2

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

The best part of being a goaltender is the fact that you get to play the entire game. The worst part? When you play exactly zero minutes and sit on the bench all night.

Brian Elliott has been that zero guy for almost three weeks, a story that his hard to watch for a good pro that has had his share of hard knocks through a career that has had many ups and downs. You want the guy to do well. The only problem from a fan’s standpoint is the story for the other guy is almost a bigger sob story, so Chad Johnson’s ascension to NHL starter has feel good written all over it.

Tonight the page turned however, as Brian Elliott was back in the cage and with mixed results; he picked up the win, a 3-2 contest over the Arizona Coyotes, but was beaten twice on goals that he essentially scored on himself making the night somewhat bitter sweet.

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Game Takes: Jackets 4 Flames 1

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

There’s a tendency in hockey markets to look too closely at the local team and not enough at the opposition when it comes to wins, losses and results on a game to game basis.

When the home team wins they are great, and when they lose they are terrible, often not looking across the ledger to what is happening from the opposition. The Flames dropped their second straight on Friday night, a 4-1 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets in games where the Flames made a lot of mistakes, didn’t get the goaltending, and were victimized every time they made a mistake.

So is it a slip in play by the Flames or a set of games against a team that is good annually in Tampa Bay and the 2nd hottest team in the league this year in Columbus? That’s for Glen Gulutzan and the coaching staff to determine as the team travels to Arizona to start a two game road trip.

Chances are it’s a bit of both; a kick up in opposition meets a Flames team that has lost their edge and are turning over too many pucks. Time will tell.

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Game Takes: Lightning 6 Flames 3

December 14th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A team on a roll but tired, you give them an extra day off.

During those days off the NHL coach has his fingers and toes crossed however, as his team, used to games in three of every four nights suddenly run the risk of going cold. Potentially losing that edge, having some ice slink into their mitts. Glen Gulutzan’s greatest fears came to life on Wednesday night as the Flames despite a great start to the game lost their mojo in almost all aspects of their game in going down to defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 6-3.

The loss nixes the Flames six game win streak and wastes a chance to move by the Oilers in the standings.

Rest is rest however, it may have hurt their edge tonight but perhaps it will pay off down the road. Glen Gulutzan can only hope.

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